Dental crowns are often used to protect teeth that are broken, misshaped, decayed or weak. A crown acts as a “hat” for the visible portion of the tooth, which allows the tooth to remain fully functional and in many cases eliminates the need to extract the tooth, particularly if it is damaged or broken. Crowns, which are made of stainless steel, a variety of alloys, porcelain fused to metal, resin, ceramic or porcelain, are typically custom-made in a dental lab for the patient.
If the dentist recommends a crown, the first step will be to remove some of the tooth enamel and to re-shape the tooth to receive the crown. The patient does not feel any discomfort, as the dentist will administer a local anesthetic prior to beginning the procedure. Once the tooth has been re-shaped, the dentist will take an impression of the patient’s mouth, which the dental lab uses to create the porcelain crown.
Once the mold is made, the dentist will install a temporary crown, which will remain in place until the dental lab finishes the crown. At a follow up visit, the dentist will install the crown after making a series of small adjustments to verify that the crown fits properly and the patient’s bite is correct.
As soon as they are satisfied with the fit, the crown is permanently cemented into place. Typically, a crown can last many years and there have been cases where a crown is still in excellent condition and properly functioning after 25 years!
Posted on behalf of Gilreath Dental Associates
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