At Michael McMahon, DDS, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength and improve its appearance. Once in place, a crown will protect a weak tooth from breaking, hold together parts of a cracked tooth, restore a broken tooth, or cover and support a large filling when there isn’t enough natural tooth remaining to hold the filling. It’s also used to hold a dental bridge in place or to cover a dental implant.
Different Types of Dental Crowns
Full Porcelain Crowns
Full porcelain crowns are most often used for front or back teeth. The outer layer is translucent and durable, while the inside is made of porcelain for increased strength. This material is very resistant to stains as well. Because these crowns are made to match the shade of your surrounding natural teeth, they are usually an excellent option for front teeth.
Metal crowns are made of either gold or silver alloy. These materials are solid and long-lasting. For this reason, they are often used in molars and premolars. Metal crowns do not look as natural as other options because they do not have the translucency of tooth enamel. However, they are an excellent choice for restoring a tooth that has suffered significant damage.
This type of crown is often used on dental implants but can also replace damaged teeth. It is very sturdy and attractive and also very long-lasting. No matter what type of crown you choose, they will all require the same care as your natural teeth.
The Procedure for Dental Crowns
Before the procedure begins, your dentist will administer anesthesia to ensure you feel no pain and remain comfortable. Then, they will use a unique tool to remove a small amount of your natural tooth enamel so it will fit snugly within the crown. Once your tooth is prepared, a temporary crown will be placed in your mouth until the permanent restoration is complete. The temporary crown will be carefully crafted to match the appearance of your natural teeth, so you won’t have to feel self-conscious while your smile is under construction.
Next, your dentist will take impressions of your tooth to create a custom restoration in a lab. It typically takes about two weeks for the crown to be completed and returned to your dentist’s office; in the meantime, you will wear the temporary crown. When the custom restoration is ready, you’ll return to the dentist to have it cemented in place. Your dentist will make any final adjustments to the restoration to ensure it fits comfortably and naturally within your bite pattern.
Visit Michael McMahon, DDS, at 3405 Kenyon Street Suite 510, San Diego 92110, or call (619) 223-7189 to schedule an appointment with our dentist to determine if a crown is right for you!