Academy of General Dentistry
by Lowcountry Family Dentistry | Beaufort, SC
What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Caps?
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
What are the reasons for Crowns and Tooth Caps?
Broken or fractured teeth, Cosmetic enhancement, Decayed teeth, Fractured fillings, Large fillings or a Tooth has a root canal.
What does getting a dental crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory. While the tooth is numb, the Dr. Covington will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly. At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate. You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
What is a post and core build-up?
The dentist may use a filling material to restore a more ideal shape for supporting a crown (core build-up) when a tooth is severely decayed or fractured and lacks sufficient tooth structure. In some cases, a dentist will first perform a root canal, a procedure in which pulp is cleared out of the tooth and the canal is sealed with a special material. After the root canal, the dentist may place a post in the open canal and secure it with dental filling to “build up” the structure of the tooth. Once the material has hardened, the tooth can be prepared for a crown.
Will a crown look natural?
It can, depending on the type of crown you elect to have made. A crown can be fabricated from porcelain, from gold, or from a combination of porcelain and metal. A crown can look just like a natural tooth when it is made with porcelain coverage. Numerous factors are considered when determining the crown material that is best for your particular tooth, including the color, bite, shape, space, and location of the tooth in your mouth.
How should I care for my teeth after I receive a crown?
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crown, avoid chewing extremely hard foods and ice. You also should avoid grinding or clenching your teeth. In addition to brushing twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly, cleaning between your teeth is essential if you have crowns. Use floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. This process helps to prevent both dental decay and gum disease.
What do I do if I’m a still confused about these procedures?
If you are still unclear about the process of placing a crown or a post and core build-up, speak to your Florence SC Dentist. Dr. Ashley Covington can walk you through the steps of the procedures and address any questions or concerns you may have. It is important to have these types of conversations with your dentist so that your journey to an improved smile doesn’t start—or end—with a frown.