Your teeth are composed of two main parts: the crown and root. The crown is the part visible above the gumline. The root is the part below the gumline, holding your tooth firmly in your jawbone. It’s fairly common for people to experience stains, unevenness, weakening, or decay of their crowns. When this happens, artificial crowns can be used to restore or strengthen them, returning your smile to something you can be proud of.

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What’s the Purpose of a Crown?

Crowns are like a permanent “cap” for your tooth, covering it entirely. They can be used on teeth that have cosmetic issues like stains and decay, as well as repairing chipped or broken teeth and protecting weak ones from breaking. If you need a bridge, a crown can be used to attach it.

Types of Crowns

There are four main types of crowns, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Ceramic
  • Gold alloy
  • Porcelain-fused to metal
  • Base metal alloys

Ceramic crowns are best for blending with the other teeth, generally making them the most aesthetically pleasing. Gold alloys and porcelain-fused to metal are strong crown options. Porcelain-fused to metal tends to blend better with the teeth than gold, but many people prefer the way gold alloys look in comparison.

crownsBase metal alloys are strong, resistant to corrosion, and require less of the tooth to be grinded down in preparation. However, metals may wear away the enamel on healthy teeth opposite the crowns.

A dentist will be able to make recommendations based on your unique needs and preferences.

How Crowns Are Placed

Crowns are generally placed over two dental visits. During the first visit, the dentist will examine the tooth to make sure it will hold a crown. Then it’s time to prepare the tooth, which may consist of filing it down or filling it.

Once the tooth is the proper shape and size, impressions are taken of it and the surrounding teeth so that the crown can be made to fit like a glove. The impressions are sent to the lab to create the crown, and a temporary crown holds its place until the final product is ready. This typically takes anywhere from a few days to a week.

During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is fixed to the tooth with adhesive. After this step, crowns usually won’t require any more dentistry to function like natural teeth. Crowns can last a lifetime if you properly care for them with a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and dental visits.

If you have any questions about crowns and how they may benefit you, schedule your consultation today.

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