Dental Crowns also referred to as “dental caps,” are usually made of a material like porcelain, ceramic, zirconia, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or solid metal. The natural tooth is reduced in size to accommodate the dental crown. An impression is taken of the reduced tooth to then have the permanent dental crown fabricated. Most impressions taken in our office will be done as optical dental impressions, not a mouthful of sticky impression material.

Optical Dental Impressions are when we use a small device to capture many pictures, which are stitched together digitally to create a 3-D model of your mouth. Our optical dental impressions will have a 3-D model of the prepared tooth as well as the opposing tooth structure, and then we take a scan of your bite. The bite registration shows the relationship of your upper and lower jaw to get the most accurate fit for your dental crown.

Dental crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function, strength, and appearance following a procedure such as root canal treatment (RCT). Also, if your tooth has a broken cusp(s), extensive wear, or a large amount of decay, it may need a dental crown.

Most of our dental crowns will be digitally manufactured in our office, the same day with CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic), our CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) technology. If our dentists decide that zirconia or metal would be a better option, we will put a temporary dental crown on and send your impressions to our local dental laboratory to fabricate your permanent dental crown. 

Temporary Dental Crowns are made chair side in our office. Temporaries are generally made with acrylic and are cemented in with temporary dental cement. Temporary dental crowns protect the tooth and hold the space until our dental laboratory fabricates the permanent dental crown. Once your permanent dental crown is ready, you will come back to our office to have the temporary removed and permanently cement your dental crown in place.

Caring for your temporary dental crowns is very important. You want to avoid chewing gum, sticky foods, candy, hard food, or anything that could pull the temporary dental crown off or break it. You want to continue brushing and flossing your temporary. Make sure you pass your floss through the contact, but pull the floss out toward the cheek side of your crown.

Dental crowns are sometimes confused with dental veneers, but they are very different. Dental veneers are custom made, thin layers of porcelain cemented over the front of your teeth to change the dimension, color, or shape. Dental veneers are used on teeth with uneven, chipped, discolored, or oddly shaped surfaces. Dental crowns encompass the whole tooth to restore full function after root canal treatment, extensive decay, broken tooth structures, excessive wear, or other reasons that would determine the need for full coverage dental crowns.

Caring for your dental crown is very important to ensure it lasts a long time. It is always important to brush, floss, and maintain good oral hygiene for all your teeth including your dental crowns. In certain cases, extra attention is required for a dental crown because it may collect food debris or excess plaque. If manual dexterity makes it difficult to floss or if extra attention is needed to clean around your dental crown, sometimes we suggest a Waterpik ®. 

Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) may shorten the life of a dental crown. Moreover, eating hard foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion or even damage the dental crown. 

Our goal is to deliver the most natural looking dental crowns, that will be long lasting and function well for the life of the crown. We always strive to exceed our patient’s expectations while having a pain free dental experience. Our experienced dentists will explain why you may need a dental crown and discuss the options with you.

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