Dental Crowns: What They Are and Why You Might Need One

Dental Crowns: What They Are and Why You Might Need One

Posted by James Fang Mar 23,2024

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Dental crowns are devices placed over damaged, decayed, or aesthetically compromised teeth to restore strength, shape, size, and appearance. Crafted from durable materials such as porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination thereof, dental crowns are custom-designed to blend seamlessly with the natural teeth, providing long-lasting protection and support. By encasing the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gum line, dental crowns can effectively strengthen weakened teeth, repair extensive damage, cover large fillings, correct alignment issues, and enhance the overall aesthetics of the smile. Dental crowns can improve bite function, restore chewing ability, prevent further deterioration of compromised teeth, and contribute to overall oral health and well-being, ultimately allowing individuals to enjoy a confident and functional smile for years. 

Types of Dental Crowns 

Porcelain Crowns 

Porcelain crowns, also known as ceramic crowns, are famous for their natural appearance and ability to closely mimic the color and translucency of natural teeth. Due to their aesthetic appeal, porcelain crowns are ideal for restoring front teeth or highly visible areas of the mouth. They are also durable and resistant to staining, making them a preferred choice for many patients. 

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns 

PFM crowns consist of a metal substructure covered with porcelain. The metal substructure provides strength and stability, while the porcelain outer layer delivers a natural-looking appearance. PFM crowns combine the durability of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain, making them suitable for both front and back teeth. However, due to the underlying metal, they may exhibit a slightly opaque appearance at the gumline. 

All-Metal Crowns 

All-metal crowns, such as those made from gold alloy or other metal alloys, are renowned for their exceptional strength and longevity. These crowns are highly resistant to wear and fracture, making them an excellent choice for back teeth that endure heavy chewing forces. While not as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain crowns, all-metal crowns are preferred for their durability and minimal tooth preparation. 

Composite Resin Crowns 

Composite resin crowns are made from tooth-colored composite material bonded directly to the tooth surface. They are typically used for temporary restorations or in cases where minimal tooth preparation is required. While composite resin crowns offer good aesthetics, they may not be as durable or long-lasting as other types of crowns. 

The Process of Getting Dental Crowns 

Getting a dental crown is a multi-step process involving several stages, each designed to restore a damaged or compromised tooth successfully. The process typically begins with an initial consultation with our dentist in Morristown, NJ. During this appointment, our dentist will examine the affected tooth, assess its condition, and determine if a dental crown is the appropriate treatment option. X-rays may be taken to evaluate the extent of damage and ensure the tooth's suitability for crown placement. Our dentist at Morristown Oral Surgery & Implantology Associates, will discuss the treatment plan with you, including the type of crown material, preparation process, and cost. 

Once the decision to proceed with a dental crown is made, the tooth will be prepared for crown placement. This involves removing any decayed or damaged tooth structure and reshaping the tooth to accommodate the crown. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues, ensuring a comfortable experience during the procedure. Impressions (molds) of the prepared tooth and adjacent teeth are then taken to create a custom-fitted crown. These impressions are a blueprint for fabricating the permanent crown placed over the prepared tooth. 

Sometimes, a temporary crown may be placed over the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is fabricated. The temporary crown serves as a placeholder to protect the tooth, maintain proper spacing, and prevent sensitivity while the permanent crown is being made. Temporary crowns are typically made from acrylic or composite materials and are designed to be temporary solutions until the final restoration is ready. 

Once the permanent crown is fabricated, you will return to the dental office for final placement. The temporary crown, if present, will be removed, and the tooth will be cleaned and prepared for the permanent crown. Before cementing the crown, the dentist will ensure proper fit, occlusion (bite), and aesthetics. Any necessary adjustments will be made to provide comfort and functionality. Finally, the crown is securely bonded to the tooth using dental cement, completing the restoration process. After the crown is placed, our dentist will provide instructions on how to care for your new restoration and maintain optimal oral hygiene for long-term success. 

Why You Might Need Dental Crowns 

Tooth Decay 

A dental crown may be recommended when a tooth has significant decay that cannot be restored with a filling. Crowns in Morristown, NJ, provide full coverage and protection to the weakened tooth structure, preventing further decay and restoring its strength and function. 

To Cover Dental Implants 

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically placed in the jawbone to support replacement teeth. Dental crowns, resembling natural teeth, are attached to the implants to serve as the visible, functional part of the restoration. 

Fractured or Cracked Teeth 

Teeth fractured or cracked due to trauma, injury, or biting on complex objects may require dental crowns to hold the pieces together and prevent further damage. Crowns can stabilize the tooth structure and restore its integrity, allowing for normal chewing and biting. 

Root Canal Therapy 

After undergoing root canal therapy to treat infection or inflammation within the tooth's pulp chamber, a dental crown is often placed to protect and strengthen the treated tooth. Crowns seal the tooth to prevent recontamination and restore its functionality. Contact us today!

Cosmetic Enhancement 

Dental crowns are also used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of teeth with aesthetic imperfections such as severe discoloration, shape irregularities, or alignment issues. Crowns can enhance the teeth' size, shape, color, and overall aesthetics, creating a more uniform and attractive smile. 

Dental crowns offer versatile solutions for various dental issues, providing durable and aesthetically pleasing restorations that improve oral health and quality of life. Visit Morristown Oral Surgery & Implantology Associates at 290 Madison Avenue, Ste 1A, Morristown, NJ 07960, or call (973) 538-5338 to determine if dental crowns are the right treatment option for you. 

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290 Madison Avenue, Ste 1A,
Morristown, NJ 07960

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