Why Would I Need A Dental Crown?
Who Needs Dental Crowns?
There are many people who can benefit from dental crowns, including those:
• with teeth that have such extensive decay that fillings are not an option
• with weakened teeth that need protection from breaking or cracking apart
• with teeth that are already cracked
• with teeth that are extremely worn down
• who need to have a dental bridge held in place
• who need to cover a dental implant
• who want to cover or make a cosmetic improvement to their existing teeth
Why Choose Dental Crowns?
A properly fit and placed crown can last for decades, significantly longer than the average filling tends to last. Unlike fillings, a dental crown covers the entire tooth, protecting it against future tooth decay. Crowns are required for covering dental implants, and they are ideal in mirroring the exact color and shape of the teeth they’re replacing. Crowns can hold together cracked teeth and often prevent the necessity of extracting teeth. They can also be employed to close the gaps between teeth and correct minor problems with tooth positioning. Finally, dental crowns can cover stained or misshapen teeth, producing a much nicer smile and boosting one’s self-confidence.
What Does a Dental Crown Procedure Involve?
Tradition Dental Crowns
With traditional dental crowns, a patient needs to come in for at least two separate visits, usually spaced out about two to three weeks. At the first appointment, the tooth to be crowned is examined and prepared. The dentist and his/her assistants will take X-rays of the tooth itself and the bone surrounding to check for the extent of decay or damage. In some cases, a root canal may have to be done before proceeding with a crown. The next step is to file down the top and sides of the tooth to accommodate the crown. If there is extensive decay and too much tooth has to be removed, the dentist will add a filling material to build up the remaining tooth structure. Once the shaping of the tooth structure is finished, an impression is made of that tooth (which will serve as the basis for the new crown), along with the tooth above or below to ensure that the patient’s bite is not affected. The dentist will send off the impressions to a dental lab and place a temporary crown over the tooth at the end of the first appointment — this will serve to protect the tooth during the 2-3 weeks it takes for the lab to create the permanent crown. At the second and final visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is checked for fit and color. When these checks are finished, the permanent crown is cemented into place, sometimes with the aid of a local anesthetic.
The process for same-day crowns is the same as for traditional crowns, right up until the point when impressions are taken. With same-day crowns, there is no need for the use of traditional gel tray impressions: A 3D scanning wand is placed inside the patient’s mouth that maps the shape of the teeth and sends this information directly to a CAD/CAM milling machine that will create the permanent crown in under an hour.
How to Arrange Your Own Dental Crown
If you have concerns about decay or damage to a tooth and believe that a dental crown might be the best course, please call our office at (608) 783-6384 to set up your consultation with Dr. Dana Baldwin.