When considering the anatomy of the tooth at Advanced Family Dentistry, we usually divide it into two parts. For those with relatively healthy teeth, the uppermost section exposed above the gumline is the crown, while the part under the gumline is the root. Dental crowns are a type of restorative treatment used to cover the top part of the tooth.
Reasons for a Crown
When a tooth is heavily decayed such that the cavity created takes up more than half the width of the crown, a cap is needed as the remaining natural tooth may be too weak to support a filling and is likely to result in further fracture or breakage. Those that suffer from conditions such as broken cusps or cracked tooth syndrome are also vulnerable to further damage to the tooth if pressures from such actions as chewing continue. The damage can extend as far as the jawbone and may require additional dental work like root canals or crown lengthening to correct.
Root canal treatment leaves the interior of the tooth hollowed out, so a crown is needed to protect this space and provide a suitable surface for chewing. If a person suffers from bruxism (teeth grinding) or has teeth excessively exposed to acids due to acid reflux condition or acidic diet, the teeth will likely have become worn down. Pieces of teeth could have broken off and enamel is worn away. This leaves undersized teeth that can later cause misalignment. Crowns can help restore teeth size and prevent movements that would affect the bite.
Crowns can also be used for aesthetic purposes if there is a tooth that is discolored. They can cover up the anomaly to present a perfect white smile. If there are loose teeth, crowns can also be used to bring about stability and strength.
Materials Options for Crowns
Gold alloy crowns mixed with metals such as nickel or chromium are a popular choice as they are highly durable and can be made to very thin dimensions. The main challenge is that they are very visible when in contrast to surrounding natural teeth. This makes them mostly chosen for back teeth.
Porcelain fused to metal option has a more natural look, but the metal underneath is still often visible as a dark line. All resin material can also be used to build crowns but is often a temporary measure as they easily become worn down with use, particularly with back teeth. All-ceramic or porcelain crowns offer the best natural look and are very popular for front-facing teeth. Same-day crowns are made of this material and provide the benefit of having the procedure completed during a single appointment.
The Crown procedure
This procedure typically takes two appointments. During the first visit to our clinic, the tooth is prepared for the crown that will be placed. This may include such actions as root canal treatment, cleaning, and filing down. An impression is then taken of the tooth, and a temporary crown placed until the next appointment. During the second visit, the permanent crown that was made in the lab from the impression is checked for fit and appearance.
To find out if crowns are the dental solution you need, get in touch with our team. Call us at Advanced Family Dentistry at (765) 287-5338 to make your appointment.