If you’re considering a cosmetic dental procedure, chances are you’ve heard of dental crowns. A dental crown is a “cap” that is placed over a tooth for a number of reasons. Crowns are used to restore broken or misshapen teeth. They are also used to cover dental implants and can hide severely discolored teeth as well. Regardless of the cause, dental crowns fully encase the visible portion of a tooth and greatly improve appearance. They can be made of several materials, with each having different pros and cons. Materials used include:
- Stainless steel: Typically used in children, these crowns are prefabricated and primarily used in temporary situations.
- Metals: When using metal crowns, less tooth structure needs to be removed and wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. They rarely chip or break and are a good choice for out-of-sight molars, as many don’t like the metallic color.
- Porcelain: Whether fused to metal or made entirely out of porcelain, these crowns provide a near-perfect natural color match to your existing teeth. Although this material is more likely to chip or crack, they look fantastic and are commonly used on front teeth.
- Resin: These crowns are typically the least expensive, but are prone to fractures and wear down over time.
Two visits to your dentist are typically required to place a permanent crown. The first visit usually includes a few x-rays in order to check the roots of the tooth to ensure a root canal is not necessary before the crown is placed. The effected area is numbed so that the tooth can be filed down to make room for the new crown. After reshaping, an impression of the tooth to receive the dental crown is made, along with the teeth above and below to make sure the crown will not affect your bite. If the crown will be made of porcelain, your dentist will also choose the shade that will best match your other teeth. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab where the crown will be made and returned to the office, usually within 2 or 3 weeks. During this first visit, your dentist will also make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth. These are typically made of acrylic and held in place using temporary cement. At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one, being sure to check for proper fit and color. If everything checks out, the affected area will be numbed again so that the new crown can be permanently cemented in place. On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years depending on a number of factors. Your oral hygiene practices and mouth-related habits (such as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, etc) will certainly affect the life of your crown. No special treatment is required for a permanent crown, however regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist are always recommended.
At Miami Dental Sedation Spa, Dr. Luis Sanchez has over ten years of experience working with porcelain crowns. While he has perfected his portion of the process, Dr. Sanchez recognizes that a dentist’s restoration is only as good as the lab ceramist who creates the hardware. This is why only the best is employed. Mr. Azzaretto is a German trained Master Dental Technician, a title that can only be earned after five years of intensive training. Together they create the most beautiful and natural looking restoration, solving your dental dilemma and helping you look your very best.
Written by Mark Paulsort
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