At Davis Dental Practice, we take great pride in providing you with optimal oral care. When your teeth are damaged, they need to be fixed. Severe damage often warrants extraction, but then you are left dealing with other issues. As an alternative to this measure, we offer dental crowns. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are meant to cover severely damaged teeth. Crowns cover the entire visible portion of the tooth, acting as a support, lending the tooth strength to prevent it from completely shattering apart. They also seal out bacteria, which might otherwise lead to serious infections.
Dental Crown Materials
There are several different materials that crowns can be made from, and each type offers their own advantages:
Reasons for a Crown
Crowns can be used to fix several dental issues:
Dental Crown Procedure
If you do indeed need a dental crown, the procedure will usually take two visits. During the first visit, you will receive a local anesthetic and we will prepare the tooth. This process involves trimming or shaving the tooth down in order for the crown to fit comfortably and naturally in place. Our doctors will proceed to take an impression of your teeth as well as use a color guide to determine the best shade for the crown. The impression and the color information are sent to a lab, where the crown will be produced. Until it is ready, which takes between one to three weeks, you will be provided with a temporary crown, which helps protect your tooth while you wait. During the second visit, the crown will be checked for fit and color and then cemented in place. Once finished, you can go about your life as usual.
Care for Crowns
Caring for crowns is no different than caring for the rest of your teeth. You must continue to brush and floss your teeth as normal. You should, however, avoid biting and chewing on hard substances—such as hard candies, ice, or fingernails—as this can cause the ceramic to chip. And it is important that you visit the office regularly for cleanings and exams, where we can help you to maintain the health of your teeth and check the condition of the crown.
Inlays and onlays are used to restore portions of the tooth, or to strengthen a tooth. They are alternatives to using fillings or a crown to restore the integrity of the tooth.
When there is only partial damage to your tooth, an inlay can be bonded inside the remaining tooth structure. Traditionally, gold is the material of choice for this type of restoration, and although this is available, most of our dental patients prefer the more natural look that ceramic provides.
Onlays are used to restore a portion of the biting cusp of a tooth or to restore the strength of a tooth. Instead of removing healthy tooth structure for a crown placement, an onlay can be used as a more conservative restoration.
Sometimes onlays are referred to as "inside crowns." That is a good description, as it describes the strengthening process that an onlay creates for the tooth. At Davis Dental Practice, we prefer to do onlays when possible to lessen the amount of healthy tooth removed, compared to traditional crowns. Research has shown that the less you reduce a tooth, the better it will survive long-term, and our goal is to provide you with healthy teeth for life.