Your dentist may recommend that you undergo a dental crown procedure for one of several reasons: you have a particularly weak tooth that needs to be held together or requires a bridge; you have a tooth that is extremely discolored; or you wish to have a crown placed for cosmetic reasons. There are several types of crowns that can be used, including ceramic, porcelain, and stainless steel (cosmetic crowns are usually made of porcelain or ceramic). Since, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are pros and cons for each type, you should have your dentist address your specific situation and make a recommendation on which is best for your tooth.The procedure for installing a dental crown normally takes two separate dentist visits. At your first appointment, your dentist will examine the tooth to make sure that it can support a crown, then begin filing it down to prepare for the crown. Alternatively, if the tooth is severely damaged or broken, your dentist may need to fill it in to make it large enough to properly receive the crown. After the tooth is filed or filled to the proper shape, your practitioner will take an impression of the tooth, as well as those surrounding it, and send it away to a dental lab, so the permanent crown can be made accordingly. By the end of this first visit, your tooth will have a new temporary crown that protects it until the final crown is ready to be permanently placed.
When the permanent crown is ready, you will have your second visit. At this appointment, the temporary crown is removed, after which the dentist will position and fasten the new crown to the tooth with a special adhesive.
Once your dental crown procedure is complete, it may take some getting used to before the permanent crown feels normal in your mouth; however, after a little time has passed, the crown should look, function, and feel like a regular tooth. If you have any questions about your crown after your procedure, be sure to talk to your dentist.
A bridge, also known as a fixed removable denture, is made to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be supported in any of three ways:
By natural teeth
By a combination of teeth and implants
A traditional bridge is made by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the space and placing a false tooth or teeth between the crowns. The crowns, sometimes called caps, can be supported by natural teeth or by implants. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the crowns and fill the empty space.
If the teeth receiving the crowns are healthy and strong, they probably will not need root canal therapy. However, parts of the teeth will be removed to make space for the crowns. Traditional bridges are made either of porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramics. Getting a bridge requires at least two visits, but often more. At the first visit, your dentist prepares the teeth and covers them with temporary crowns. The dentist may also make impressions of the teeth.
The bridge is placed at later visits. On average, bridges last five to seven years. A major reason bridges fail is that new cavities develop on the supporting teeth. These cavities occur because of poor oral hygiene. With proper hygiene, which includes flossing your teeth under the bridge, they will last longer.
Dental implants are used to replace teeth after tooth loss. The dentist inserts a small titanium screw into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth, which serves as the support for a crown. These implants are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth, and once the bone and supporting tissue fuse to the implant, they are permanently secured into place. Patients need to practice diligent oral hygiene during the implant placement period to clean plaque and food debris from the area.
1. A Deep Infection
Root canal treatment is needed when an injury or a large cavity damages the tooth's root. The root becomes infected or inflamed.
2. A Route to the Root
The dentist numbs the tooth. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to the pulp chamber.
3. Removing the infected/inflamed Tissue
Special files are used to clean the infection and unhealthy pulp out of the canals. Then they shape the canals for the filling material. Irrigation is used to help clean the canals and remove debris.
4. Filling the Canals
The canals are filled with a permanent material. Typically this is done with a material known as gutta-percha. This helps to keep the canals free of infection or contamination.
5. Rebuilding the Tooth
A temporary filling material is placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. The filling remains until the tooth receives a permanent filling or a crown. A crown, sometimes called a cap, looks like a natural tooth. It is placed over the top of the tooth.
6. Extra Support
In some cases, a post is placed into the root next to the gutta-percha. This gives the crown more support.
7. The Crowning Touch
The crown is cemented into place.
*Source: Colgate Oral Care Center
*Images from DepositPhotos