When a person has damaged teeth, special caps called dental crowns can be placed on top to protect, cover, and restore the shape of the teeth. This technique is used by dentists when dental fillings are not sufficient.
Dental crowns are usually made from metal, porcelain, ceramic, or resin-based materials. As long as the patient maintains good oral hygiene following installation, dental crowns will not require any other special care to maintain.
If you’re considering getting dental crowns in San Diego, here’s everything you need to know about this procedure:
Why is a Dental Crown Needed?
Wear and tear on our teeth can cause them to become damaged over time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including advanced tooth decay, injuries, or just regular use.
Your dentist may recommend dental crowns for any of the following reasons:
- To prevent a weak tooth (possibly from decay) from cracking or breaking.
- To repair a broken tooth or restore a severely worn tooth to its original shape.
- To provide cover and support for a tooth that has a large filling and not much of the natural tooth remaining.
- Dental crowns can be used to help secure a dental bridge in place.
- Dental crowns can be used to cover up misshapen teeth or teeth that are severely discolored.
- To cover up a dental implant and give the teeth a more natural appearance.
To cover a tooth after a root canal treatment.
What are Dental Crowns Made From?
As we mentioned earlier, dental crowns can be made out of several types of materials, including:
Gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium metals can all be used in dental crowns. Metal is a popular material because it rarely ever chips or breaks. Of all the materials used to create dental crowns, metal is by far the most durable and only requires that a small portion of your natural tooth be removed.
The color of the metal, however, will not match your natural tooth, which is why metal crowns are typically used for molars at the back of the mouth.
All-Ceramic / Porcelain
Ceramic or porcelain materials are best when you want to ensure that the prosthetic has a natural color that matches your teeth. Also, since some people are allergic to metal, both of these options are suitable alternatives.
Sometimes these materials are fused with a metal lining to increase durability. Both ceramic and porcelain materials work well for teeth located at the front part of the mouth.
Resin-based dental crowns are more affordable than the other types of crowns we discussed. While they are less expensive, they also tend to wear down much faster over time. They are also more likely to break than crowns made from porcelain-fused-to-metal material.
How is a Tooth Prepped for a Dental Crown?
If you’re getting a dental crown, this process typically requires two visits to your dentist to prepare the tooth.
What Happens During The First Visit?
Once you’ve found a place to get your dental crowns in San Diego, your dentist will perform an exam during your initial visit and begin prep work on the tooth.
X-rays will be taken to get a clear picture of the tooth and surrounding bone. If there is any evidence of tooth decay, infection, or injury to the tooth pulp, your dentist will likely perform a root canal treatment before starting your dental crown procedure.
To ensure that your crown will fit properly, the respective tooth must be filed down and shaped. How much of your tooth gets filed away will depend on the type of crown you are receiving. Certain materials, like metal crowns, are much thinner than porcelain crowns. This means that less of your tooth will have to be removed.
If your tooth has experienced extensive damage from decay or injury, a filling material can be used to rebuild the structure so that the crown can be fitted to your tooth.
After reshaping your tooth, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab to create your prosthetics. This part of the process usually takes two to three weeks to complete. Your dentist will provide you with a temporary crown during your first visit to cover and protect the tooth while your permanent crown is being made.
What Happens During The Second Visit?
Your dentist will place your permanent crown during your second visit. Your temporary crown will be removed and then your dentist will check that the permanent crown has the proper fit and color. If all is well, a numbing agent will be applied to prevent pain and discomfort while your new, permanent crown is cemented in place.
What about Same-Day Dental Crowns?
If making two trips to get dental crowns in San Diego doesn’t quite work for your schedule, you may be a candidate for same-day dental crowns.
The process is similar to what we just described for traditional dental crowns. The difference is that after tooth decay is removed and your teeth are filed and shaped, a wand is used to scan the inside of your mouth and take pictures of your teeth. Those pictures are used to create a 3D model of the tooth or teeth being replaced.
Once the design is finalized, the information is sent to an in-office machine that will carve out the crown from a block of ceramic material. The process uses a computer-aided design/computer (CAD/CAM) to create your dental crown. From there, it only takes about 15 minutes for your dentist to cement the prosthetic in place.
Dental Crowns in San Diego
Landmark Dental provides professionally installed dental crowns in San Diego. If you’re ready to learn more about this procedure and how we can help, schedule an appointment for your consultation today!