Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If Dr. Lo notices that a tooth is decayed, seems weakened or cracked, a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this a filling or bonding will not be sufficient.
Crowns can be made from zirconia, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a zirconia or porcelain crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.
The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 visits to the dentist. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filling down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, a temporary crown will be fabricated and cemented until your permanent crown is ready.
The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place the permanent crown. This should be a shorter appointment and most patients don’t require any local anesthetic. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.