What to Expect When Your Best Option is a Crown
A common type of restorative dentistry is a crown. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that replace a damaged or decayed tooth. They restore the shape and size of the original tooth in a way that looks and feels completely natural. Dr. Nishan Halim, cosmetic dentist in DC, tells what you can expect when a crown is the best option.
Are there situations that require a crown?
Yes. While sometimes a crown is chosen for esthetic reasons, there are situations where a crown is the only alternative to extraction. When the natural tooth has suffered severe damage or loss from extensive decay, there isn’t enough tooth left for restorative solutions like composite fillings or onlays.
In the situation where a tooth does have to be removed, one replacement option is an implant. Ceramic crowns are attached to metal anchor posts that have been surgically placed in the jawbone.
Are there different types of dental crowns?
There are several types of crowns. Some are made entirely of porcelain; others combine metal and porcelain. A number of factors are considered in determining the right type of crown for you. These include the location of the tooth, the severity of the damage, and the health of the surrounding tissue. The combination of metal and ceramic is the strongest and least expensive; an all-ceramic crown is the most esthetic because no metal shows. A consultation visit with your dentist will help you decide.
What is the procedure for getting a crown?
The process of preparing for and placing a crown requires two office visits. During the first visit the tooth is “prepped” or reshaped to receive the crown. An impression of the reshaped tooth is sent to a lab that will make the crown. Your dentist will also match the shade of porcelain to the color of the neighboring teeth. Since it usually takes the lab 2-3 weeks to complete the work, a temporary crown will be fitted to cover and protect the tooth.
On your second visit, your completed permanent crown will be placed.
What if my crown breaks or comes loose?
Sometimes the cement that fastens the crown on the tooth washes out and the crown loosens or comes off. You should contact your dentist’s office right away. Your dentist will most likely be able to re-cement the crown in place.