Patients often ask to have their tooth fixed with “just a filling.” However, sometimes a tooth is too broken down to be fixed reliably with a large filling. A badly broken down tooth needs a dental crown to restore the tooth to health. Dental crowns are one of the most successful dental procedures, with longevity measured in decades. A dental crown on a posterior tooth covers the entire biting surface, and on an anterior tooth covers the entire visible surface. A dental crown is made in a lab and permanently bonded to the tooth. Dental crowns today are usually made out of a ceramic material that is very esthetic and almost impossible to break. When done correctly, they should be almost impossible to detect, and look and feel just like a natural tooth.
Why would a tooth need a dental crown?
A dental crown is necessary when a tooth has a problem that cannot be fixed with a large filling. Following are some of the conditions that require a crown:
Large decay – Fillings are an excellent way to restore a small to medium sized cavity. However, large fillings don’t last as long as smaller ones. A dental crown is a much more reliable way to restore large decay.
Root canal – Posterior teeth with root canals are usually missing a lot of tooth structure. When restored with a large filling, these teeth have a tendency to fracture in half, requiring the tooth to be extracted. A crown placed over the root canaled tooth strengthens it, preventing fractures.
Crack into the dentin – Many teeth have small cracks in the enamel which do not require restoration. However, if the cracks extend into the dentin underneath, the tooth can be in danger of fracturing. A crown strengthens the tooth, preventing the crack from propagating into a fully fractured tooth.
Broken cusp – A posterior tooth with a broken cusp can only be restored with a crown or partial crown.
Worn teeth – Sometimes worn teeth can be restored back to a more esthetic appearance with a dental crown. Newer ceramic crowns are both more resistant to wear than natural teeth, and wear opposing teeth less than tooth enamel does.
Implant – A single tooth implant needs a crown attached to it to replace a missing tooth.
Full mouth rehab – For advanced cases, some patients need restorations on every tooth in the mouth. These patients need crowns placed on each tooth at the same appointment.
Dental crown procedure
A dental crown is accomplished in two appointments. First, any filling is removed, along with any decay. This usually leaves a cratered out tooth, which is then restored with a special filling called a build up. A build up is placed so the final tooth prep is smooth and not jagged. Then the tooth is prepped for the crown. An impression is taken and a temporary crown is placed. At the second appointment, the temporary is removed, the tooth structure cleaned, and the final crown is bonded in place.
What makes Enamor crowns different
Dr. Melander only uses the highest-quality American labs to manufacture his crowns. Well made crowns feel exactly like a regular tooth, and after it’s bonded in place, you shouldn’t even know that it’s there. Dr. Melander is very precise in fitting your crown, which means you won’t have sensitivity, you won’t need to have your bite adjusted, and you won’t have food catch between your teeth. Dr. Melander believes in and practices minimally invasive dentistry, or MID for short. This means that when prepping your tooth he will save as much healthy tooth structure as possible, which leads to healthy gum tissue that doesn’t bleed.
Dr. Melander is a North Scottsdale dentist who has taken extensive continuing education is restoring teeth with dental crowns. If you would like to know out more about crowns, or find out why your crown doesn’t feel right, please contact Enamor Dentistry today.