A crown is a covering that will wrap and protect the entire surface of a tooth, allowing it to look and function just like the original tooth. Crowns work to strengthen the tooth while protecting the existing structure, extending the life of the tooth longer that it would be with a filling or another restoration.
Reasons for Choosing a Dental Crown
Dental crowns can correct a variety of problems that you might be experiencing with your teeth:
Types of Dental Crowns
There are three main types of dental crowns available, and we'll help you choose the right one for your mouth:
The all porcelain crown is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options we have available to us today. At Alder Family Dental we use the latest and most cosmetic porcelain for your smile situation. We use a more translucent, cosmetic porcelain for the front teeth which has a more transparent look much like natural teeth and can be tinted if needed to very closely match your existing teeth. We use the new zirconia porcelain crowns for the posterior (back) teeth for their extreme hardness and fracture resistance, but these can be less translucent in nature so not ideal for front teeth.
Gold crowns are extremely durable, and they are best suited for the back molars where they cannot be seen. Gold crowns are useful for people who clench or grind their teeth. Gold crowns tend to be most similar in hardness to your natural teeth, which will allow the tissue to quickly adapt to the restoration, and a minimal amount of your natural tooth structure will need to be removed to have the crown put into place. We use both Noble and High Noble gold in our crowns to minimize the potential for contamination and allergic reactions.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
This type of crown features a metal base with porcelain attached to the outside, making the restoration more attractive than an entirely metal option. If you want the durability of a gold crown but want your tooth to look as natural as possible, this can be a great option. Some risk does still exist regarding fracture in the porcelain, but in the event of a chip or break, it is usually just the outer porcelain that is damaged. Most bridges today are this type of restoration due to the strength needed across long spans of missing teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
For a dental crown, you can plan on having one or two appointments to complete the process at our office. Many of our all porcelain crowns are milled right here at Alder Family Dental with our state-of-the-art Glidewell IO milling machine. A crown requires about 50 minutes of time to create and mill. If you are a candidate for an all porcelain crown and you have the time, this might be a great option for you. We call this a “Same Day Crown Appointment” because you get your permanent crown the same day and no temporary or follow up appointment is needed. Otherwise, at your first visit, the tooth will be prepared by removing decay, and the surface will be shaped so it can fit the crown. We will take impressions of your teeth so your customized crown can be created, and you'll likely wear a temporary restoration while we wait a few weeks for your permanent crown to be fabricated at the dental laboratory. For the majority of our impressions, we use our digital iTero scanner which takes a 3-D photo of your tooth, bypassing the ‘goop’ that you may have previously experienced. We find patients prefer this method as it is faster, more accurate and minimizes gagging. In some cases, this digital impression will not work, and we do use traditional impressions as needed as well.
At your follow-up appointment, we'll remove your temporary crown and will carefully cement the permanent one in place. We'll also ensure proper bite and spacing.
After your appointment, we'll encourage you to follow up with us regularly. While proper daily oral hygiene is essential, you'll also need regular professional dental care and examinations to ensure that your crown remains in the best possible shape for its lifetime. Crowns can develop issues over time, and the sooner these breakdowns are recognized, the better chance we have of repairing or replacing them with minimal time, resources, and breakdown of tooth structure.
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Walla Walla, WA 99362-3057
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