There used to be a time where dentists would pull out a tooth at the first sign of disease and infection. Luckily, we no longer live in that time. Nowadays, we at K. Pat Brown, DDS, reserve extractions for only the worst case scenarios.
Part of the reason we can do that, though, is because we’ve developed so many alternative restorative solutions. One of the most all-encompassing ones is the dental crown. As the name implies, dental crowns are specially fashioned “caps” that completely or partially cover a damaged tooth. For patients in Temecula, CA, experiencing severe dental issues, a dental crown might be recommended.
What Kinds of Dental Problems Do Porcelain Dental Crowns solve?
So, what kinds of issues might need dental crown restoration? Because normally the entirety of the tooth is shielded by a dental crown, different severities and types of oral health issues will determine the necessity for a crown.
In general, though, the dentists at K. Pat Brown, DDS, prescribe dental crowns when their patients require:
- Protections for Teeth Prone to Physical Damage: The hard material that dental crowns are made from ensures that the tooth inside is shielded from physical damage. For example, a tooth experiencing extreme decay might easily crack with pressure, but a weak tooth protected by a crown can still function as normal.
- Restoration for Cracked or Worn Down Teeth: Dental crowns work well as a preventative measure, but they be restorative as well. A minor cracked tooth, for example, can be restored with a crown alone rather than extracted. Teeth that have become worn down over time could also benefit from the protective shell of a dental crown.
- A Dental Bridge: Dental bridges are complex procedures of their own, in part because they require a dental crown to complete. Bridges are a way to restore missing teeth by “bridging” the gap with a prosthetic. However, every bridge needs an anchor, and, in this case, that means the two teeth on either side of the empty space. Your dentist will fasten the prosthetic to the mouth in between these two teeth called “abutting teeth”.
- A Dental Implant: In like manner, dental crowns are a necessary part of a dental implant as well. The implant itself is a titanium screw “implanted” into the jawbone, and the dental crown is the tooth-like piece that attaches to that screw and that actually replaces the missing tooth.
- A Cosmetic Solution: Dental crowns can also be used cosmetically as a way to cover up extreme surface damage to a tooth. For example, a tooth with many craters and bumps might need to be treated with a dental crown as a kind of more intense form of the dental veneer.
How Are Porcelain Dental Crowns Placed?
To attach a dental crown to a damaged tooth, your dentist will first begin by conducting a thorough examination of the tooth and gums in the region. This is to make sure that no deeper problems require treatment. For example, if there is infection in the roots of the tooth, your dentist might first carry out root canal treatment before proceeding with a dental crown.
After the area is deemed suitable for further treatment, your dentist will prepare the tooth in question for the crown. Because porcelain crowns do take up space, the tooth will need to be carefully shaved down on every side to allow the dental crown to fit in. This may be done under local anesthetic. As the area heals over the space of a couple of weeks, your dentist might give you a temporary crown to cover the area.
The next step is the fabrication of the crown by a dental lab. Each dental crown has to be customized to fit that patient’s mouth, and a variety of molds, X-rays, and pictures will be needed for the final result to be a perfect fit.
When the crown is finished and the area is prepared, your dentist can finally attach the crown. Anesthesia might be needed again as the crown is carefully fit over the tooth and cemented into place.
If you’re interested in getting a dental crown for any reason, make sure to contact Temecula dentist K. Pat Brown, DDS, to get professional advice and care. Our dentists would be happy to answer any question you might have. Just call us at (951) 695-6269 or visit our website to make an appointment today!