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A dental crown is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens the tooth structure. If there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling, fractures in a tooth, or a weakened tooth after a root canal, the tooth is at an increased risk of fracture.  To protect the tooth from fracturing, we can prepare the tooth for a crown.  Our main materials for crowns are Lithium Disilicate (a beautiful material that can be strongly bonded to the tooth), Zirconia (an extremely strong material that can be made very thin and can be made tooth colored), and Gold (a material which statistically last the longest and does not break - great for people who grind or clench their teeth).  Where possible, we will minimize the preparation of tooth structure ensuring the healthiest and longest lasting restorations so you can keep your teeth as long as possible.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cracked teeth
  • Weakened teeth
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. We have the technology to create digital molds in certain cases instead of using impression material in the mouth.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two to three weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once the tooth is in it's prepared state and an impression is taken your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

It is normal to experience soreness at the site of injection and possible sensitivity to cold after the tooth has been prepared for a crown. Often this will subside shortly after the final crown has been placed.  You may also find that your bite has slightly changed.  As long as you are not biting first on the tooth that was worked on, this change is also temporary.  If you have pain when biting or chewing on a tooth that has just had a crown, usually a small adjustment to the crown is indicated.  If this is the case, it is not an emergency but the sooner you can come in, the better.  If you wait months needing a bite adjustment, it will often take multiple visits to correct.  

 Anytime tooth structure is removed there is a risk of inflammation to the pulp or nerve of the tooth.  Most of the time this is temporary.  It is possible for the nerve to become so irritated that it swells within the tooth.  The nerve is trapped within the tooth so there is only so much space for the nerve to swell.  If the nerve tissue swells too much, it can cut off its circulation and die.  At this point, the tooth will need a root canal.  Symptoms of needing a root canal including lingering sensitivity to cold, being kept up at night by a toothache, and extreme sensitivity to hot.

If your temporary crown comes off it is completely normal for the prepared tooth to feel rough or sharp and for the tooth to be extremely sensitive.  If you still have the temporary crown, clean it and try to replace it on the tooth.  There is often no need for additional cement for it to stay in place until your final crown is ready.  If you have broken or swallowed your temporary crown, please call us the next business day and we will arrange to make you a new temporary crown.  Over the counter medication like ibuprofen is best for easing the sensitivity of a tooth without a crown or temporary crown.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

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