Unfortunately most crowns delivered to patients look like crowns. It is our goal to deliver an undetectable, virtually invisible crown to our patients. Dr. Mengedoth has formed an alliance with the dental lab which fabricates his crowns for him specifically for this reason. The technicians are truly artists of their trade. With the use of digital photography and partnering with this group of professionals he attempts to deliver crowns that blend into the smile and are not detectable to the eye. The crowns should function and resemble the optimal natural beauty of what they are replacing.
A dental crown replaces the visible part of the tooth in the patient’s mouth. They are used when the tooth has gotten to a point in which doing other restorations will not be predictable in restoring the tooth. Crowns are made primarily from porcelain or porcelain fused to an underlying metal. These crowns can bring back the appearance of a new tooth.
How many visits does it take to get a crown? ⇓
Typically crowning a tooth or a group of teeth takes two visits to the dental office. The first visit is when the vast majority of the work is accomplished and is referred to as the preparation appointment. At this appointment the underlying decay, broken tooth structure, and failing filling materials are removed and a foundational filling is placed. Dr. Mengedoth will prepare the tooth by removing measured amounts of enamel and dentin. Precision and attention to detail is required when removing this uniform layer of tooth. A digital dental impression of the custom shape of the tooth is taken to transfer the information to the dental laboratory. Lastly a provisional or temporary crown is made by Dr. Mengedoth to protect the underlying tooth structure and insulate the tooth until the permanent custom crown is finished by the dental laboratory.
Most crowns fail due to lack of attention to detail in regards to properly shaping the tooth, and the fact that the individual characteristics of the patient’s bite have not been taken into consideration. This is where Dr. Mengedoth chooses to be different than most dentists. The average crown lasts only 5 to 7 years due to decay or fracture. If the bite is taken into consideration and all of the underlying subtleties are addressed prior to beginning the crown process, the predictability and longevity of the work will increase dramatically. This, along with attention to detail during the preparation process, increases crown life expectancy into decades with proper maintenance from the patient.
At the second appointment, we deliver the permanent custom crown by removing the provisional or temporary, and fitting the permanent crown. We then cement it to place and polish it for its final fit.
What are the benefits of crowns? ⇓
- Replaces severely broken teeth
- Affords a strong and predictable restoration
- Looks and functions like a real tooth
- Corrects functional bite problems
- Enhances the smile
What are indications which necessitate a crown? ⇓
Wear and tear, fracturing and breaking teeth, traumatic accidents, and bulk tooth loss, as well as esthetic variables are all reasons that teeth need crowns. The materials used for crowns are chosen after the patient and Dr. Mengedoth discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the most up to date materials. Gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal or ceramic copings are all options. Some of the materials are more esthetic in nature, and some are more functional in patients with heavy bites or bites which exhibit advancing wear.
Back teeth many times exhibit small cracks or craze lines in the enamel of the teeth. These can be a problem if the patients begin to notice pain upon chewing, or excessive sensitivity to temperature changes. These cracks often times occur in teeth previously restored with direct silver amalgam fillings. The cracks begin to leak and fluids move into and out of the cracks creating pain that is transmitted through the nerve or pulp of the tooth. Many times crowns are placed on these teeth due to their inherent durability and strength, as well as their ability to stop the tooth from flexing at the cracks and causing eventual uncontrolled breakage.
On the front teeth crowns are utilized to improve both esthetics and function. When teeth are cracked or have unsightly fillings, utilizing crowns will bring back the natural beauty of the smile. Crowns can also be used to slightly reposition teeth into a straight alignment and to close spaces between teeth. Porcelain crowns are used on front teeth to enhance smiles when more conservative restorations like veneers are not functionally appropriate.
Lastly, all teeth that have had root canal therapy will gradually desiccate or dry out over time. Many times the final recommendation for these types of teeth is to place a crown over them for strength.