What is a porcelain dental crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn't enough of the tooth remaining, attach to a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
How do you place a crown?
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums are made and sent off to the lab for the crown to be made. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, Dr. Bartolome removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.
Why would someone want or need a porcelain crown?
Some restorations are designed with a metal lining and covered with porcelain (porcelain- fused-to-metal or PFM). At one point in time, most restorations were made this way. When placed, they usually look opaque or "flat" because they do not let light pass through like a natural tooth. There is often a tell-tale dark line next to the gum-line that is undesirable (often the darkness invades the adjacent gum tissue as an adverse reaction). Despite these drawbacks, a PFM crown can be used when necessary and can be made to look very nice by an experienced dentist and an experienced, quality oriented, cosmetic dental laboratory such as the one used by our office.
When possible, though, All-porcelain restorations are what we chose to use unless there is a reason to use something else. When properly seated, they are as strong as or stronger than their metal predecessor. Their appearance can be identical to a natural tooth, allowing light to pass through (referred to as translucency).
What can I expect on my first visit for the crown procedure visit?
As soon as you are seated, we will numb the area to be treated using a local anesthetic. Once the appropriate area is numb, Dr. Swearingen will prepare the tooth to maximize the function, retention, and aesthetics of your new crown. After the tooth is fully prepared, we take an impression in order to provide the lab a model of your prepared tooth. They use this model to custom-fabricate your crown. A temporary crown is then made and temporarily cemented in place while the permanent crown is being made.
Should you experience any discomfort you can take a mild analgesic (Tylenol, Advil, or aspirin, etc.) as long as there is no medical contraindication based upon your medical history. Typically, you can take anything you would normally take for a headache. If the discomfort persists, please call our office and we will get you in to see Dr. Swearingen as soon as possible.
Cosmetic and General Dentistry