Patient Education Video
A dental crown restores the shape and structure of your tooth — naturally.
Your teeth are under pressure every day, and eventually, all of the demands take their toll. If a tooth suffers from decay or injury, it may need to be strengthened with the help of a crown. A crown is not like an artificial tooth though, as it’s still relying on the natural structure of the tooth.
However, a dental crown is a more involved procedure than a filling because it’s more than just filling in a gap. In essence, it’s a way to rebuild the outer structure of a weakened tooth without having to replace it.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a cap that goes over a traumatized tooth. Crowns protect and cover the original tooth, but more than that, they serve as a way to restore your teeth to their natural state before the damage took place. This is different from a veneer in that it goes over the entire tooth, rather than simply covering up any visible structural abnormalities in front.
A dental crown is cemented to the tooth, meaning it’s a permanent fix to the problem. Crowns can affect anything from how you chew to how you smile, so there isn’t a lot of room for error. If you’re looking for dentists in Cincinnati who can perform this procedure, it’s crucial to find professionals who know how to fit the crown so it holds strong and looks right in your mouth.
What Is a Dental Crown Made from?
Dental crowns are meant to simulate your tooth, which means they need to be made from strong materials. When you crunch into an apple or bite down on a kernel of popcorn, the crown needs to be able to handle the resistance.
That’s why porcelain, ceramic, resin, or metal are common options for patients. If you want it to look as natural as the rest of your teeth, a dentist will likely recommend a porcelain crown, as they’re well-known for simulating the look and feel of real teeth. A quality dentist in Cincinnati will be able to tell you more about which one is right for you.
What Is the Dental Crown Procedure?
The dental crown procedure typically involves multiple visits. Before the crown can even be fitted, you may also need a root canal. If there’s a risk of infection or injury to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal will close up any potentially hazardous vessels and remove damaged tissues.
During the first part of the crown procedure, the surface layer is prepared by the dentist. This typically involves filing or drilling down 1 – 2 millimeters from around the tooth to make room for the crown. How much is filed away depends on the material you choose. For instance, a metal crown is on the slimmer side, which will mean having to remove less than a porcelain crown.
Removing part of the original structure may seem a little extreme, but it’s the best way to ensure only the strongest parts of the tooth remain. A dentist in Cincinnati may also need to add filling to the tooth if too much of it has been damaged. Every case will be different, but as long as there’s a healthy part left of the tooth, it shouldn’t need to be pulled out.
Once the tooth has been reshaped, the dentist will make a copy of the tooth with a special type of putty. Additional copies of the surrounding teeth (both above and below) will also be made to ensure the crown won’t interfere with your bite. (Your bite is a little like your fingerprint as everyone will have their own individual patterns when it comes to how they move their teeth.) These impressions are sent to a lab and then used to make the actual crown. Between the first visit and the second, you’ll receive a temporary crown to ensure the tooth will be protected during this time.
After the dentist has received the permanent crown from the lab, they’ll verify that it matches both the color and shape of your teeth. As long as everything looks good, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent version. The cap is then fused to the tooth to take the place of the decayed portion that was removed. After the crown is cemented, it will be further adjusted to fit perfectly with your natural bite.
Finding a Dentist in Cincinnati
There’s a lot to get right during a dental crown procedure. These structures are meant to last for decades, so it’s important to make the investment in the right professional. Kemper Meadow Family Dentistry is here to ensure that each step of the procedure goes perfectly from start to finish.