Dental crowns have been around for millennia and are still used to restore smiles today. Ancient dentists used ivory, bone, and seashells to make crowns for teeth. Evidence of gold crowns dates from 200 A.D. Porcelain crowns appeared in the 1800s. With the advancement of metal casting techniques in the 1900s, crown technology took a big leap forward.
A dental crown procedure consists of numerous steps:
Your dentist will anesthetize the tooth to be crowned and then prepare it. All decay is removed and the tooth is shaped. Usually, the dentist files off tooth structure to reduce the size and create the proper shape. Sometimes, the tooth is too small to begin with; in that case, the dentist builds up the core of the tooth with filling material to establish a strong base for the crown. All-metal crowns – as opposed to porcelain crowns – have thinner sides, requiring less removal of tooth structure.
Creating a Good Impression
The dentist uses a putty-like substance to make an impression of the tooth and surrounding teeth. An impression will also be made of the teeth opposite the crown. This ensures that the crown does not negatively impact your bite.
The Temporary Crown
A temporary crown safeguards the tooth. Be sure it doesn’t move in your mouth while the permanent crown is being constructed. Patient need to be careful with their temporary crown. It is not as strong as the permanent crown and is attached only with temporary cement. Avoid chewing gum and eating sticky foods. Be aware that the tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold.
Choosing a Color
If the new crown will be fabricated with porcelain, you and your dentist will use a shade guide to select a shade for the restoration. Most men and women don’t have teeth that are all exactly the same color. You will need to determine the best suited shade to blend in with the surrounding teeth.
The Lab Team Works Its Magic
The dentist or a laboratory technician then uses the model to create the crown. Some dentists have the equipment required to manufacture crowns right in their office. Same day restorations are created with a machine that mills a crown from a small block of ceramic in the appropriate shade.
Your Crown Is Put In Place
When the new crown is ready, your dentist places it in your mouth and makes any required modifications. This process shouldn’t be rushed. Sometimes, less than a millimeter of drilling makes all the difference when it comes to fit.
We’re Drs. Stephen and Kimberly Dankworth, of La Costa Dental Excellence in Carlsbad. Our practice offers porcelain veneers, general dentistry, Invisalign, restorative dentistry, and implant supported dentures.
Contact La Costa Dental Excellence: 760-633-3033
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):