Identifying the need for a Crown:
The two most common contexts in which you will be advised by the Dentist that you need a Crown are either through your regularly scheduled exams and follow up treatment or that pause in life that immediately occurs when you realized that you just cracked or broke your tooth. At the Douglasville Family Dental Center we encourage all patients to maintain a consistent pattern of Cleanings/Prophy Exams during which time you can be advised by the Dentist if you might need to consider a Crown on a tooth that has been severely compromised by decay or on account of the size, age, or wear of a previous filling.
Above are the more common contexts in which you may be advised that a Crown would be the best Restorative Treatment, but there are any number of other reasons that a tooth might should receive a Crown such as, teeth grinding, cracked fillings, Root Canal, etc.
The American Dental Association has identified Crowns as a restorative work that strengthens the natural tooth, particularly when the tooth has more filling restoration that it can naturally and safely support. This restorative work not only serves as a protective restoration, but also brings continuity of shape and structure back to the restored tooth providing both a physical and cosmetic restoration as it can be made to look more like the natural tooth than other restorations.
In addition to its function of restoring a tooth that has more filling than it can naturally and safely support Crowns can also serve the following restorative functions: attach a Bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking, repair a broken tooth, treat misshapen teeth, and provide the final element of an Implant.
Restoration by Crown:
The Crown restoration process is more involved than a basic restoration such as a Filling and it includes two to three appointments to complete the process, but most often is accomplished in just two appointments unless adjustments are required. The restoration process for a Crown begins with the removal of all decay in the tooth, followed by an impression, and finally the seating of a temporary Crown at the conclusion of the first appointment.
After the conclusion of the first appointment a second appointment is scheduled for two to three weeks later while the impression is sent to the lab for the crafting of the final Crown. During this time the temporary Crown will serve the function of the permanent Crown, having a likeness to the final Crown and providing general functionality of the tooth that is being restored while waiting of the permanent Crown's completion.
On the second visit the permanent Crown will be seated and upon being assured of its exact fit and desired appearance it will be permanently cemented onto the restored tooth - completing the restoration of the tooth and thereby providing structural integrity with the appearance of a completely natural tooth. If for some reason the bite is off or the fit is not quite right changes will be made unless they are too extensive and require further lab work - under this last possible scenario a third appointment would be scheduled and it would replicate the second appointment with the seating of the final Crown.
During the first appointment of the restoration process the patient is usually numbed, unless they request not to be numbed or have a medical conflict with numbing materials, and the patient is afforded the use of anxiety reducing Dental Gas (a controlled mixture of medical grade Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen).
For additional information about Crowns contact us directly - we will be more than happy to assist you in your understanding and determining the best treatment option for you or your loved one.