A porcelain crown basically acts as a helmet to protect a tooth, which has had its integrity compromised either due to decay or due the tooth cracking or breaking. In the case of decay, more than likely the tooth became infected and a root canal procedure was performed. Cracked or broken teeth can occur for several reasons including accidents and trauma. In any case, the crown is necessary to protect what is remaining of the tooth.
The process for fitting porcelain crowns begins with the dentist numbing the area around the tooth where the crown is needed. Once the patient is comfortable, the dentist will reduce the height and circumference of the tooth, using various dental instruments. After the tooth is reduced in size, the dentist will take an impression of the patient’s mouth using a substance similar to putty. This impression is used to create a “mock up” of the patient’s mouth by the dental lab. When the dentist is satisfied with the impression, they will then install a temporary crown over the tooth, using an adhesive, which will hold the temporary crown in place, until the permanent crown is fabricated by a dental lab.
In most cases, the dental lab will require 2-3 weeks for the dental technician to fabricate the permanent crown, once they receive the impression. Great care is taken by the dental lab to fabricate a crown that will fit properly, without interfering with the patient’s “bite”. After the dentist receives the permanent crown, the dentist will schedule an appointment with the patient to remove the temporary crown and then “dry fit” the crown, to verify that the fit of the permanent crown is perfect. Once the dentist is satisfied, the dentist will use a permanent adhesive to “glue” it in place. Once installed the crown will last for years and act like a helmet protecting the tooth!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates
Just like your natural teeth, dental restorations can normal experience wear and tear. Unfortunately, treatments, just like a patch on a car tire, don’t always last forever. Eventually they begin to leak, wear out, or just need routine replacement after their lifetime has been exceeded.
Like other restorations, dental crowns can wear out or even have new decay develop around them if they are not properly cared for. New cavities can form around the margin of the crown if a poor diet or inadequate oral hygiene is present. The actual crown does not decay, but the tooth around it can, which then allows decay to form alongside or underneath the otherwise healthy restoration. In order to treat that decay, the crown must be removed, the decay taken out, the tooth prepared, and a new crown placed on the tooth.
People that grind their teeth may also find that they wear through or fracture their crowns. Gold is more flexible, so people with bruxism may find that it wears better over time, but it can also be worn through if the habit is not avoided or a bite splint is not used. Porcelain crowns are also susceptible to chipping or fractures of the porcelain if severe grinding is present.
As your crown reaches the life expectancy, it may show some signs of leakage around the margins, which are visible as stain, discoloration, or open areas. Replacing the crown in a timely manner prevents the encouragement of new tooth decay, and maintains the structural integrity of the tooth for much longer.
Routine dental care is the best way to identify whether or not your crown is beginning to wear. Annual dental exams and x-rays help your dentist pinpoint these areas while they are smaller and easiest to treat.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Scott Merritt, BridgeMill Dentistry
Dental crowns are made to last several years. Their durability and strength allows you to keep using your natural tooth after being treated with a root canal, large decay or replacing older fillings that took up a large portion of the tooth. Unfortunately, even porcelain dental crowns can wear out over time. Here are 4 signs that it’s time to have your crown replaced:
#1: Your crown is moving, or has come off.
Even if you’ve pushed it back on and it seems sturdy, a loose fitting crown or one that has come off has done so for a reason. Whether it’s leakage or decay, once the crown has come off it has allowed bacteria underneath it. Pushing it back onto the tooth can hide infection that isn’t even visible on an x-ray.
#2: You keep getting food packed around your crown.
There may be a new cavity developing along the margin, underneath your crown. The wide margin allows food and bacteria to pack along the crown, under the gums. Your dentist needs to treat the area so that the tooth is not compromised.
#3: A fractured tooth or crown.
Small chips or fractures in a crown usually do not compromise their function, but if they are unsightly or of significant size, they can be uncomfortable and cause aesthetic concerns. If the tooth itself has fractured, the entire tooth will need to be repaired (which may involve nerve therapy) and replacement of the crown.
#4: Something just doesn’t feel quite right.
Whether it’s sensitivity of some sort, pain when pressure is applied, or just an off and on twinge that catches your attention, you should have your dentist check it right away.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
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