A routine visit to the dentist really should be a biannual plan for everyone as a way to have a proper cleaning and exam. However, some people may have to see their dentist’s office more than twice in order to have procedures such as fillings, crowns, and root canals done. If that is the case for you, you may well be scanning the web searching for an explanation of the procedure you are about to undergo. It’s natural to be interested, but there is no need to be afraid.
The most common procedure is crowns, which are also called “caps”, and they are used to preserve or protect a damaged tooth. Dental crowns can be made of three different restorative materials (all-ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold), which material is decided on to create the crown will depend on a variety of needs including strength requirements, esthetic demands, and space available for the restoration.
The need for a crown arises when decay or damage to a tooth is too much to be helped with a veneer, or if a root canal has taken place. Depending on what material is chosen to form your crown, it will either be created at the dental office, or in a laboratory. Prior to receiving the crown, it is normal to have a consultation visit where your dentist will go over preparation methods for the procedure and take impressions of your existing tooth to make the proper sized and shaped crown. During this consultation, a temporary crown could be placed on the damaged tooth to safeguard it until final placement.
During a second appointment, the new dental crown will be placed and fastened in. Some patients may need a local anesthetic; but this is generally painless to the majority of patients. The crown will be inspected by the dentist for the way it is placed; ensuring that it properly fits the tooth and its neighboring teeth. You may be asked to look in a mirror to check the shape and color. Once both you and your dentist are satisfied with the crown as a whole, the crown will be cemented in place and any extra dental cement will be scraped away by the dentist.
After the placement of a crown, your dentist will supply you with information regarding proper care for your new crown. General practices of brushing twice daily and flossing will help prevent the growth of plaque and gum disease. It is advisable to avoid eating ice or other hard foods, grinding or clenching your teeth, and biting your fingernails, as these can lead to damage of the dental crown.
Dental Crown Materials
As mentioned earlier, crowns can be made of different materials depending on the need of the patient.
- All-ceramic crowns are typically more esthetically pleasing as the translucency of the material makes them look very similar to natural teeth. These crowns do not require any metal and are able to use less material, making them a great choice for a tight space in the mouth. The durability of the all-cement crown is good, but really should not be used for people who have a tendency to grind or clench their teeth.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are the second most esthetically pleasing choice. The metal inside the crown takes away some of the translucency of the porcelain but contributes needed durability and support. It is important to note that as gum recession takes place, the metal portion of the crown can become visible.
- A gold crown isn’t as popular as it used to be, mainly for esthetic reasons. However, a gold crown has a lot to offer in strength and durability, especially for molars and individuals who clench or grind their teeth. Gold is a good choice substance when considering the wear and tear on the bordering teeth, since it tends to be less abrasive than porcelain.
A Look at Dental Crowns for the Utica Dental Patient
If you live in Utica and have further questions regarding dental crowns, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at 248-652-0024 or visit us online at hpsdental.com.