Porcelain Crowns (Caps)
A crown (cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface when a substantial amount of tooth structure has been lost due to breakage, decay, or a large old filling that has failed. This cap protects and strengthens tooth structure restoring it to its original shape and size.
There are several types of crowns such as ceramic, porcelain, resin and stainless steel. There are pros and cons for each type, Dr. Heidarian will evaluate your specific situation and make a recommendation on which is best for your tooth.
Porcelain crowns are very popular because of aesthetic reasons. Porcelain compound can be an easily shaped size and color of your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile. When appropriate, Dr. Heidarian prefers to use all-porcelain or all-ceramic versions over those made with metal.
The original type of all-ceramic was the “porcelain jacket” which was patented in 1889 by Charles H. Land. There have been several advances in material science and crown fabrication since the inception of porcelain. The compound used nowadays is more likely “engineered” for better strength and durability.
Common reasons for getting a crown:
- Cover and protect a tooth that has been weakened due to decay.
- Broken or cracked tooth repair.
- Strengthen and cover a large filling with very little tooth structure remaining.
- Reinforce a tooth that has had a root canal.
- Anchor a dental bridge in place
- Fractured older fillings
- Repair misshaped or severely discolored teeth.
- To encase a dental implant
What is the process of getting a crown?
A normal crown procedure usually requires two separate appointments.
At your initial visit, several highly accurate molds (or impressions) are taken 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.
Dr. Heidarian will first numb and then 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.
In cases where the cavity is too deep and it reaches the nerve of the tooth, a root canal is required before a crown can be placed.
An endodontist also is recommended for teeth with more than one canal, such as molars.