Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
A crown is a cap cemented onto an existing tooth that fully covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of zirconia, porcelain, high quality metal, or a combination of materials.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
What to Expect
To create a custom crown, our dentists initially prepare the tooth by removing a thin layer of enamel, then taking dental X-rays and impressions of the tooth that will be sent to the dental laboratory. A temporary cap can be placed on the tooth while the custom crown is being created. When the custom crown is returned to Fern Creek Dentistry, our dentists will expertly set and fit the crown on the tooth. Our dentists may adjust the cap for the most comfortable fit.
Some patients may experience temporary discomfort or tooth sensitivity, but for the most part patients do not have any pain after a cap is in place. With proper at-home care and regular dental exams and cleanings, a crown may last for 10 – 40 years, based on the placement and material of the cap. In some cases, an infection or cavity may grow under the crown, which may require a root canal or other procedure.