A porcelain crown is a tooth colored cap that sits on top of a natural, intact, but shaven down tooth. It’s custom made in color, shape, and size so that it fits your smile! There are many cases wherein a porcelain crown provides the perfect solution.
Reasons to Get a Porcelain Crown
Fillings can only be used on cavities that are small to medium size because they need enough tooth structure to bond to. If decay progresses so that a large amount of tooth structure must be removed, then a crown is the next option. Sometimes, older fillings crack or leak and new bacteria infects that tooth around the filling. Removing the filling and more tooth structure may require an upgrade of that filling to a crown as well. Crowns are also used for root canal treatments and bridges, but the idea still remains the same. It acts as a cover that protects the tooth from wear.
The First Visit: Tooth Preparation
Getting a porcelain crown takes two visits. During the first visit, an impression is initially taken and is used to make a temporary crown. With the area around the tooth numb, the tooth is then prepared and the dentist removes all decay, old fillings, and tooth structure and shapes the remaining tooth so the crown may sit on it. A cord is then placed, pushing the gum tissues away from the tooth so that the second impression takes the exact mold of your prepared tooth, without the gum tissue getting in the way. This second impression must be more precise than the first and will be sent to a lab that will fabricate the permanent crown. Before we send it off, you can choose the shade that will be most fitting to you!
What happens while my crown is being made?
It takes two weeks for the lab to make the crown, so the temporary crown will hold its place until the permanent crown arrives. A temporary crown should do the job, covering and protecting your tooth, but it is only held in place with temporary cement. Eating on that side of the mouth should be light, and flossing around that tooth is prohibited! This is one of the only times that flossing is absolutely not allowed, because the temporary crown can easily pop off. If for any reason it does come off, you may become sensitive to temperature or pressure. Simply call our office and we will gladly re-cement it.
The Second Visit: Crown Delivery
The second visit is much easier and shorter than the first. The temporary crown is gently removed, and the tooth is cleaned. The crown is tried on and the bite is checked to make sure the tooth will be functional and protected. Before cementing the permanent crown with permanent cement, we will always ensure that you are happy with the size, shape, feel, and look of your crown! If there was any sensitivity in the past two weeks, then medicated, strong temporary cement may be placed and the tooth may be monitored until the sensitivity disappears.
After the crown delivery, you will once again have a healthy and natural smile!