A crown functions as a cap over a tooth that has become too damaged, restoring it back to its proper size, strength and shape. A patient here at San Francisco Dental Arts may need a dental crown for a number of reasons. Teeth that have been too severely affected by decay or have been worn down by teeth grinding, or have cracked and weakened are reasons for needing a crown.
Other than structural issues, a patient may desire a crown to hide discoloration of a tooth, and therefore have a crown for cosmetic reasons. It is also advised after root canal treatment to have a crown to strengthen a tooth.
One of our dentists will examine, x-ray and take a mold of your mouth in order to understand how to follow through with the procedure. Then, the dentist will file down the tooth into a core-like shape, removing any decay or a now defunct filling that was on the tooth.
The trimmed tooth is now shaped for a crown to be placed on top. However, the dentist will have to take measurements to have an accurate crown made in a dental lab.
Until your second visit, in which our dentist will fit the tooth, we will provide a temporary crown to fit over the prepared tooth.
Types of Crowns
Metal crowns are used commonly because they are strong and will last the longest time before becoming worn. They’re ideal for teeth at the back of the mouth, due to their strength, but can be expensive as they’re usually alloyed with gold or platinum.
All-resin crowns are more inconspicuous compared to metal crowns, but are more likely to fracture. Similarly, an all-ceramic crown provides the best aesthetic appearance, and is indistinguishable from other teeth.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns are less likely to chip or crack compared to all resin crowns, but the metal can appear as an odd colored stripe against the gumline, which some patients do dislike. It is stronger than all-resin and is suitable for any position within the cavity.
Our dentists will not be able to fit a crown the same day as the measurements and filing appointment. This is because your tooth measurements will be sent to a dental lab in order for them to make the crown. A temporary crown will be fitted until the custom-made crown is ready.
Our dentists can help you decide what type of crown is best suited for your mouth depending on the affected tooth’s location, shape and color.
Crown and Dental Care
Avoiding hard food and pressure on the crown, particularly if it is prone to chipping like a porcelain crown, is advisable. Teeth grinding can cause a crown to chip, so talk to one of our dentists if you grind your teeth, and they can talk with you about a night mouthguard.
Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day will ensure your crown remains in good condition. It will also prevent the need for further crowns. At San Francisco Dental Arts we can advise you on proper brushing and flossing methods to ensure a healthy mouth. Feeling any pain or discomfort in the mouth? Contact us at 415-854-9396.