Crowns are dental restorations used to improve the strength and appearance of teeth by providing both protection and cosmetic value. Because crowns completely encircle a tooth or dental implant, they are often referred to as “caps”. In some restorative cases, a crown is necessary to preserve tooth structure when there is a large amount of decay and a filling may not be sufficient. Teeth that have had root-canal treatment often need to be crowned to prevent cracking and possible infection.
There are various types of crowns and the combination of materials used depends on what Dr. Mailloux determines will be successful for each individual situation. A ceramic, or porcelain, material is commonly used because it can be sculpted to closely replicate tooth enamel. All-ceramic crowns are used on front teeth because the material’s translucent properties naturally mimic how tooth enamel transmits light. While a crown made entirely of ceramic is quite resilient, sometimes a porcelain layer needs to be fused to a stronger base material, like metal. These types of crowns are opaque and typically used on back molars where they will need to withstand the pressure of chewing on a daily basis.
Designing a crown starts with a dental impression of your teeth at the initial crown “prep” appointment. If the tooth being crowned does not have enough existing structure for a crown to be effectively mounted, a crown build-up would also be necessary at the initial appointment. A crown or “core” build-up functions exactly as it sounds. Composite material is used to build up the existing tooth structure so a crown can be properly cemented. This ensures a solid fit so that the crown will be less likely to come loose and fall off.
At Mailloux Dentistry, patients will leave the initial appointment wearing a temporary crown made within the office. The impression models are sent out to a lab for a technician to manufacture the final crown. This process can take a few weeks but then the patient returns to the office for their “seat” appointment so the final crown can be permanently cemented. Dr. Mailloux has developed great working relationships with several area labs to ensure your crown is made with the highest quality materials and ultimate craftsmanship.
Crowns are often a necessary investment for your future oral health. If you think you may need a crown or have an existing crown that has come loose, please contact our office today at (616) 392-3717.