What is a Dental Crown?
The image to the right is of porcelain crowns. One of these replaces the tooth area above the gum line. It virtually becomes the new outer surface of your tooth. They’re made out of porcelain or metal or a combination of both.
When Do You Need a Crown?
Let’s say your tooth is decayed on three or four surfaces. Rather than get fillings, it usually makes more sense to get a crown. Fillings can only go so far to preserve your teeth and with a certain amount of decay it doesn’t make sense to fill them. You might as well get a crown, which is a more permanent procedure. It’s analogous to patching a bicycle tire: at the point your tire needs too many patches, it makes sense to get a new tire. If this is the situation, Dr. Pete will recommend a crown, but the final decision will be yours to make.
Another instance when you’ll need a crown is after a root canal. In that case, you’ve still got your tooth remaining, which is a good thing. The problem is that now that tooth is no longer getting nourished by the roots, as they’re dead. The tooth becomes brittle and it absolutely must have a crown over it to protect it from breaking when you chew. There’s a lot of pressure bearing down on teeth during chewing — those chewing muscles of yours are the strongest muscles in the body! So, when you’re tooth isn’t strong it can easily break. That’s why you need to get a crown put on a tooth that’s had a root canal.
Dr. Pete may recommend a dental crown for a variety of reasons but, most likely, it will be for one of the following:
- To restore a tooth that may have deteriorated.
- To strengthen a tooth. For example, after a root canal, you’ll want to crown the tooth to keep it from breaking, as the root is dead.
- For cosmetic reasons – to improve the appearance of a tooth.
How Long Will It Take to Get My Crown?
Today, dentists can purchase equipment to make crowns in their offices the same day. And, although Dr. Pete is a big fan of technology, when it comes to crowns he chooses hand crafted crowns over those made by machines in dental offices. Rather than have an assistant or himself make your crown, Dr Pete chooses to work with lab technicians who customize your crowns by hand so they look and feel natural. In-office dental crowns no doubt are functional, but Dr Pete prefers the fit and look of crowns made to order and sculpted and colored by hand.
Hand-crafted crowns are put through a finishing process that customizes them fully to your mouth. They’re no more costly than those made on machines in dental offices. So you can get a custom look and fit for the same price as a machine made crown.
Read What Some of Our Patients Say About Their Crowns:
My crown for my front tooth looks great ! I was very nervous about how it would look but you would never know it wasn’t my tooth ! This experience at Dr.Pete and staff is always great ! Never any pain and they are always very patient.
— Cindy C. (1/19/2011)
My lower right molar tooth had an infection that needed root canal. The temporary filling was smooth and Dr.Pete got a real looking crown for me. This was my first (and hopefully I won’t need one for long time) root canal the pain was significantly less than what I have been hearing from others. I also didn’t feel “one big tooth” after the crown was put in.
— Sameer (9/17/2010)
My new crown looks great and feels good. It was painless.
— Francis L. (12/14/2010)