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Fillings work great for minor decay, but if your tooth has been significantly damaged and needs better support and protection, we call on a dental crown. A dental crown is a protective sheath that fits over your tooth, completely covering the entire visible portion of the tooth. It can also help beautify a tooth or restore a cracked tooth. Crowns can help save a tooth that is treated with a root canal, or support a dental bridge if a tooth has been lost.
When Dental Crowns Are Used
Dental crowns are commonly used to restore teeth in many situations, such as when a tooth is:
- Highly damaged because of decay
- Deeply cracked
- Badly worn
- Treated with a root canal
- Reshaped as part of an instant orthodontic procedure
- Built up or reshaped for cosmetic reasons
- Supporting a dental bridge
Because dental crowns in New City completely replace the outside of a tooth, they can dramatically transform teeth, allowing them to return to full function and cosmetic appearance. Even if a tooth is highly damaged by decay, deeply cracked, or badly worn, a dental crown can be used to protect the tooth and keep it in service for decades to come. However, if a tooth is worn or cracked, we may also want to fix bite issues such as TMJ to ensure the restored tooth will continue to serve.
As part of root canal therapy, your dentist may have to remove much of the tooth structure. That’s why it’s normal to place a dental crown on the treated tooth to help the tooth continue to function after the procedure.
Normally, porcelain veneers are used for instant orthodontics, but if your teeth need to be significantly reshaped, there are some situations where a dental crown is used. The same is true of building up small teeth for cosmetic purposes–such as peg laterals of retained baby teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Placing dental crowns is very similar to placing porcelain veneers or ceramic white fillings. First, we will talk to you about your treatment options so you can decide if a dental crown is the right treatment for you.
If a dental crown is right, we will prepare the tooth to receive the crown. This means removing any decayed or damaged tooth material–including the tooth pulp in the case of a root canal treatment–and reshaping the tooth so the dental crown will fit snugly on top.
After your tooth is prepared, we will take impressions of your teeth to guide the lab making your dental crown. Then you will get a temporary crown to wear while the permanent crown is being made.
When the crown is ready, you will return to our New City office to have the temporary removed and the final crown placed.
Replacing Teeth with Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a good option for tooth replacement. Unlike removable dentures, dental bridges are firmly fixed in your mouth so you can keep eating all your favorite foods, and don’t have to worry that your restoration will come out spontaneously when you’re talking, laughing, or eating.
A dental bridge typically consists of two dental crowns attached to one or more replacement teeth. The crowns fit over your natural teeth and support the replacement teeth.
Dental bridges are a great tooth replacement because they are very functional, highly attractive, and durable.
However, they do have shortcomings when compared to dental implants:
- May require removing healthy tooth material
- Can contribute to failure of supporting teeth
- Don’t stimulate the growth and maintenance of jawbone and gums
- Don’t last as long as dental implants
Although there are some situations where dental bridges are the right choice, dental implants are more often recommended as a tooth replacement.