What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is used when tooth decay is too extensive for a filling. This type of restoration is also used to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by a root canal procedure, or to repair large chips or fractures. Sometimes crowns are used purely for cosmetic purposes to cover imperfections such as discolored or misshapen teeth. Also called a cap, a dental crown completely covers the part of the tooth that shows above the gums, fitting snugly along the gum line. Once firmly cemented in place, it functions just like a natural tooth.

What makes up a dental crown?

Dr. Truong uses dental crowns constructed from a variety of materials. Metal crowns, which are made from gold or other metal alloys, are durable and long lasting. However, their conspicuous appearance makes them a better choice for molars or baby teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns consist of porcelain overlaying a strong metal substructure to combine both aesthetic appeal and durability. PFM crowns, however, do not appear as translucent as natural teeth and are best used on molars. All-ceramic crowns are the ideal choice for more visible teeth, as they are made from materials that are designed to match the exact coloration and translucency of your natural teeth. At Viva Dental, we offer durable and natural-looking eMax and zirconia crowns, which are made from translucent ceramic materials. We also offer custom tinting for all ceramic dental crowns to maximize aesthetics.

How are crowns placed?

The first step when placing a crown is to numb the treatment area with a local anesthetic. Next, Dr. Truong will prepare the tooth, which involves first removing any decay present, then tapering the tooth shape for optimal crown placement. If your tooth is not very large because of breakage or extensive decay, your dentist may build up its structure with filling material and then shape it for a crown. Next, we will obtain impressions of your teeth, which are used by our excellent dental laboratory to create your custom restoration. While you are waiting for your permanent crown, you will wear a temporary so you can eat and function normally. In about two weeks, you will return to our office where Dr. Truong will remove your temporary and cement the permanent crown to your prepared tooth, making sure that it fits well with surrounding and opposing teeth, is comfortable, and looks great!

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