Dental Crowns (Caps)
A dental crown or cap is used to restore a tooth's shape and size, increase its strength and improve appearance. Dental crowns may be recommended for various reasons such as: strengthening a tooth with a large filling, protecting a weak tooth from breaking, restoring a broken tooth, covering a dental implant, or attaching a bridge. There are several material options to choose from for your dental crown, including ceramic/porcelain, gold, metal, zirconia, or a combination of materials. At Bowers and Oki Family Dentistry, we will discuss the various options with you in order to help you choose the best material for your mouth based on your individual occlusion, cavity risk, and aesthetic preferences.
Your dental crown procedure will typically take two appointments. Your initial visit is for preparing the tooth, taking impressions, fabricating and placing a temporary crown. The impression of your tooth will be sent to a local dental laboratory, where an experienced dental laboratory technician will design and fabricate a crown to fit your unique tooth. This process takes approximately 2 weeks. The follow up visit is for removal of the temporary crown and fitting of your new crown. At this visit we check the shape, color and fit of your crown to ensure everything is perfect. If any changes to the crown are desired we will return it to the lab so that they may modify the shape or color. Once we are satisfied with all aspects of your crown it will be permanently cemented to your tooth.
As with fillings and all other dental work, crowns need to be replaced periodically. It is possible to get a cavity around a crown, and materials crack, wear, and break down over time. Home care, including brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings are an important part of extending the life of your crown.
In some cases, we will use a special machine called a CEREC, which allows us prepared your tooth and make your crown in one visit. A CEREC machine takes photos of your tooth and mills an all ceramic crown in the office, allowing you to complete your crown in one day rather than over a few weeks.