Patients may need a dental crown, which is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed on top of a biological tooth, if the tooth has been affected by extensive decay or if the tooth is susceptible to breakage due to root canal therapy or some other similar treatment. Dental crowns may be used in other ways to restore the smile or improve its appearance, as well. For patients who are facing this treatment, it can be helpful to understand the purposes of these restorations as well as know what to expect from the treatment process.
Purposes Of A Dental Crown
Dental crowns are used to restore teeth that have developed cavities that are too large to repair with more conservative fillings. As with smaller cavities, the dentist will remove the decayed material and then fit the tooth with a crown. A dental crown will also be placed on a tooth that has been treated with a root canal, as root canals leave teeth weaker and at greater risk of breaking. A dentist may also recommend a dental crown to help a patient achieve certain aesthetic smile goals if other treatment methods would not be appropriate or effective. Dental crowns are used to secure a pontic (artificial tooth) in a fixed dental bridge, as well.
Dental Crown Treatment Process
Regardless of the purpose of the dental crown, the treatment process will take place over two or more appointments spaced a few weeks apart. At the first session, your provider will gather the data needed to design the crown. Your tooth may also be prepped for crown placement at this appointment, which involves removing a thin layer of enamel to make room for the crown.
The data collected at the evaluation is then forwarded to a dental lab, which creates the crown. When it is ready, the patient returns to the office to be fitted with the crown.
Crowns can be made of different materials, including porcelain and metal. A porcelain crown appeals to many patients because porcelain shares optical qualities with tooth enamel, giving the crown a remarkably lifelike appearance.
To learn more about the benefits of dental crowns or to schedule a consultation, call DeSanti Family Dentistry today.