Why Do I need a Crown?!
When teeth no longer have the structural integrity to withstand daily chewing forces, they have reached a point where they can only be restored with a full-coverage crown. Some common indications for a crown are:
- Teeth that have been filled and refilled over the years, leaving structurally unsound walls to maintain the integrity of the tooth
- Teeth with fractures or “holes”
- Teeth with large decay
- Teeth experiencing pain on biting
- Teeth that had a root canal
What is a Crown?
A crown completely covers a tooth down to the crest of the gum. The crown can be made of different materials, but the most common is porcelain-fused-to-metal. For more than forty years, PFM crowns offer the best of both worlds. The metal underneath is strong, fits precisely and is bonded to the tooth. The porcelain on top matches the color to your adjacent teeth. A seal is obtained at the “margin” where the crown meets the tooth structure. This seals protects the tooth against leakage and decay.
How Long will My Crown Last?
This is up to you! If your crown is brushed and flossed daily, under normal circumstances, it should last a lifetime. Unlike normal fillings, the materials used do not break down in the mouth. There are some circumstances when a crown would need to be removed in the event of damage to the crown or in order to treat a condition in the underlying tooth.
How is My Crown Made?
For a traditional crown, your first appointment is for examination and preparation of the tooth. The dentist makes an impression from which the crown will be constructed in the laboratory. A temporary crown will be made for you to wear on the tooth until your next visit, typically between one and three weeks. After our laboratory finishes your crown, you will have a second appointment for “seating” (permanent placement). Your crown is placed with minor adjustments to your bite to ensure the fit. The crown is then polished and cemented on your tooth. The cement sets in a few minutes, and your crown is ready for full use as soon as you leave our office.
In many cases, we are able to provide a “same-day” crown. If this treatment option works for you, both appointments would be scheduled on the same day (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), alleviating the need for a temporary crown to be placed. Ask your doctor if this treatment option is right for you.
Can My Temporary Come Off?
Yes! They are a temporary fix until the permanent crown is ready. If your temporary crown comes off, do not be alarmed. Simply call our office, and we will re-cement it for you. It is important to have your temporary re-cemented to ensure the fit of your permanent crown. Until your permanent crown is seated, please avoid sticky or very hard foods.
Once My Crown is Cemented, What if it Hurts?
Minor discomfort and slight sensitivity are normal for a newly-seated crown; however, if the symptoms persist, contact our office. The tooth may only need some time to adapt to the new crown, or you may need some minor adjustments to your bite. Any tooth that needed a crown can abscess later, requiring the nerve to be removed. No one can predict how teeth will respond to treatment.