Over time, our teeth become weaker and more susceptible to decay, cracks, discoloration, and damage. When one of these problems cannot be corrected with a filling or bonding, a crown might be the best choice. Crowns are composed of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or gold, and they can help repair broken or fractured teeth and prevent further tooth damage. At Gentle Care Dentistry, we can also use CEREC, a state-of-the-art machine, to build custom dental restorations from a three-dimensional digital image of the targeted tooth. Your dentist will evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine the ideal approach to give you excellent dental health and a stunning smile.
The Advantages of Crowns
Tooth decay and dental trauma can weaken the teeth, leaving them vulnerable to severe complications. A crown is a durable covering that protects weak teeth from breakage and infection. Additionally, a crown restores the functionality of the teeth and produces an aesthetically pleasing improvement.
Missing a tooth can cause the rest of the teeth to shift, which can result in uncomfortable or unsightly consequences. When a patient has lost one or multiple adult teeth, a bridge can be placed to fill the space. Crowns are used to permanently attach the false tooth to two existing teeth, providing structure to the jawbone.
While we do work with a dental lab that fabricates restorations for our patients, your dentist at Gentle Care Dentistry can also create crowns using CEREC 3D technology. Rather than having to complete the process over multiple appointments, CEREC allows your dentist to give you a customized crown in a single visit.
CEREC 3D Technology
At Gentle Care Dentistry, your dentist can use CEREC 3D technology to create your full crowns, partial crowns (onlays/inlays), and veneers during one appointment. First, all areas of decay are removed from the tooth, and it is carefully reshaped. A three-dimensional digital photograph is taken, and the crown is milled. After the restoration is crafted, it is placed during the same appointment. For patients needing a partial crown, CEREC/CAD-CAM technology and modern crown materials allow us to prepare teeth more conservatively and place a restoration that will yield the same long-lasting results as a full crown without as much drilling or tooth reduction.
The process of installing a crown takes a couple of visits to your dentist. During your first visit, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort. Next, your dentist will file and reshape the affected tooth to accommodate the restoration and take a mold of the area. The impression will be taken to a dental laboratory to create a new, customized crown. Before you leave the office, your dentist will attach a temporary cap to your tooth, which will last until the permanent crown is ready. Two to three weeks later, your dentist will place the permanent crown.
Depending on the extent of corrosion or damage, your dentist may recommend a partial crown, also known as an onlay or inlay, to strengthen and restore your tooth. After removing the area of decay, our dentists use our state-of-the-art CEREC/CAD-CAM technology to create and place a long-lasting restoration during your same-day appointment.
Porcelain crowns are color-matched to blend in with your natural teeth and produce a visually pleasing improvement. You can eat normally after a permanent restoration is attached to your tooth, but you must be careful not to eat hard foods with a temporary crown. Crowns are durable and can usually last many years. Gentle Care Dentistry offers a 5-year, no-questions-asked guarantee on all crowns we place as long as the patient comes in for routine checkups.
You should brush and floss them the same way you care for your natural teeth to prevent any complications. Visiting your dentist twice a year can also help to ensure that you maintain optimal oral health for years to come. As long as you keep up with routine checkups and fluoride treatments, Gentle Care Dentistry will correct any problems with your crown for up to five years following the initial procedure.
Because the treatment area is prepared with local anesthesia, the crown process should be painless. However, following the procedure some patients experience mild discomfort that can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
At Gentle Care Dentistry, we accept several forms of payment, including cash, credit, and checks. Qualifying patients may also set up a flexible payment plan. You can discover your financing options by discussing your needs with our experienced financial coordinator.
Frequently Asked Questions
What material is used in CEREC crowns?
CEREC creates crowns composed of compressed porcelain, zirconium, or e.max® (lithium disilicate). For a custom fit and natural improvement, your dentist will finish, polish, stain, and glaze the restoration so that it mimics the appearance your natural teeth.
Can my child get a porcelain crown at Gentle Care Dentistry?
We give children stainless steel crowns because the baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced with a new, permanent tooth. However, if the tooth that requires a crown is permanent, your child may qualify for a porcelain crown.
What can I expect during my first visit to Gentle Care Dentistry?
At Gentle Care Dentistry, we will discuss your medical history as well as any concerns you have about your oral health. You may print and complete the necessary new patient forms ahead of time and bring them to your appointment. We also offer online scheduling so you can set your dental visits from the comfort of your home.