Although it is possible to fill teeth when there is a problem, not all teeth are candidates for a simple fix. Broken and fractured teeth cannot be filled or repaired. If your fillings have fractured, they are large or you have had a root canal, you will need a dental crown. Dental crowns may the solution for a variety of situations, including teeth that have decayed due to periodontal disease or other causes, or simply a desire for cosmetic enhancement.
Dental crowns come in several types. They are either all porcelain, porcelain that is fused to metal or all gold. Each type serves its own purpose.
All-porcelain crowns can be colored to match the teeth surrounding the crown. Though porcelain is a hard material, they are usually used on the front teeth. They look more like natural teeth, and aren’t as utilitarian as molar crowns, which do more work to chew food.
Porcelain on metal crowns are metal-based and can be used on teeth that need strength. The metal is covered with porcelain and, as in the all-porcelain crowns, they are colored to match the surrounding teeth.
Gold crowns are generally used on the back teeth. Because the back teeth are subject to grinding and tearing movements, a metal crown gives added strength for these activities.
Before you leave your first appointment, your dentist will numb your tooth. He will clean the decay from the damaged area and will shape the tooth to fit the crown. He will then place a temporary crown on the damaged tooth. He will check your bite to ensure that you are biting properly. If you aren’t, he will make adjustments until both you and he are satisfied that the temporary crown fits. The crown is then cemented in place to the damaged tooth using temporary cement. It will be easily removed at the next appointment.
We will schedule your second appointment once we receive the crown back from the lab. This generally takes about two weeks. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown and the new crown will be placed on the damaged tooth. If we find a problem, we will make adjustments and check again. Once you are both satisfied that the crown fits correctly and comfortably, the new crown will be cemented on using permanent cement.