A dental crown is a common tooth restoration procedure for individuals who have undergone a root canal or have a damaged, vulnerable tooth. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of stained, cracked or chipped teeth.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a protective cap placed on top of a damaged, decayed or compromised tooth. It covers the visible portion of a tooth and can be made from tooth-colored materials. Crowns are recommended to correct a variety of tooth issues:
- Cracked, chipped, or stained teeth
- Teeth that have large fillings
- Teeth that have undergone root canals
- Teeth that are worn down and vulnerable to damage
- Teeth that have a dental bridge
- To protect a decayed tooth that’s too weak to support a filling
What Are Dental Crowns Made Of?
Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials. Depending on your expectations and budget, they can look almost identical to natural teeth.
The main materials used in dental crowns:
- All-Ceramic – These crowns are entirely comprised of porcelain and look very similar to natural teeth
- Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal – These fillings are porcelain–tooth-colored–on the visible portion and metal on the tongue-facing side of the tooth. Metal is used to strengthen the porcelain surface of the crown and increase longevity.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is generally used in crowns to protect decayed baby molars in small children
- Metal – Metal is typically used for back teeth like the molars due to the metallic appearance
- Resin – Resin is an affordable option for tooth-colored crowns. However, they are more vulnerable to breaking and cracking and may need to be replaced sooner than other materials.
Your Dental Crown Procedure: What Should You Expect?
If your dentist has recommended a dental crown to fix a damaged tooth, you may be wondering what to expect from the procedure.
Dental crowns generally require at least two separate dental appointments. During the first visit, your dentist will examine the affected tooth and take x-rays. If your dentist notices extensive decay or possible infection in the tooth’s pulp, he or she may recommend a root canal before placing a dental crown.
After your examination, your dentist will numb the tissues surrounding the affected tooth. She will then remove any residual spots of decay and file down the tooth’s surface to ensure a close fit and correct sizing of your crown. Depending on the materials chosen for your crown, your dentist may need to file down more or less of the underlying tooth. After the tooth has been shaped for the crown, a mold will be taken of the tooth (and surrounding teeth) and sent to a lab where the crown will be manufactured from the impression. The process of creating the actual dental crown takes around 2 weeks.
After your crown has been manufactured and sent back to your dentist, you can schedule your appointment to have the crown placed. This procedure is typically straightforward, and your dentist can provide local anesthetic to prevent pain.
Have more questions about dental crowns in Murfreesboro? Gateway Family Dentistry is here for you!
Contact us today to schedule your first appointment with our dental care team.