We can usually restore small
cavities with fillings. However, when a large portion of your tooth has been
damaged by decay, we’ll need to remove a significant amount of the tooth in
order to remove all the decay. When a tooth loses much of its natural
structure, it also loses much of its support and strength. As a result, it can
easily fracture, or a portion of it can break away entirely.
A cracked or broken tooth allows
infection-causing bacteria into
the vulnerable inner layer of your tooth, called the pulp. The pulp is comprised of
soft tissue containing your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, and an
infection in this area can cause these tissues to die. Without its blood
supply, your tooth can become brittle and break more easily.
If this were to happen, we would need to perform root canal therapy to
eliminate the infection within your tooth’s pulp. Without this treatment,
the infection could easily spread to the root tips and into the surrounding
bone, causing a damaging, painful abscess.
A crown can
prevent these problems
A crown prevents these problems
by completely covering the portion of your tooth that extends above the gum
line. Crowns cover and protect your tooth, adding strength and stability and
restoring your tooth’s function and appearance.
Depending on where it will be
placed in your mouth, your crown may be made from metal, porcelain bonded to a
metal base, or entirely out of porcelain. Together, we’ll decide which kind of
crown is best for your situation.
It takes at least two
appointments to create a crown, because it’s custom-made to precisely fit your
tooth. First, we’ll prepare the tooth, and then we’ll take an impression. Using
this impression, a model of your mouth is created; your crown is fabricated on
this model. You’ll wear a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared
tooth while your custom crown is being fabricated.