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 your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/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 gold alloy. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished 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. Zirconia is the strongest esthetic material and is used in areas of the mouth at risk for tooth fracture such as the posterior teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth Dr. Basora may recommend a zirconia crown to prevent crown fracture down the road.
The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 office visits. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing 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, your dentist or the dental assistant will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.
The crown takes about 1-2 weeks to be returned to our office. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You may require a local anesthetic to numb the area and the crown will be placed using a cement to ensure the crown sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and typically last about 10-15 years. With proper care and regular check-ups with your dental professional there is no reason they should not last longer than that. You should care for the crown 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.