What Are Dental Crowns?

Over time, your teeth may become damaged for a variety of reasons. You may experience tooth decay, for example, but it could also simply happen from overuse. In such an event, you may need a dental crown. 

You’ve likely heard of dental crowns, but what are they really, and what do they do? Read on for all the answers.

Know Your Crowns

The term “dental crown” is familiar to most people, but maybe you’ve also heard it referred to as a “cap.” Regardless of which term you know, both are correct. There are actually two uses for the word crown in dentistry. 

  • We use the word crown to describe the anatomical portion of the tooth that protrudes from the gums. In a healthy tooth, enamel covers the entire crown.
  • A crown also refers to a specific type of dental restoration that covers the entire anatomical crown of a tooth. This is the type we’ll be covering.

Why Do Some Teeth Need Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns replace the enamel covering of a tooth, so if your enamel no longer functions as it should, you may need one. Enamel is the hardest substance in our bodies, and it is designed to withstand the thermal, chemical and mechanical forces our teeth are faced with when we eat and drink. Enamel is amazing, but unfortunately, it is not invincible. It can crack, decay or experience acid corrosion – all of which can lead to the need for a crown.

What Should I Expect During My Dental Crown Procedure?

In order to make a crown that fits your tooth perfectly, your dentist must first prepare the tooth by removing the enamel layer so the crown can replace it without being bulky or uncomfortable. Any existing decay or filling material is also removed. The ultimate goal in this preparation is to get down to the healthy tooth structure and start rebuilding from there. Dental crown preparation requires local anesthetic because without enamel, your tooth will be particularly sensitive. Getting a crown is typically a two visit process.

Visit 1

  • your tooth will be prepared for the crown as explained above.
  • If there are any severely broken down portions of your tooth, you will need it rebuilt aka crown build-up. This will feel a lot like getting a filling.
  • A physical dental impression or an intraoral 3D scan of your tooth is taken.
  • A temporary crown is affixed to your tooth using  temporary dental cement.

Visit 2

  • If your tooth is sensitive, you may require local anesthetic. 
  • Your temporary crown and any excess temporary dental cement is removed.
  • Your crown is permanently cemented  to your tooth after the fit and bite is checked and verified. Your new crown should feel and function like your natural teeth.

Make An Appointment With Radiance Dental

Looking for dentistry near you? At Radiance Dental, we create healthy RADIANT smiles for life. We provide general dentistry as well as pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry ,implant dentistry and teeth whitening services to make sure your whole family has healthy, happy smiles. Our dedicated staff is committed to continued education to learn the latest techniques and technologies to provide the best available care for our patients. We provide a safe, comfortable atmosphere for regular cleanings and the treatments our patients need to put their best smiles forward. If you are looking for a new family dentist, we’d love to have you. Schedule a dentist appointment with us today.