A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold or porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable than gold.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
- Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
- This process generally consists of a minimum of 2 visits over a two week period
Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease.
Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
Porcelain crowns are the most esthetic type of crown due to the translucency of porcelain which can most closely match the appearance of enamel. However, they are also the weakest type of crown and until recently due to this weakness this type of crown was only recommended for front teeth and only for people who did not grind their teeth. With recent advances in technology which make the newer porcelains stronger and more fracture resistant and then layering the new porcelains over strong compounds that are more esthetic than the metals found in pfm (porcelain fused to metal) crowns these crowns are becoming more and more popular. Examples of these crowns are Empress crowns and zirconium crowns.
Gold is a natural substance. Unlike many amalgam restorations, it will not oxidize or turn greenish grey. It does not stain surrounding teeth. Gold complements the natural color of tissue and dentition found in your mouth. A well-done gold restoration is truly beautiful. Unlike other types of restorations, you donít have to worry about gold fracturing or chipping. In fact, a good gold restoration may last a lifetime if it is properly cared for. Utilizing gold enables the dental technician and dentist to form a restoration that complements the natural form of your tooth. Gold is hygienic and polishes well because it is a very smooth surface. Restorations with a smooth surface are less likely to harbor plaque and other debris.
Dr. Hunter has taken additional post graduate training in fabricating gold restorations. She has belonged to one of Dr. Tucker’s Study Clubs since 1993.