Teeth start to weaken and become susceptible to issues such as decay, cracks and discoloration, especially as people age. During a routine check-up, your dentist may notice that a tooth is showing signs of decay or has become weakened or cracked. In such cases, a crown may be necessary to ensure that the tooth is protected from additional damage.
Crowns can be made from several materials, including porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or gold. Most crowns these days are fabricated from porcelain, which helps to maintain a natural look and feel when it is applied to a tooth. Porcelain also can be more easily matched to the shade of adjacent teeth.
It takes 2 or 3 visits to your dentist to install a crown. During the first visit, the tooth will be reshaped by filing the enamel so the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic prior to this portion of the procedure so that no discomfort is experienced. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of the tooth that will be covered by the crown and the surrounding teeth.
The mold will be sent to a dental lab and the crown will be fabricated so that it fits perfectly over your tooth. It also needs to look the same and fit with the adjacent teeth. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.
The crown takes about 2 to 3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed with cement that will ensure the tooth sets in place.
When you look in the mirror, your old smile will be back. Crowns are durable and can last as many as 10 to 15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today at 623.469.6090 if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.