Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.


Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth.

Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.

Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.

Procedures

A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.

Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.

Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.


Laser Use In Dentistry:

Most small cavities can be completed without numbing using a laser. The WaterlaseMD Laser can be used to numb the large majority of teeth by simply shining the low power laser light on the tooth. Then, at a higher setting, the laser can be used to get the cavity out of the tooth, or a regular dental drill can also be used. We have been using the laser in the office for 6 years now and nearly all the patients report the same when asked: "On a scale of 1-100, with 100 being very uncomfortable, how do you rate the laser just used?"

  • I didn't feel a thing, I rate it zero discomfort.

  • All I felt was some cold, maybe a two or a three.

  • I didn't feel a thing, this is great, no pain at all.

  • This is great, I really don't like being numbed up.

We have found that people do not like the feeling of being numb, and the laser is a great tool to get their small fillings done, pain-free without numbing.