What is a Crown, and How Do I Know if I Need One?
Crowns, also known as caps, are a very common procedure in dentistry, and it is important to understand the process before getting your crown!
Here are some steps that go into diagnosing if a tooth is in need of a crown:
Start out with a Complete Exam, or schedule a visit with your hygienist! This will give us a chance to take x-rays and assess your gums, teeth, and oral health.
X-rays indicate any amount of decay that could be going on in your mouth – decay can be interproximal (between the teeth), or on the occlusal (biting surface) of your teeth. It is important to identify where the decay is occurring, because this can point us further in the direction we need to properly diagnose your tooth.
If the decay is too close to the gum line, or there is infection around the root of the tooth, a root canal treatment would most likely be recommended BEFORE getting a crown. This could mean there was an infection at the root of the tooth, and if crowned beforehand could trap in the decay which leads to more trouble down the road.
Crowns are typically needed when there is a severe amount of decay in the tooth, and it can’t be restored with a simple filling. When decay reaches a certain level, putting a large filling on the tooth can cause it to crack and break – thus causing you more money in the long run.
There are two different types of crowns:
Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
The material your crown is made up of is dependent on the location of the tooth and your specific needs.
During the procedure, your tooth is shaved down so a temporary crown can be fabricated in the office, and temporarily cemented on top of the prep. Here is an example of what a tooth looks like after your dentist prepares it:
You will leave the office with a temporary crown that day, and we send off an impression of your tooth to the lab, so your permanent crown can be delivered in about 2weeks!