A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original 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, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they will eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Reasons for crowns:
Let's face it, very few of us have perfect teeth, free of decay and fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that -- "fill" a cavity, or hole, in your tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around it.
What does getting a crown involve?
Traditionally a crown procedure usually requires 2 - 3 appointments. Your first appointment includes taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that are used to create your custom crown. A mold is also used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory. At your second appointment your temporary crown is removed, the tooth is cleaned, and your new crown is placed.
Cerec 1 Visit Crowns
CEREC is a method used by our office to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc. to its natural strength and beauty. Better yet, it's done with all-ceramic materials that are tooth colored in a single appointment! Click here to find out how the CEREC procedure works
Exam and Preparation
First the tooth is examined and the appropriate treatment is determined. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining. Next, an anesthetic is administired and your tooth prepared for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue.
Then, an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth is taken. Instead of filling a tray with impression "goop" that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, your tooth is coated with a non-toxic, tasteless powder. A camera is then used to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process only takes a minute or two.
Next, the CEREC machine creates the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. The virtual model is used to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 10 - 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, the restoration is tried in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then glazed in an oven and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no "temporary" or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment! Ask us about CEREC today.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.