Dental crowns are a restoration that fit over the top of your tooth. Dr. Kuipers may recommend a dental crown in the following situations:
- To attach a bridge or cover a dental implant
- To repair a fractured tooth
- When you are missing a large percentage of a single tooth
- As a replacement for a large filling that has come loose
- To protect a tooth after a root canal
- As a way to prevent the fracture of a weakened tooth
- For aesthetic purposes when a tooth is severely misshapen or discolored
- To cover a dental implant or attach a dental bridge
Dental crowns are a conservative approach to treatment. That means our dentists will attempt to place a crown first before resorting to more aggressive interventions such as tooth extraction and replacement.
Dental Crowns Defined
Also known as a cap, a dental crown goes on top of the part of your tooth that is visible above your gum line. After placement, it becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Our laboratory technicians use metal, porcelain fused to metal, or porcelain alone to create your crown. We recommend porcelain to keep your teeth as white as possible and provide you with a natural smile. Porcelain is a highly durable material that can last a decade or longer as long as you take good care of your teeth and crowns.
What to Expect When You Receive a Dental Crown
It normally requires only two appointments for Dr. Kuipers to place your new dental crown. At the first appointment, your dentist X-rays the affected tooth and all of the bone around it. This sometimes uncovers an infection in the pulp of a tooth that requires a root canal. If so, you will need to have the root canal done before receiving your dental crown. Your dentist places putty over your tooth to take an impression of it after completing the X-rays and any other required dental work.
Approximately two weeks later, Dr. Kuipers receives your customized dental crown back from the laboratory. We will call you in for a final fitting at this time. If you have a large tooth, your dentist may need to remove a small amount of enamel with a file to make sure the crown fits properly. We add filling material to your tooth if it is too small for the crown to fit right.
You will receive a temporary crown while waiting for your customized one to be finished. At your final appointment, your dentist removes it and replaces it with the permanent one. To ensure your comfort during this process, Dr. Kuipers provides you with a local anesthetic. Your dentist then cements the crown in place after checking one last time to see if any adjustments are needed.