Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If you feel weakness in your teeth or your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you strengthen teeth and recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases where 50% or more of the original tooth is decayed or previously filled, a filling or composite bonding will not be sufficient. In these cases it is the remaining tooth that holds the filling in place and when over 50% of the structural integrity of a tooth is lost a restoration is needed that will support the tooth against fracture, root canal or worse.

The process of installing a crown typically takes 2 visits to the office. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it and be the same size as original. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to our dental lab technician for the new crown to be made so that it fits precisely in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.

The crown takes about 3-4 weeks to be returned. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You may again have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using an adhesive cement to ensure the tooth stays in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. the average life of a properly made gold onlay or crown is 52 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.

Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.