Understanding Dental Crowns
Dental crowns, also known as caps, are one of the most popular restorative procedures performed each year in the dental field. As common as dental crowns are, there are still many questions patients often have. Here is a list of frequently asked questions:
Q. Why do I need a crown?
A. Crowns are most often needed because of dental decay or fracture. Fractured teeth can happen spontaneously but are most often caused by excessive wear and tear on a tooth from clenching, grinding or using teeth for inappropriate activities such as opening packages with your teeth or chewing on objects. Another major reason for tooth fracture is the previous placement of silver fillings. Amalgam, or silver fillings expand and contract differently than our natural tooth structure. Every time we consume a cold or hot beverage or meal, the walls of the tooth are stressed. Over time the filling typically fails by fracturing and often times the tooth with it. DENTIST FACT: Chewing ice is one of the WORST things you can do for your teeth. The cold temperature puts stress on the tooth and when combined with biting down on the hard surface can often be devastating to a tooth. A dental crown procedure may also be required after a root canal procedure, esthetics or to restore a missing tooth by dental implant.
Q. What is a dental crown?
A. A dental crown is a full coverage dental restoration that helps restore and strengthen the tooth. Often needed because there is a large amount of tooth destruction, the crown will support natural tooth structure to allow for a better long-term prognosis. A crown "caps" or surrounds the remaining tooth structure, restoring it to its original, or improved, form.
Q. What is a dental crown made of?
A. The true gold standard for a dentist is just that, gold. According to Colgate, gold crowns date back as far as 4000 years ago, originally developed in Southeast Asia. Throughout history, gold crowns have been a status symbol. As durable and reliable as gold is, a push towards esthetics has become more popular in modern times and ceramic crowns are most frequently placed today. Several different types of ceramics are used in modern dentistry with varied strength and esthetic properties. Metal or crowns made out of a combination of materials can also be used for crowns. Each material has its strengths and weaknesses. Depending on each individual's situation, a material is selected to best suit the patient's needs.
Q. How long will a dental crown last?
A. It is expected a dental crown can last between 5 and 15 years. Many factors play into the lifespan of a crown, including those affecting the crown itself or the tooth it is attached to. Just like a natural tooth, the amount of wear and tear caused by inappropriate use, clenching and grinding can greatly diminish the lifespan of a crown. Porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crowns are most susceptible to this type of failure. But porcelain crowns are not the only ones susceptible to excess wear. Gold and metal crowns can often form holes in the crown itself from repeated wear. Dental decay will cause any type of crown to fail regardless of material. Plaque control as discussed in our previous blog Two Times Two is a major contributor to a crown's failure or success.
Q. What is a same day crown?
A. Same day crowns, or CEREC® crowns, are one of the greatest advances in modern dentistry and offered by Pinnacle Dental. A combination of digital dentistry and in-office milling units, CEREC same day crowns have greatly improved the experience of having a crown fabricated for the patient. For a traditional, lab-made crown, the patient is required to take a gooey impression, wear a temporary crown for 2-3 weeks, and return for a follow up appointment - all requiring close to 3 hours of chair time. With CEREC, we are able to digitally scan the patient's tooth and fabricate the esthetic crown with a 1.5 to 2 hour single appointment. CEREC crowns can also eliminate the need for additional follow up visits due to improper impression technique or miss communication with the lab. Same day crowns are milled and glazed in-office, allowing for a beautiful esthetic result.
Grove City Dental Crowns
Pinnacle Dental in Grove City has the experience and technology to restore your teeth using dental crown technology. Our same-day dental crowns replace damaged teeth with a custom fit, metal free crown that closely matches your teeth. If you need a dental crown or a second opinion about a damaged tooth, contact our office for a consultation.