Are Crowns Right for Me?
Your teeth will weaken over time. This makes them susceptible to decaying, staining, and cracking. If you ever look at your teeth in the mirror and feel that your smile is not as beautiful as it once was, crowns can help restore your smile to its original beauty. Your dentist may find decay or other damage during a routine checkup and feel that a crown will protect your tooth from more extensive damage. He will typically recommend a crown when a filling is not enough to confront the issue.
What Options Are Available?
There are a number of options available to meet each situation and budget:
- Metal Crowns – These are often used on baby teeth since they will eventually fall out. Also, metal crowns are placed on adult teeth that are not readily visible. Metal crowns are definitely durable, but the metallic look is aesthetically undesirable to most patients.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns – If the tooth that needs a crown is easily visible, this may be the best option. It fuses two advantages together. The strength of a metallic crown is present with the more natural looking porcelain on the outside of the crown.
- Porcelain Crowns – This is the popular option for patients who are receiving crowns on very visible teeth. Porcelain carries a natural look that makes the treated tooth blend in easily with the surrounding natural teeth.
- Gold Crowns – Gold crowns are known for their smooth surface. This makes them very comfortable inside the patient’s mouth. It also has the advantage of needing the least amount of tooth surface removed in order to be attached. While some patients enjoy the aesthetic value of a gold crown, others find it to be distracting.
What is the Process for Crowns?
The installation of a crown will normally take two or three office visits.
- First, your dentist will need to file off some enamel from the damaged tooth so that the crown can fit over the tooth. You will be given a local anesthetic during this procedure.
- Next, after filing off the enamel, a mold will be made of your tooth to make a custom-fit crown. A temporary crown will be placed on your tooth while you are waiting for the permanent crown.
- A couple of weeks later, you will come back to the office to have the permanent crown attached to your tooth. It will be applied with a special cement to keep it permanently in place.
Once the crown is in place, you will find yourself smiling much more readily as you realize that the beauty of the tooth has been restored.
You should provide good oral hygiene for your crown just like you do for your natural teeth. This will help your crown last for 10-15 years.