What Are Crowns?
A crown is a cap on a tooth which can be made of a variety of materials; gold is the most common. Other metals and porcelain and composite resins can be used to fashion a crown.
Why Is It Needed?
A crown is a dental restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape, size and function. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. A crown can:
- restore a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling
- attach a bridge to replace the missing teeth
- protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- restore a fractured tooth
- cover a badly shaped or discolored tooth
- cover a dental implant
How Are Crowns Installed?
In the case of a crown, Dr. Giraldo will smooth down the tooth it is to be placed on and then make a model of the tooth. The model is sent to a dental laboratory where it is fabricated. Usually, Dr. Giraldo will place a temporary crown on the tooth to protect it while the permanent crown is being made. When the crown is ready, Dr. Giraldo will place it and adjust it so that it will fit perfectly, particularly in relation to the corresponding tooth on the opposite (upper or lower) side. Then, once the crown is fitted perfectly, Dr. Giraldo will apply a cement and set the crown permanently. The cement only takes a few minutes to cure, but Dr. Giraldo may recommend that you not chew on it for several hours.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Crown?
With regard to a crown, that is an appropriate option when you have undergone a root canal or have a condition that compromises the integrity of the top of your tooth (e.g., an accidental breakage). A dental filling will not likely be useful, since the top of the tooth has been drilled through to the root canals or is so fractured that a filling will not hold over time.
How Do Crowns Compare with Other Dental Options?
Crowns are necessary when the integrity of the tooth has been compromised from the top or when there is damage to the top of the tooth which cannot be repaired with fillings. Otherwise, the tooth may become reinfected or the filling may not hold sufficiently to protect the tooth for the long term.