Even with the best oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, at some point in your life you may need a crown, especially if a tooth has been damaged due to a fracture. In other cases, teeth may be damaged due to decay or existing dental work has simply started to wear out.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover it while restoring its shape, size, and strength – and, to improve its appearance.
The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
When is a crown needed? A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (perhaps from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
All crown procedures require two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking impressions that will be used to create your custom crown. You will be with a temporary crown, which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is complete.
Your new crown can be made of all porcelain, a combination of porcelain and metal, or all metal, usually dental gold. Dr. Nicole Fulp and Dr. Scott Fulp at Fulp Family Dentistry carefully select the quality labs that use the best materials and latest technology to ensure your crown is both functional and beautiful.
If there isn’t enough tooth left to support the crown, which is essentially a sort of “cap” for the damaged tooth, a core build up may be required. Core build-ups can be done with or without using a pin-retained restoration. The most common materials used would be composite or amalgam. In severe cases (in teeth with significant tooth structure loss), a post may be needed, in which case a root canal would be done. The post is then inserted into the devitalized canal, creating support for the surrounding material.
Once the build up is completed, a mold is taken and sent to our dental lab; patients are fitted with a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready, generally about two weeks. With state of the art modern techniques and materials, there is every reason for our patient to feel confident that the new work will remain in place for a significant period of time, generally 15 – 20 years, pending good home care and regular dental visits.