Dental Crowns Pasadena TX
When a tooth becomes compromised with problems such as extensive decay, a large filling, or a crack, it can often be saved by putting a crown on the tooth. A porcelain crown from Dr. Covell saves the tooth, returning strength, function, and aesthetic appearance.
What is a dental crown?
When you think of the word crown, you may think it just sits on the top of the damaged tooth. In reality, a crown covers what is called the “crown” of the tooth. That is the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. A crown is molded to match the original shape of the tooth, and because it covers the entire tooth it makes it strong again.
Since a crown will match the size of the original tooth, a portion of all sides and the top of the tooth are removed. The crown then fits over the shaved-down tooth and is permanently cemented onto it.
Crowns can be made of gold, composite resin, Zirconia, or porcelain. Due to their beautiful appearance and strength, Dr. Covell often uses Porcelain and Zirconia crowns.
Why Porcelain and Zirconia?
While you sometimes see gold crowns, especially if they were placed a couple decades back, Dr. Covell believes Porcelain and Zirconia are the best material for his crowns. Patients today like to have crowns that not only function well but look good. Porcelain and Zirconia meet the esthetic demands of patients and provide the strength necessary to withstand the extreme forces generated by chewing and biting. These materials look very much like natural tooth enamel. Both materials are semi-translucent, meaning that some light penetrates into the crown and some bounces back off. This quality is described as a “pearly sheen.”
What dental issues can be addressed with a crown?
When a tooth is in danger of needing to be extracted, the goal is to restore its strength and function. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons to cover serious imperfections. Plus, crowns are used as anchors for bridges. Here are the problems Dr. Covell covers with porcelain crowns and Zirconia:
- Severely decayed teeth
- Teeth with large fillings
- Chipped teeth
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Severely stained teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that have had a root canal
- The anchor teeth on both sides of a bridge
How does Dr. Covell place a crown on a tooth?
Crowns require two appointments:
- During your first appointment, Dr. Covell prepares the tooth. He removes any decay or otherwise damaged areas of the tooth, and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. The tooth is then shaved down on all sides and on the top to make room for the crown to overlay the tooth while maintaining the same overall size. We then take dental impressions and photographs of your teeth. These are sent to the dental lab for the fabrication of your crown. The lab not only will re-create the former shape of the natural tooth, but it will precisely match the color to the adjacent teeth. Fabrication usually takes around two weeks, and Dr. Covell places a temporary crown on your tooth to protect it in the meantime.
- Once your custom crown is finished, you return for your second appointment. Dr. Covell checks the crown’s fit and its match with your adjacent teeth. He may shave small bits off the crown if necessary. Once both you and Dr. Covell are satisfied, the crown is permanently cemented onto your tooth and you’re good to go.
Do crowns need special care?
In addition to their beautiful appearance and strength, crowns are great because they don’t require any special care. Brushing and flossing daily is all that’s needed.
How long will my crown last?
There is no set lifespan for a porcelain or Zirconia crown. The material will not decay, but the root of the tooth is still susceptible to decay. But good home hygiene and regular professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Covell will keep your crown healthy and happy for a long time.
Are there alternatives to getting a crown?
A crown can be thought of as the last best hope for a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Placing an overly large filling will likely crack the tooth. Large chips also compromise strength and function. If you don’t put a crown on a severely damaged tooth, the end result will most likely be extraction. If you choose that path, the missing tooth can be replaced with a dental implant or a bridge.