A dental crown fits over the top of a tooth to preserve it and restore its function. Dr. Patton may use a dental crown if you have a large amount of tooth decay and he would be unable to save your tooth with a traditional filling. Some of the other situations that would cause him to make this treatment recommendation include:
- Covering for a dental implant
- Attachment for a dental bridge
- Repairing a cracked or chipped tooth
- Replacing a loose filling
- Protecting a tooth from additional infection after a root canal
- Stopping a weak tooth from fracturing
- Improving appearance of discolored or otherwise unsightly teeth
A dental crown gives you an excellent chance of saving your tooth. In most cases, Dr. Patton prefers to place a crown before considering tooth extraction or other more invasive procedures.
What is a Dental Crown?
You may have heard other dentists or patients refer to a dental crown as a cap. They mean the same thing. It is a piece of ceramic made from porcelain, metal, or a combination of both that covers the portion of your tooth that you can see. If you’re concerned about your teeth looking white after receiving a crown, you may want to go with porcelain material. It also tends to be the most durable.
The Process of Receiving a Dental Crown
Patients who need a crown typically come to Joshua Family Dentistry for two appointments. For your initial visit, Dr. Patton takes an X-ray of the tooth to receive the crown. He also includes the surrounding bone as part of the X-ray. Your dentist then places a special dental putty on top of the tooth to take an impression of it. Our laboratory technicians use this impression to create your fully customized crown. We can provide you with a temporary crown while you wait for your permanent one if you prefer.
When our laboratory returns your crown one to two weeks later, someone from our office will contact you to schedule an appointment for your final fitting. It may be necessary for Dr. Patton to remove a small amount of tooth enamel or add filling material to ensure that your new crown fits securely on your tooth. Once he is confident of the fit, he uses dental cement to permanently affix the crown. Our staff will demonstrate how to care for your new crown so that it lasts as long as possible. They average lifespan this dental restoration is 10 to 15 years.