In relation to the parts of a tooth the word “crown” refers to the portion of the tooth above the gums – the chewing/visible part of the tooth. The term “dental crown” refers to a stand-in solution for replacing your natural crown. When your natural tooth has suffered structural damage to the point that it is no longer able to continue performing as a viable tooth, we can replace it with a dental crown.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a cap that mimics the shape, function, and look of your real tooth which sits atop your real tooth. The most frequent causes of tooth deterioration that leads to the need for a dental crown is tooth decay, or trauma to the tooth. If a tooth is cracked or broken, or has been allowed to decay to a certain point, a crown is often a great solution.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are a variety of materials that we use to craft dental crowns. Each material has benefits and drawbacks, and is used to fill different roles for different teeth.
Porcelain crowns are most similar in appearance to your real teeth. They look great and as such are used to cap teeth that are highly visible in the mouth – the front teeth. They are slightly more susceptible to fracturing than other forms of crown and, as such, are rarely used to cap teeth whose primary function is to chew.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
This is a crown that is made of metal which is covered in a layer of porcelain. Metal provides such a solid base for extreme durability. There is still a risk of chipping with this variety of crown but it only extends to the porcelain chipping off of the metal, which we can repair.
Gold is a material that shares a tremendous amount in common with teeth. As a result, gold crowns are a great option when considering crowns for molars. As an added bonus, gold crowns require much less of the tooth to be removed than any of it's counterparts.
If a crown is needed Jeff Call, DMD or Dix Densley, DDS will discuss what type of crown would be best for you at our Hillsboro OR office.
What does getting a crown involve?
The procedure to receive a crown require two visits to our office. During the first visit we will take an impression of the tooth that we will be making a crown of. We will send the impression to a dental lab to be fabricated to fit you perfectly.
Also, during the first visit we will remove any decay present in the tooth and shape what remains into a form that will easily accept a crown. Then we will fit a temporary crown to the tooth and you can be on your way!
You will return to our office a couple weeks after the first visit. By this time the lab will have crafted your new crown. We will remove the temporary crown and affix the permanent. At the end of this process we will ensure that the new crown doesn't hinder your bite and make any fine adjustments that need to be made.
Alternatives to Dental Crowns
In some cases, depending on the level of decay or damage to your tooth, there may be other restorative options for you, such as fillings, veneers, inlays, or onlays. Inlays and onlays are sometimes known as indirect fillings. They are often used to treat cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars, where amalgam and composite resin fillings might compromise the structural integrity of the affected tooth or place it at risk for infection. Inlays are used to treat a single cusp. Onlays are used to treat two or more cusps and are often referred to as partial crowns.
Please give us a call today at (971) 708-1608 to learn more about dental crowns or to setup an appointment at our Hillsboro OR office. We look forward to seeing your smile!