Crowns (also known as caps or jackets) are recommended when:
• a tooth fractures and is otherwise restorable
• additional filling material cannot be placed – for lack of healthy tooth structure
• decay has severely damaged the tooth
• the tooth structure is decayed at the margin of an existing crown
• the need for root canal treatment has altered the integrity of the tooth structure, making it susceptible to fracture
The crown is made of a hard and color-stable material. It can be all porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal, or all metal. The crown serves as a replacement of the entire outer surface of the crown of a natural tooth. A crown offers complete protection, provides maximum support for, and adds strength to the remaining tooth. This is important with posterior teeth where functions include chewing, meshing, and crushing. Anterior teeth function in biting, speaking, and smiling. In contrast, a silver filling resists wear, but does not add strength or complete protection to the tooth.
It used to take 2-3 hours just to prepare a tooth. And, if the nerve was damaged, the tooth was extracted. Today in less than 1 1/2 hours the tooth is prepared, impressions taken, and a temporary placed. Now, if unexpectedly the nerve is compromised, the tooth can still be maintained even after a crown is placed. On the next visit the crown is placed and checked for color, contour, marginal fit, and comfort. A radiograph is taken. Occasionally, hot and cold sensitivity may be present, but diminishes after a short period of time.
Crowns usually last between 5-10 years, but some patients have had 15-20 years of use. This converts to a minimum of 5,400 meals and a potential for over 21,000 meals in the life of the crown (not counting snacks)!!! Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are paramount to a long-lasting outcome.
Structurally damaged teeth are usually restored with dental crowns or dental onlays. Crowns and onlays are made from strong ceramic materials and are customized to fit your tooth without compromising its function and appearance. Our dentists will use these restorations to repair teeth that have fractured cusps or need very big fillings. Large amalgam fillings can be replaced with ceramic onlays, making the tooth stronger and more resistant to breaking. Not only are the teeth stronger, they can also look better. The strong ceramic material has optical and wear qualities very similar to natural enamel.
How We Can Help
You should expect two visits with Dr. Bohay for a full crown procedure. At the first appointment, he will prepare the damaged tooth, take a digital scan or impression, and place a temporary crown. Our dental lab will then create a custom crown according to the impression and your dentist’s instructions. At your follow-up visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown secured. In some cases, we may have the availability to create crowns, inlays and onlays in one visit.