Cosmetic Dentist in Bellevue dental crown

Porcelain Dental Crown

What is a Dental Crown?

What is a dental crown?  A crown, also called a “cap,” covers the entire tooth to give the tooth strength and protection to allow it be used to chew without risk of the tooth breaking.  Also called a full coverage restoration, a single crown or multiple units of a dental crown can be used to enhance the tooth’s function, appearance, and even your overall smile!

Why is a Dental Crown Needed?

Why is a crown needed?  If a tooth has a large fracture or chip, has a broken cusp, or if a tooth has large multiple surface filling that is breaking apart, a dental crown may be indicated.  In contrast dental fillings work best when they are small, and as such if a filling is too big, the tooth and filling may break.  A tooth that has had a root canal treatment may also require a dental crown, particularly if the root canal was done on a posterior molar or premolar due to heavy chewing forces on the back.  If a root canal was done a front tooth, many times a crown is not needed.

A crown is done to protect the entire tooth so no other parts of the tooth breaks.  The crown allows one to have adequate occlusion and function, and permits one to eat and chew with sufficient pressure on the tooth without having to risk tooth fracture, which may render the tooth needing a root canal or extraction.

Dental crowns are also done:

  • to correct mild orthodontic crowding when orthodontics is contraindicated
  • to correct a misaligned bite / occlusion
  • to improve the appearance of heavily intrinsic stained teeth teeth whitening is not able to resolve

How is a Dental Crown Made?

Crowns are usually made over the course of two weeks: the tooth is first shaped and a mold/impression done at the dental office, and a direct impression of the shaped tooth and opposing tooth is sent to a dental lab.  A temporary crown may also be fabricated in the office to help protect the tooth from bacterial exposure and to help prevent tooth movement.  When the permanent dental crown comes back from the lab, the dentist will make any adjustments needed to make sure there is a good fit before it is cemented on the tooth.

There are different type of crowns available, ranging from gold crowns to porcelain metal crowns to all full porcelain crowns.  Recent advances in porcelain dental technology are allowing us to create beautiful, strong, and natural looking crowns!

Your dentist will be able to explain to you the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of dental crowns, and help you choose one that is appropriate for you.

If you have any questions about dental bridges for your family dentist in Bellevue, contact us at (425) 614-1600 today!

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