Do I need a dental crown?

Why do I need a crown?

Upper tooth that needs a crown.

Sometimes fillings are unsuitable to restore the broken or decayed tooth to its original size, shape, and strength. In this case a dental crown is used to replace and maintain the structural integrity of the tooth. Such “capping” restorations seal cracked teeth to prevent further damage, protect weak teeth, and conceal misshapen or discolored teeth.

The first photo shows all the problem areas.  The second photo shows the same tooth marked up with the visual problems I see. The good silver filling doesn’t have the dark shadows around the filling. Also I can see cracks or fractures on the tooth. And the filling is broken, a super highway for the bacteria to invade the tooth. The x-ray shows a dark area in between the teeth. This case hasn’t been completed yet. I’ll update the post when its done.

The arrows point to problems.

To ensure optimal crown placement, the dentist will reduce the width and height of the original tooth. An extremely accurate impression is then taken for use in constructing a mouth model upon which the crown or bridge is fabricated. In most dental offices the patient wears a temporary crown or bridge for several weeks (not in our office).  We use CEREC, a computer aided design software and the attached milling machine. Our crowns are completed (99% of the time) in one visit.

The permanent crown may be fashioned from one of three materials: porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to gold. While gold is employed only upon the patient’s request, porcelain provides the best aesthetic result. In a porcelain device fused to gold, the gold provides strength while the porcelain confers a more natural appearance. Unfortunately, the underlying gold increases the opacity and gray hue of the tooth. At Dr. Larson’s office we use all porcelain crowns the majority of the time.

Regardless of the material utilized, Dr. Larson considers the patient’s original tooth color, shape, length, and bite to create the most natural final appearance. The permanent crown confers strength and beauty to the patient’s original smile.

How long do crowns last?

The longevity of a crown requires flossing and brushing twice a day. Plaque removal under a bridge and where the gum meets a crown is essential to prevent gum disease and dental decay. A floss threader may facilitate this process. With the appropriate oral hygiene and regular dental appointments, a crown or bridge will last longer than the projected eight to eleven years.

A patient with a crown  should avoid chewing ice, hard foods, and fingernails to prevent damage or fracture. Grinding or clenching will eventually destroy either crowns or bridges.

Doug Larson, DDS
42 West Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008
408.374.6160

About the author

Doug Larson, DDS leads the team at The Smile Specialists in Campbell, California half way between Los Gatos and San Jose. The dental practice is a progressive cosmetic, restorative and preventative family dental practice. We provide our patients with the most comprehensive dentistry available in a comfortable state-of-the art facility, the planet can be proud of. Our services are designed to maintain the health of our patients’ teeth, improve their overall oral wellness and provide beautiful smiles. Our team works to empower patients with the knowledge necessary to make educated choices about their dental treatment options. We also understand that for many, a trip to the dentist can be a source of anxiety. We want to help you reduce that anxiety. Call and allow us to help.

Dentistry has transformed in recent years. We’ll give you an experience that will change your mind about going to the dentist and even make you feel good about coming back.

Video: How to Make a Front Tooth Blend Perfectly

The most difficult cosmetic assignment any dentist can undertake is the single crown placement in the front of the mouth. Use of an in-office staining and glazing oven allows the very best quality crown or veneer. Here’s a video of the steps required to achieve a great result. To see some of Dr. Larson’s cases click on this link.
Doug Larson, DDS
42 Campbell Avenue
Campbell, Ca 95008
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