A dental crown is a 360-degree covering of a tooth. Oftentimes, a crown covers the tooth down to the gum line though with today's aesthetic materials that is not always necessary.
A tooth would require a crown for several reasons. The first is decay that is extensive or inaccessible to filling materials. Another reason is a broken cusp of a tooth. Another common indication for a crown is a cracked tooth—a tooth that may not be broken but flexes when a patient bites on it causing a pain response. Oftentimes, patients wait too long and crack the tooth into the nerve chamber located in the tooth's hollow center and require a procedure called a root canal in addition to a crown. Discolored teeth or teeth that have been treated by a root canal also should have a crown placed for aesthetics and protection.
Crown Treatment at Spring Hill Comprehensive Dentistry
The treatment for a crown at our Mobile, AL dental office lasts about an hour and a half. First, the patient is anesthetized and an impression is made or a digital scan of the tooth is obtained. This gives us a baseline of where the tooth is prior to reduction. Next, once the area is numb, we remove any defective filling material and decay and place a resin buildup to smooth the internal angles. We always remove any amalgam (silver) filling material underneath a crown. The tooth is then reduced a very small amount depending on the restorative material used. A fine-grit finishing bur is then used to create a very smooth finish line called a margin. This is a vital step to insure proper fit of the crown to the remaining tooth structure.
After another impression or digital scan is made of the tooth and its neighbors, the crown is ready for fabrication. If we take an impression and send the case to a laboratory, we fabricate a temporary crown the patient will wear for a few weeks. If we perform a digital scan, we will fabricate the crown using CEREC® technology in our in-office laboratory. Within 30-45 minutes, the crown will be ready for permanent bonding to the remaining tooth structure.
The bonding process is also vital to the success of the crown as proper handling of cements and primers as well as complete cleanup of residual cement is very important to the seamless fit and overall success of the case.
Types of Crown Material
The most common restorative material we use is lithium disilicate or E-max. E-max can be milled in our office or sent to an outside laboratory. It provides strength and aesthetics and is appropriate for most indications. We also use a similar material called Trilux that has a slightly higher glass content.
For high strength needs, usually in the posterior segments of the mouth, we use zirconia for crowns. It has a very high compressive strength and can be made thinner than other tooth-colored restorations. We also use gold for high strength needs in the posterior where we need minimal reduction of tooth structure. Some of the longest lasting restorations in my practice are gold—it can be made very thin and does not break.
For inlays and onlays, we often use a resin/porcelain hybrid that can be milled very accurately by our CEREC unit.
Why choose Dr. Perry for your crown?
- Experience: Dr. Perry and our team have tremendous experience in crown procedures. Dr. Perry spends the vast majority of his day and continuing education hours performing and learning about crown procedures.
- Quality: We use only the best materials and laboratories for our procedures.
- Attention to Detail: We never cut corners on any part of the process. Getting a crown to fit properly, have excellent aesthetics, bond properly to the tooth, and have proper occlusion (bite) are all vital to the success of the restoration.
To learn more about the crown technology at Spring Hill Comprehensive Dentistry or to schedule an appointment, please contact our Mobile dental office. We look forward to hearing from you!