Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain or ceramic, placed on the top of a tooth.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
*Same Day Crown (CEREC) Procedure*
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. Afterwards, digital impressions and images are taken with a special camera. This information is sent to a CAD/CAM software where it uses them to produce a 3-D model of your teeth. The doctor will then customize your crown with this information for the optimized fit. The specifications are then sent to a milling chamber to produce your customized crown from a block of ceramic. Next, your customized crown will be placed in a special oven to sinter and harden. At the end of your visit, the finished crown will be checked for fit and cemented onto your tooth.
*Caring For Your Crowns*
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.