Affinity Dental Group – Edmonton & Sherwood Park AB
In cases where a tooth has been badly damaged, or is cracking or at risk to break, or is in an unacceptable position, the answer is often a full coverage restoration, or crown.
What exactly is a crown?
A crown replaces the outer millimetre or so of a tooth in all dimensions. It is custom-made in a laboratory, and bonded or cemented to the tooth.
What material is a crown made of?
Crowns can be grouped into:
- all-metal, such as a full gold crown
- porcelain fused to metal,
- porcelain fused to ceramic, such as a Procera crown
- all porcelain, such as a CEREC or e-Max crown.
Every one of these materials has their place. Factors include the size and position of the tooth to be crowned, plus the bite force in the area. Your dentist will discuss your options with you.
What is the procedure?
The first visit is not unlike a longer filling appointment. With CEREC crowns, the crown is often made and placed in one appointment. For other crowns, the tooth is smoothed down and a very accurate model of the area is taken with a rubber-like material. A temporary plastic cover is made to protect the smoothed tooth for the week or two while the laboratory constructs the crown. When you return, the temporary cover is removed and the crown is tried in. After any minor adjustments are made, it is then cemented or bonded onto the tooth.
What is the difference between a cemented and a bonded crown?
Cement is essentially a glue that fills the microscopic space between the crown and the tooth. Modern cements perform well in most situations. With some situations or crown materials, we will treat the crown and the tooth with chemicals and then chemically bond the crown on, to provide additional strength. The dentist can advise you if this is necessary–if so, your second visit will be slightly longer.
How long do crowns last?
This is the most common question we get, and also the hardest to answer. Crowns are durable and with proper care may last many years, and the materials we have today are superior to what we had available even a few years ago. Ask your dentist about your specific clinical situation and what kind of lifespan you might reasonably expect.
Like any restorative procedure, a crown is undertaken after planning and consultation. Talk to one of our dentists today about restoring your oral health with custom crowns. As always, we are committed to helping you and your family with your oral health care.