A dental crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Gold crowns have been made for decades and have been very successful. They are cast in one layer and therefore are totally resistant to fracture. With gold being relatively soft, there is little stress put on opposing teeth during chewing. Obviously the major drawback with a gold crown is its appearance. Most people want natural looking restoration. However on a back tooth or with a patient who is not concerned with esthetics, a gold crown is the best restoration.
Porcelain (tooth colored) crowns are the most popular choice. They are very durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Unlike gold crowns, which are made entirely in one piece, porcelain crowns are generally made in layers. During hard chewing or grinding these layers can come apart leaving a fractured crown. This will require eventual replacement of the crown. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
All-porcelain crowns are not made in layers so they are much less likely to fracture during use. Their appearance is not quite as good as standard porcelain crowns but can be used often on back teeth where esthetics are not quite as important for people who donít want gold crowns.
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A temporary crown will be made which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated.
While the tooth is numb, Dr. Cox will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite is accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.