Crowns (Caps)

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original or enhanced shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, tooth colored porcelain bonded to metal (PBM)  are the most popular because they resemble your natural tooth and are quit durable.  They and can last many years, but like most dental restorations, they wear, chip, break and may eventually need to be replaced.  PBM crowns are made to approximate or improve the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured or discolored fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.


What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include making several highly accurate molds (impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for a few weeks while  your new crown is fabricated to very high standards in a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb it will be prepared by removing any decay and reshaping the surface to provide room for the restorative materials allowing for a proper fit of the crown to the tooth. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked and adjusted if need be.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully seated ensuring that the color match, spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given post placement care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown. Remember most crowns fail because of new decay or periodontal disease.  

A few words about all ceramic crowns seems appropriate.   

Innovations in materials continues to revolutionize esthetic ceramic restorations. Traditionally, crowns were fabricated utilizing a  porcelain bonded to metal (PBM) approach. All ceramic crowns appeal to many and can benefit almost anyone needing a ceramic restoration.  However, exceptions exist including patients who have a prior history of breaking ceramic devices and those with a deep bite and have a history of clenching and grinding (bruxing).

Additional advantages associated with all ceramic crowns include:

  • High-quality ceramic products
  • Minimal invasiveness, so more natural tooth is saved
  • Long lasting restorations under ideal conditions
  • Biocompatible materials

Some types of all ceramic crowns are milled utilizing a  CAD-CAM system. CAD-CAM means Computer Assisted Design and Computer Assisted Milling. Other all ceramic crowns use a traditional approach (see crowns above).  The main disadvantage of all ceramic crowns is their tendency to break.  Their long term survival is reduced when compared to porcelain bonded to metal restorations  Resaerch is progressing to improve these materials

If you have questions about crowns or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office.

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