Dental crowns are essentially caps that are placed over the entire tooth in order to strengthen it and make the tooth look naturally beautiful again.
Crowns Are Effective At:
- Restoring broken or breaking teeth
- Protecting a weak tooth
- Holding a dental bridge in place
- Covering an implant
- Covering cosmetic imperfections such as discoloration or misshapen teeth
Many different materials are available for crowns. Dr. Pappas takes into consideration the location, function, position and color of tooth when helping you decide on the best material for your unique situation.
Caring for your crown is easy. Simply continue brushing and flossing twice a day and keep up with your twice a year visits to us here at Arcadia Dental Arts. It’s also best to avoid eating or chewing on hard objects like ice to keep your crown in good shape.
CEREC: Dental Crowns In Just One Visit
The traditional treatment plan for dental crowns requires two visits to the office. The first visit involves taking an impression of the tooth and preparing it for the permanent crown that will be made by a dental lab in about two weeks’ time.
The CEREC, or ceramic reconstruction unit, uses virtual imaging to construct the crown in just one visit. This completely eliminates the need to take physical impressions, as well. Thanks to Dr. Pappas’ investment in the latest technology, custom made crowns can be created while you wait so you don’t have to come back for a second visit.
If you’re suffering from a damaged tooth, call our office at 602.957.9643 and find out how a dental crown can help you repair and restore it in as little as one visit.
What Is A Dental Crown?
When it comes to a tooth, you can think of it as two parts, the root and the crown. The root is anchored into the jawbone and is covered by the gums. The visible upper portion of the tooth is called the clinical crown. An artificial restoration that covers the entire clinical crown is called a dental crown.
If you’re a little older, you may have heard crowns referred to as “caps.” This was a term used frequently when crowns were made predominantly of gold. The term probably came from the way a crown fits over the top of the tooth, like a cap. But unlike a cap, a crown fits over the entire visible portion of the tooth down to the gumline. It restores the original size and shape of the natural tooth, plus it returns strength to the tooth and eliminates the need for extraction.
What Is A CEREC Crown?
At Arcadia Dental Arts, Dr. Pappas makes a point of staying on the forefront of dental technology. To that end, he added in-house design and milling capabilities in the CEREC® system, which allows us to make our own porcelain crowns and inlays and onlays. These restorations usually need to be created at an off-site dental lab.
CEREC® stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The system was developed to enable practices to design and create porcelain crowns right in the office, without the delay and extra appointment needed by having a dental lab fabricate the practice’s crowns.
Beyond its sophistication, we love our CEREC® system at Arcadia because it allows us to place crowns and inlay/onlays in a single appointment. No need to send these prosthetics out to a dental lab and make our patients return for a second appointment. Plus, there’s no two-week delay when awaiting fabrication where a temporary crown needs to be placed on the tooth.
How Is A CEREC Crown Produced?
At Arcadia Dental Arts, we prepare your tooth for the crown in the same way as with a traditional crown. It is shaved down on all sides and on the top. This makes room for the crown to completely cover the natural tooth down to the gumline. Various measurements and images are then taken of the tooth. In other practices, goopy impressions would be made, and these would be sent to the lab to make the crown. Instead, Dr. Pappas only needs the data, no impressions required, which he then sends directly to his CEREC® 3D system. The system software allows him to create a three-dimensional design of your crown right in the office. Once his design is finished, he can share it with you for final approval.
Once the design is finalized, Dr. Pappas simply sends the design parameters directly to the CEREC® milling station. The milling station takes a small block of solid dental porcelain and mills it to the precise specs of Dr. Pappas’s design. This milling usually takes around 30 minutes.
When the custom CEREC® crown is finished, Dr. Pappas checks the color match with your adjacent teeth. Then he places the crown on your tooth temporarily so you can test the fit. Once both of you are satisfied, he cements it onto your tooth and your once-endangered tooth now sports a sparkling new porcelain crown and is ready for biting and chewing. This is all done in a single appointment!
Can Crowns Be Whitened?
Only natural tooth enamel responds to hydrogen peroxide whitening agents. Our CEREC® crowns are made from dental porcelain, so they cannot be whitened. Neither can other crowns made from composite resin. But porcelain crowns are highly stain-resistant — odds are your natural teeth will need to be whitened to bring them back to match the crowned tooth.
How Long Do CEREC Crowns Last?
The lifespan of a CEREC® crown isn’t any different than a dental lab crown. The lifespan often depends on the home hygiene of the patient. Porcelain doesn’t decay, but that doesn’t mean the tooth under the crown can’t decay. Also, if the patient practices bad habits such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, and the like, the lifespan of a crown can be greatly diminished. But with the proper hygiene and respect, our high-quality CEREC® porcelain crowns can last for decades.
How Do I Care For My Dental Crown?
Crowns don’t require any special care; you simply brush twice daily for two minutes and floss once. When flossing you want to take a quick extra step for your crown. When flossing the crowned tooth, you will move the floss under the crown lightly on both sides to clean the gum surface and remove any food particles that may have gotten under the crown bottom. This takes just a few seconds.