Using Porcelain Crowns to Restore and Protect Teeth
What is a Porcelain Dental Crown?
A crown is a tooth is shaped cap placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. A crown may hold together parts of a cracked tooth and can be used to hold a bridge in place. Crowns are also used for cosmetic dentistry purposes, to cover misshapen or badly discolored teeth.
Types of Dental Crowns
Crowns can be all metal, porcelain fused to metal or all ceramic porcelain. Metals include gold alloy or a base metal alloy.
When are Dental Crowns Used?
When teeth are in various stages of decay, or if they have become chipped or cracked, porcelain dental crowns are a way to protect them and restore any portion of the tooth that is missing. The material is custom-designed to fit the shape and size of your mouth’s needs, and porcelain is one of the most preferred materials due to the fact that it is so lifelike in appearance. Compared to metal crowns, porcelain crowns appear translucent and mimic the appearance of a natural tooth. If a tooth has become cracked and you don’t place a cap or crown on it, then it becomes vulnerable to internal decay or other problems that could lead to you losing the tooth entirely.
Another situation in which porcelain crowns may be used is when you have undergone root canal therapy. If the internal portion of the tooth has already been removed, then you need a strong “cap” or crown on top of that. Porcelain crowns are good options for teeth that are so damaged that veneers or bonding are not possible, and a stronger level of protection is necessary. To get started, your dentist will perform an assessment of the current state of your teeth, and take impressions of the existing tooth. This can then be used to manufacture a crown that is custom molded to your mouth. A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth and keep it from shifting during the interval between the impression and the final cementation.
Dental Crown Procedure
To place a crown your dentist must remove 1 to 2 mm of the tooth to make room for it.
Your dentist will then use a piece of thread or cord or use a laser to push the gum down around the tooth to take an impression. The impressions are sent to the lab where the crown is made.
During that time you’ll have a temporary crown. These crowns are usually made of plastic and are made in your dentist’s office on the day of your visit. They are not meant to last. If a temporary crown is left in the mouth the cement eventually washes out and that the tooth can decay.
During your second visit the dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes porcelain crowns need additional polishing or some other adjustment before they are placed.
Once the crown is ready it is cemented to your tooth.
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