A crown is sometimes termed a "cap" or "jacket." A crown will restore a large filling or a cracked tooth to its original size, shape and tooth color. A crown may be recommended after root canal therapy has been completed, as the tooth tends to become brittle and is more likely to fracture. A crown can strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and improves the appearance of your teeth. With the advances in technology we now have the ability to make ceramic crowns with no metal.
To place a crown, your dentist must reduce 1-2 mm of the tooth to make room for it. Your dentist will then use a piece of thread or cord or use a laser to push the gum down around the tooth, to take an impression of the tooth. The impressions are sent to the lab where the crown is made. During that time, you will have a temporary crown. These crowns are usually made of plastic and are made in your dentist's office on the day of your visit. They are not meant to last. If a temporary crown is left in the mouth, the cement eventually washes out, and the tooth can decay.
At a second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes crowns need additional polishing, or glaze or some other adjustment before they are placed. Once the crown is ready, it's cemented to your tooth.
A bridge may be used to replace a single tooth. A bridge consists of both a false tooth, called a pontic, and the anchors (abutment crowns) that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated by the missing tooth.
Neighboring tooth structure is removed shaping them to receive an anchor crown. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental lab where they fabricate the bridge.
The structure part of the bridge is created with a strong metal alloy that can handle the anticipated stresses.
Tooth-like porcelain is then fused to the structure. Once the bridge is tested for a correct fit, the anchor crowns are cemented to the neighboring teeth.
There is now new technology that allows you to replace old silver and gold fillings with a more natural looking, composite filling. Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth and research has proven them to be about 90% as strong as healthy, natural tooth material.
- Beautiful in appearance
- Completed in a single visit
- No filling leaks
- Less chance of tooth cracking
A root canal may be needed if the decay has reached the tooth's nerve. Essentially, a root canal involves cleaning out a tooth's infected root, then filling and sealing the canal.
- An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
- The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
- The infected area is medicated.
- The root canals are filled.
- The crown opening is filled with a temporary filling.
Causes of a Root Canal
A cavity that has been left untreated, can become larger. Once the cavity reaches the pulp of the tooth, an infection forms at the base of the root canal, causing an abscess. This abscess is generally painful and will need to be removed.