Porcelain Crowns

When a tooth is fractured, severely damaged by decay, or has a large old filling, a crown (also called a cap) is often placed. A crown strengthens the tooth, protects the remaining tooth structure and can improve appearance.

The location of the tooth, the intensity of the bite, and the desires of the patient are some of the factors used in deciding which type of crown is best suited for you.

Sometimes teeth that need crowns may also need root canals because the nerve inside the tooth has been damaged. When back teeth have root canals performed, they need to have crowns placed to strengthen them because they can become brittle over time.

The tooth is prepared to accept a crown. All old filling, decay and unsupported tooth is removed to insure a solid foundation for the new crown. The tooth may need to be built up so that it can be shaped properly to accept a crown. An impression of the prepared tooth is made, and the appropriate shade of the crown is selected. A temporary crown is made, usually of tooth-colored plastic, to cover and protect the tooth until the crown is made. It often takes two to three weeks for the laboratory to fabricate a crown.

Crowns have changed a lot over the past several years and have become much more aesthetic. It is rare that metal is necessary in a crown today.

Crown 1Crown 2Crown 3

Post-operative Instructions for new crowns

Crowns are usually completed in two appointments. Today your tooth (teeth) was prepared for a permanent crown and a temporary crown was placed on the tooth for protection. A temporary crown is easily removed, therefore care must be taken not to dislodge it before your permanent crown is placed. Do not chew sticky foods such as caramel. When flossing, pull the floss out the side; do not pop it through the contact with the tooth next to it. If your temporary crown comes off, you can place some denture adhesive inside it and put it back on, then call our office during normal business hours and we will re-cement it for you. It will take about 15 minutes. Do not forget to bring the temporary with you to the appointment! Do not leave your temporary off, even if you have no discomfort. Without a temporary crown to hold your tooth in place, your tooth can move causing your new crown not to fit. If that occurs, you would have to purchase another crown.

The prescription mouthwash, Chlorhexidine, was given to you and should be used twice a day until your permanent crown is placed. You can rinse with it or use a Q-tip to apply it around the gum line of the temporary crown. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes following the application. It is important that you use this medicine as prescribed or placing your permanent crown could be more difficult. Also, if your gums are sore, Chlorhexidine will speed healing.

If you feel like you are biting first or harder on your temporary or permanent crown, call us for an adjustment or you will develop a sore tooth.

Be sure to brush and floss your new crown.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office. Questions are always welcome.

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