When a tooth is cracked, decayed, or severely damaged, Dr. Almaawi may recommend a crown. Crowns or caps are designed in the shape of your tooth to protect and cover your remaining tooth structure. Crowns are favored because of the versatility, strength and stability they provide.
Crowns are typically made from superior materials such as zirconium, porcelain, precious metals like gold and semi-precious metals or a combination of metal fused to porcelain. Which material is best will depend on the clinical situation – the functional and esthetic requirements of each particular case.
Key Benefits of Dental Crowns
- Replaces missing teeth.
- Offers support to misshapen teeth or badly broken teeth.
- Looks completely natural.
- Fixes “smile” and functional chewing problems.
Porcelain crowns can brighten, reshape and realign existing teeth, enhancing the health and attractiveness of your smile. Since they restore proper occlusal pressure (the natural tension or pushing force between teeth), crowns and bridges can also help improve bite correction.
The application process for a crown takes two appointments although usually only takes one appointment when a CEREC crown is recommended. During your initial visit your dentist anesthetizes your tooth and, if necessary, painlessly removes all local decay. Your tooth is sculpted to create an ideal fit, then an impression is taken to be sent to the ceramist. During this interim period between when your impressions are taken and when our lab returns your fabricated crowns, Almaawi fits you with a temporary crown made of acrylic resin. During your second visit they will remove your temporary and bond the permanent crown into your mouth.
A porcelain crown should last at least five years. With proper care, however, its lifespan could be measured in decades and could even last a lifetime. The most important things you can do to help it last that long are to keep it well cleaned with brushing and flossing, and have it checked regularly.
CEREC – One Process Crowns
Dr. Almaawi will prepare the tooth, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue as she would do for a porcelain crown. The tooth will be coated with a nontoxic, tasteless powder. An Optical Impression of the prepared tooth is then taken. This whole Optical Impression process only takes a minute or two. This picture is used instead of a traditional impression. This means no impression tray and material for you to gag on.
The computer and CEREC 3D software converts the digital picture to a three dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. Dr. Almaawi then uses her dental expertise to design your restoration right on screen using the CEREC 3D computer while you wait (and watch!). This software can assist your dentist with designing any single tooth restoration: crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and veneers. Once your dentist has designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), he or she clicks a button, and the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit.
A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling unit. About 10 20 minutes later, your allceramic, toothcolored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, Dr. Almaawi tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no temporary or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment!