Dental Crown Materials and Placement
We use dental crowns to restore a tooth’s shape and strength after it has been compromised. A standard crown is customized to fit completely over and around a tooth, much like a cap, giving it the alternate name of caps. In addition to restoration, some patients may have crowns placed for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons, which can elevate their entire look quickly and easily. At Alder Dental, we are happy to review and discuss dental crowns, the options that come with them, and their placement more specifically to your needs as treatment can vary.
A dental crown is customized to match your natural tooth in its ideal shape and size. This can sometimes mean making adjustments to meet the space more than the original shape, including closing gaps or straightening the appearance of a tooth. The benefit of crowns is being able to make adjustments to give you a perfect looking tooth.
Dental Crown Materials
We offer a wide variety of material options when selecting your dental crown. Different materials have advantages in different areas of the mouth. Patients who are having a front tooth crowned will want to prioritize a tooth that looks more natural and blends in with neighboring teeth better. They may consider a porcelain crown, a zirconia or ceramic crown, or a porcelain over metal crown. Patients who are having a crown placed in the back, where the biting pressure is stronger, may consider other materials including a gold or metal crown. We are happy to discuss the attributes of each material, and which we think may be the most beneficial to your needs.
In regard to material, sometimes a patient doesn’t require a full crown. They may only need a partial crown, or ¾ crown, also called a dental inlay or a dental onlay. A dental inlay is a partial crown that is customized to rest inside of a molar when a large cavity has been present. A dental onlay is a partial crown that is customized to fit on the side of a tooth to replace a broken or cracked portion of a tooth. Partial crowns provide added protection and strength where it is most needed. Some patients prefer the idea of causing as little impact to the natural tooth as possible.
Dental Crown Placement
Placement of your dental crown begins with preparation. We need to remove any infected or diseased portion of the tooth if present. Once the decayed portion is gone, we will create a mold or impression of the tooth and neighboring area. We want to capture the shape and bite of the tooth including how it works with neighboring teeth. We can reshape the crown to match other criteria, including straightening or widening to close gaps. The natural tooth is then prepared to allow for space of the crown. We need to reduce the natural tooth in size to allow room for the crown.
The natural tooth is reshaped and a temporary crown is placed. The mold is sent to a dental lab for the fabrication of your new crown. Once we receive the crown, we will then schedule your follow up appointment for placement.
Placement of the crown begins with removing the temporary crown and cleaning the area. We then do a dry fit of the crown to ensure proper bite. Any adjustments can be made at this time. With the fit working well, we are able to then cement the crown permanently in place. Dental crowns generally last our patients for many years, but we will review the status and hold of the crown at every dental checkup.