A dental crown is an artificial form of tooth restoration that is designed to fit over the top of an existing tooth that has been damaged or is badly stained. A crown is fitted over a carefully prepared tooth to not only improve its appearance, but also to strengthen and protect it. A crown can also be called a ‘cap’, however both treatments are the same and serve the same purpose.
Why Would a Crown Be Needed?
If a tooth has been broken or damaged in some way – chipped or cracked for instance – then a crown in Baton Rouge can act as a simple fix for the aesthetic problem posed by the damage to the tooth. If a tooth has been weakened by decay or has had a large, visible filling done, then a crown could help to protect the tooth while improving its appearance, and the overall beauty of your smile.
Common reasons a crown is needed include:
- A filling is discolored and is impacting the appearance of your smile in a negative way
- A root canal has been performed and a crown is required to help protect what is left of your tooth
- A crown may be able to be used to help ensure that a bridge or denture remains properly in place once fitted
What Are Crowns Made Out Of?
Different dental practices use different materials to create crowns; new materials and approaches to crown creation are constantly being introduced, which means that the landscape of cosmetic dentistry is constantly changing and evolving.
Some of the most popular materials for crowns are:
- Porcelain which has been bonded onto precious metal: this is how most crowns are made, with a precious metal base and a porcelain overlay.
- Porcelain: these crowns are created completely from porcelain – they are not as strong or as durable as bonded porcelain crowns, however they do look extremely natural and for this reason, are a popular choice, particularly for front teeth.
- All-ceramic: this technique offers a modern approach that is metal-free but just as strong and durable as a bonded crown with the appearance of a porcelain crown.
- Gold crowns: gold alloy crowns are one of the oldest crown types; gold has been used for years as a filling material for dental decay. To increase its strength, gold can be combined with varying other metal alloys, making it an extremely hard-wearing crown material.
How Are Crowns Fitted?
Your dentist will show you the crown that has been designed, and once you and they are happy that it is a perfect match for your natural teeth and fits properly, it will be fixed in place onto the affected tooth using a specialist dental cement, which forms a seal and holds the crown in place.
The treatment tends to take at least two visits: the first visit consists of the tooth being prepared for the treatment and having a temporary crown fitted. While the second appointment will remove the temporary crown and fit the permanent one.