Dental crowns are the best way to preserve teeth that have been structurally damaged. They not only protect your tooth, they give it an attractive new exterior. They can be used if your tooth has been cracked or if it needs a root canal. By protecting the exterior of the tooth and maintaining its natural tooth root, you basically have a brand new tooth, and can expect many years, even decades of good service, though you may have to replace the crown.
As both functional and attractive restorations, dental crowns are useful and versatile. To learn how a dental crown can help protect and improve your smile, please call 559-431-4488 or email Dr. Donna J. Blair to schedule an appointment at her office in Fresno.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are like a sheath that fits over your tooth. They cover the tooth all the way down below the gum line. They can be used when:
- Your tooth has cracked
- You have significant decay
- You have multiple fillings that have weakened a tooth
- You need a root canal
- You are getting a dental bridge
- To improve your bite as part of TMJ treatment
Dental crowns can also be used instead of porcelain veneers when your tooth needs all-around coverage to improve its appearance. Dental crowns are placed atop dental implants to create the final replacement tooth.
In the past, dental crowns were made of metal. Then they could be made of porcelain fused to metal to give a more natural-looking appearance, though a margin of metal remained at the edges that could be seen if a person’s gums receded. Now, dental crowns can be made entirely of ceramic materials that are just as strong as previous options.
How Dental Crowns Are Placed
Before placing a dental crown, the tooth must first be prepared. This means removing decayed or damaged tooth material, including any failed restorations. If your tooth has been infected, this also means performing a root canal procedure to clean out all the tooth nerve.
Once your tooth is prepared, an impression is taken. This impression is sent to the lab, where your crown is made. While your final crown is being made, you will wear a temporary crown.
After about two weeks, your crown will be ready and at your second appointment it can be fitted. You will have a chance to assess the comfort and appearance before it is permanently cemented.
If you think you might need a dental crown for structural or cosmetic reasons, please contact Dr. Donna J. Blair in Fresno today for more information.