A crown is a dental restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape, size and function Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. A crown can:
- Restore a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling.
- Attach a bridge to replace the missing teeth.
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing.
- Restore a fractured tooth.
- Cover a badly shaped or discolored tooth.
- Cover a dental implant.
The look and function of a crown are considered when choosing the material most suitable for your crown. Dr. Ito will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth and the function of the tooth. Crowns can be made of several types of materials. Metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, composite resin, or combinations of these materials may be used. In the process of making a crown, the material is colored to blend in with your natural teeth.
Dr. Ito’s goal is to create a crown that looks natural and feels comfortable. In many cases the tooth can be created as a cosmetic improvement from your natural tooth. Several factors will be taken into consideration including the color, shape and length of your teeth, and your bite.
Two visits are generally needed to complete the treatment. Dr. Ito prepares the tooth by removing its outer portion to accomodate the thickness of the crown. If the tooth has a filling part of the material may be left in place to serve as a foundation for the crown. An impression is made to provide an exact model of the prepared tooth. The impression is send to a laboratory where a technician will use the model along with Dr. Ito’s instructions, to develop the shape and size of the crown.
A temporary cap is placed while the final crown is made. When the crown is ready, it will be fitted and adjusted if necessary. When you and Dr. Ito are satisfied with how it looks and feels, the crown is permanently cemented in place.
To prevent damage to a crown, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects, such as pencils. This is especially imporant for tooth colored crowns. Regular brushing, flossing and professional cleanings and exams will help to maintain your crown in good condition for many years.