For an extensively damaged tooth in the anterior (front) or posterior (back) of the mouth, a dental crown can offer a durable, long-lasting solution. A dental crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size, and function by covering the top and sides.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown (also known as a cap) covers an existing tooth to repair damage from tooth decay or chipping and cracking. A crown can also serve as the visible part of a single dental implant, covering the abutment attached to the titanium post in the jawbone. Crowns can also correct bite problems.
Tooth crowns can be made from several types of materials including a metal alloy, ceramic, porcelain, composite resin, or any combination of these materials. In the fabrication process, the colour of the crown is blended to match the color of your teeth. At North York Dental, we offer 100% porcelain crowns. A full porcelain crown looks natural and can last for several years with proper care.
Do I Need a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns can fall under the categories of both restorative and cosmetic treatments. As a restorative treatment, a dental crown strengthens a tooth weakened by decay, chipping, cracking, or otherwise being affected by daily use. As a cosmetic treatment, a dental crown can cover a stained and worn-down tooth. Patients who need or want a dental crown usually relate to the following scenarios:
- I have a sensitive cavity that I have been told is too large for a typical dental filling.
- I am missing a tooth and need a single dental implant to replace it. I want it to look natural and fit in with the rest of my teeth, as it is visible when I smile.
- One of my back molars is cracked and it hurts to put any pressure on it.
- I want to change the color and shape of my teeth.
Dental Crown Procedure
At the first visit for placement of a dental crown, your dentist will prepare the tooth by removing the damaged portion and enough of the tooth for the crown to fit correctly. If the tooth needs additional structure to support the crown, your dentist will build up the core of the tooth with composite resin or a similar material. Then, we will take an impression to produce an exact model for crown fabrication. You will receive a temporary crown in place of the permanent one, which is usually complete within a couple of weeks. Once the permanent crown is made, your dentist will remove the temporary one and place the final crown, cementing it into place.
Aftercare & Lifetime
Although dental crowns themselves will not decay, the tooth underneath the crown remains susceptible to bacteria-causing damage. Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow bacteria to infiltrate the crown near the gum line and affect the natural tooth. To take care of your dental crown, brush twice a day and floss once daily to remove plaque. Avoid chewing hard foods or ice. Visit your dentist for regular exams and professional cleanings.
The average human puts approximately 170 pounds of pressure between the molars with a single bite. Like natural teeth, crowns that cover molars can endure and bear this pressure, but for patients who grind and clench their teeth, these actions can add strain to molars which might damage the crown. If this is the case for you, we can help you with a night guard.
Dental Crowns at North York Dental Clinic located at Sheppard Ave. and Leslie St.
Dr. Eli Shem-Tov and team can answer your questions regarding dental crowns and whether one will suit your needs. Call us at (416) 494-7878 to schedule an appointment.