What is a crown?
A crown is a cover or “cap” your dentist can put on a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size and function. The purpose of a crown is to make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks.
Why do I need a crown?
- You may need a crown if you:
- have a cavity that is too large for a filling
- have a missing tooth and need a bridge
- need to cover a dental implant
- have a tooth that is cracked, worn down or otherwise weakened
- have had root canal treatment—the crown will protect the restored tooth
- want to cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth and improve your smile!
How is a crown placed?
Several steps are involved, and two dental visits are generally needed to complete the treatment.
- The dentist prepares the tooth by removing its outer portion so the crown will fit. Any decay is also removed. If additional tooth structure is needed to support the crown, the dentist may build up the core of the tooth.
- An impression is made to provide an exact model for the crown.
- You will get a temporary crown while you wait for the permanent crown to be ready—usually less than two weeks. While you have the temporary crown, this tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold. Also, avoid chewing gum or sticky foods during this time.
- The dentist or a laboratory technician then uses the model to help make the crown.
- When the new crown is ready, the dentist places it in your mouth and makes the necessary adjustments. When you and your dentist are satisfied with how it looks and feels, the crown is cemented in place.
What is it made from?
Crowns are made from several types of materials as ceramics and zirconiums. In the process of making a crown, the material often is colored to blend in with your natural teeth.
Your dentist wants to create a crown that looks natural and fits comfortably in your mouth. To decide on the material for your crown, your dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the patient’s preference, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth, and the function of the tooth.
After a Crown
You shouldn’t feel any discomfort or sensitivity after a crown is placed. However, if your tooth has not had a root canal, it will still contain the nerve. You may therefore have some temporary sensitivity to cold. If you notice pain or sensitivity when you bite down, contact your dentist. Usually this means that the crown is too high. When you bite, you are hitting the crown first. The crown needs to be adjusted. This can be done easily.
Types of Crowns
Emax crown is a type of all-ceramic crown which is preferred for its longer lasting aesthetic qualities. It has an appealing color which is combined with extra strength and durability and is made from a single block of lithium disilicate ceramic that has been harvested for its toughness and durability.
This is a crown that is considered to be the best match with your own natural teeth. There is no metal alloy base with this crown which means no unsightly looking gray line around the gum line. They are strong, long lasting and unlikely to crack or fracture as compared to many other types of crowns.
They are two ways to do emax crown:
- Monolithic: The crown is made out of uniform piece of ceramic without individual layers fused together.
- Bi-layered: This type of crown is supported by a structure core (magnesium aluminate spinel and lithium disilicate) where the laboratory technician applies veneering porcelain to create the final esthetic restoration.
Zirconia crown is a dioxide form of the metallic element zirconium and is similar to a natural diamond, possessing both beauty and strength. After an extract subframe is forged, feldespathic porcelain is built upon it until the perfect crown form is attained. Zirconia crown are biocompatible made of material that works well with the bodily tissue, they are very strong and resistant to corrosion, and have optical characteristic similar to the natural tooth, thus facilitating perfect aesthetic results and a completely natural tooth.
They are two ways to do zirconia crown:
- Monolithic: Made from a uniform piece of ceramic (zirconia toughened alumina).
- Bi-layered: This crown is supported by structure core (zirconia) where the laboratory technician applies veneering porcelain to create the final aesthetic restoration.
PORCELAIN FUSED TO METAL (PFM)
PFM has been the most common option done in the past 35 years. Tooth-colored ceramic is baked on top of a metallic alloy structure. However the porcelain portion can also chip or break off and sometimes the metal underlying the crown porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede.