The crown of a natural tooth is that portion which is covered with enamel and is generally above the gum line. With crowns, we aim to recreate the tooth in it’s ideal shape, colour and proportions with artificial materials whenever the natural crowns of the teeth are deficient in some way. Most often, deficiency is caused by sugar, grinding of the teeth, or trauma. Artificial crowns are a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, appearance, to hold a bridge in place or cover a dental implant.
You should consider an artificial crown on:
- Back teeth that have had root canals to prevent breakage of the tooth. These teeth have lost their natural hydrating mechanism and tend to be brittle. If the tooth breaks it is subject to increased decay, and in a year or two, it may rot away to the point where it is not restorable.
- Teeth that are more than half filling material should be crowned. Fillings are supposed to be surrounded by tooth structure. As the filling gets larger, the tooth structure that supports the filling gets smaller, weaker, and more brittle. As the tooth around the filling breaks off over the years, there is nothing left to fill and there is little tooth left upon which to place a crown. A root canal may then need to be performed to place a post and core inside what is left of the tooth above the gum line in order to retain a crown.
- Teeth with a poor appearance generally benefit from well-made crowns. Front teeth can be heavily filled, misshapen, crowded, twisted, and poorly coloured.
- Patients who wear their teeth down because of grinding can benefit from placing crowns, with metal substructures on all their teeth. This is an expensive option, but frequently is the only way to restore the original aesthetics and function of the teeth before damage took place.
A crown requires at least 2 visits to our office. On the first visit, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary crown of either plastic or metal. On your second visit, we will remove the temporary crown, and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth!