A toothache may indicate a minor cavity that requires filling, but the pain can also signal advanced decay or tooth fracture, in which case you may need a dental crown on your tooth. Crowns are indirect restorations made in a dental laboratory. Dr. Murray-Curtis, as a restorative and cosmetic dentistry specialist, prefers to use all-white porcelain crowns on teeth that are visible in a smile. For front teeth, or anterior teeth, porcelain crowns provide a solid, strong, attractive restoration. On back teeth, a stronger material, such as metal or zirconia may be preferred.
What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a manmade, hollow, tooth-shaped cap that fits atop a prepared, natural tooth. Crowns restore structural integrity to a tooth with advanced tooth decay or a fracture. Left untreated, a tooth with this type of extensive damage may eventually break off, causing pain and the need for immediate emergency attention. By reinforcing the tooth with a dental crown, the undamaged natural tissue, including the tooth’s root, can remain intact. Crowns, therefore, present a conservative alternative to tooth extraction and replacement.
At your clinical appointment, Dr. Murray-Curtis may administer nitrous oxide to keep you comfortable during crown placement. He’ll then remove any bacteria or decay on your tooth, in preparation for restoration. We will take an impression of your affected tooth so that a dental laboratory technician can create a custom-fitted crown for you. Dr. Murray-Curtis will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent restoration arrives.
Your permanent crown may be:
- All-Ceramic – perfect for front teeth that show when you smile
- All-Metal – durable restoration to withstand intense biting pressures on molars
- Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) – superior durability to all-ceramic, better aesthetics than all-metal
- Zirconia – extreme durability and highly aesthetic appearance; ideal for molars
Once we receive the final restoration, you’ll return to our clinic. The dentist will cement it permanently in place, then make adjustments as necessary so that your new crown fits properly when your mouth is closed.
What are the Benefits of Dental Crowns?
- A dental crown is custom-fitted to replicate a healthy, natural tooth.
- Crowns offer cosmetic improvement to significantly damaged teeth.
- Crowns restore the ability for normal function, so you can eat and speak comfortably.
- If a full crown is not necessary, an inaly or onaly (partial crown) may be recommended.
- Crowns allow you to retain your natural tooth root, and thus are considered conservative when compared to extraction and tooth replacement.
- Dental crown cost is significantly lower than that of extraction and placement of a dental implant.
Will I Make a Good Candidate for Tooth Crowns?
If your damaged tooth cannot be adequately restored with a filling, but does not necessarily need extraction and replacement, a crown or partial crown might be a good solution. Dr. Murray-Curtis will advise you on the best type of restoration, as well as the best material for your restoration. He’ll answer all of your questions and help return your mouth to optimal oral health.