Fox Dental | Dentist in Lemoyne, New Cumberland and Camp Hill

Dr. Kim Ngo explaining to patient

How do dentists place crowns?

A crown restores a damaged or missing tooth to its normal shape, size and function. A crown can protect the tooth or improve the way it looks.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

  1. To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  4. To hold a dental bridge in place
  5. To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  6. To cover a dental implant
  7. To make a cosmetic modification

For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:

  1. Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  2. Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  3. Decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.

The Process:

It usually takes two dental visits to complete the treatment. When a crown is placed over a natural tooth, several steps are involved:

  • The first step of a procedure involves using a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues.
  • The dental laboratory fabricates your dental crown with accurate models of both your maxillary and mandibular arches, in order to create a perfect crown for your tooth.
  • The dental assistant will take alginate impressions of both your upper and lower dental arches. These impressions will be poured in stone to create a stone model of your teeth in order to make your crown.
  • Accurate impressions of your prepared tooth are an essential part of the dental crown procedure. Even the tiniest flaw in the impression can result in an ill-fitting crown.
  • This impression is used to fabricate a temporary crown for you to wear until your permanent crown arrives back. Placing a temporary crown over the prepared tooth may seem like a cosmetic necessity, but in actuality, the temporary crown is very important. Without a temporary crown, the prepared tooth can begin to shift.
  • After the impressions, the dentist will use a shade guide to record the exact color of your tooth.
  • When you return to the dental office to have your permanent crown cemented, the dentist will begin the appointment by numbing the prepared tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthetic.
  • When your dentist is satisfied with the fit of the crown, the final cementation process begins. This process involves keeping your tooth completely isolated from any saliva or water in your mouth.
  • Your dentist will wait approximately 10 minutes for the permanent cement to set. When ready, your dentist will then check how your teeth bite together.

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

  • Stainless steel crowns are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material.
  • Metals used in crowns include alloys that have a high content of gold or platinum, or base-metal alloys. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color — and the high price of gold — is the main drawback.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal can be color-matched to your adjacent teeth. However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off.
  • All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. 
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. All-ceramic crowns can be used for front and back teeth.

How Long Do They Last?

On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” it is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits.

Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day.

If you’re interested in dental crowns or think you qualify for one contact us now at 717-761-0341. When done properly by an experienced dentist, it can be a painless procedure. We’re available to treat patients in the Lemoyne area.