Wellington Aurora Dental - Dental Crowns


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300 Wellington Street East, Aurora, ON L4G 1J5 I (905) 727-7043

Dental Crowns

Do you have a large cavity that is too big for a filling? Have you recently completed a root canal? Is your tooth severely worn down, cracked, or weakened? Perhaps you wanted to have porcelain veneer replace a discoloured tooth, but it wasn't the best choice for you. A dental crown or dental onlay may be an excellent solution depending on your tooth's needs.

What is a dental Crown?

A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that covers the entirety or the chewing surface of the tooth. It's primary role is to hold tooth fragments together to prevent the tooth from fracturing or disintegrating.

Who is an ideal candidate for a dental crown?

Sometimes a tooth becomes seriously damaged. The tooth may have lost it's structure due to chemical or physical erosion or a root canal treatment could have resulted in a fracture or extensive decay. In these instances, a dental crown may be fabricated to protect against further disintegration as well as to help restore the tooth's shape, form, and function.

What are the different types of dental crowns?

Dental crowns are designed and fabricated in many different ways. A dental crown's design and structural requirements are based on the extent of the damage to the tooth and the nature of the "etiology" (the cause of the damage to the tooth).

There are two different types of restorations used to cover a compromised tooth: a traditional dental crown and a partial crown (sometimes referred to as "dental onlay"). The tooth's conditions determines the appropriate dental crown solution, however as dental techniques and materials evolve, partial crowns or dental onlays are often preferred as they focus on the preservation of the existing tooth.

Traditional Dental Crown

Depending on the tooth's requirements, a traditional dental crown may be designed to cover the entire tooth, much like a helmet. Refer to Example A.

Partial Crown or Dental Onlay

In some instances only a select area of the tooth is affected and a partial crown or dental onlay is recommended to cover part of the tooth. Refer to Example B.

How is a dental crown fabricated?

Just as there are many ways of designing dental restorations, dental crowns, partial crowns (or onlays) may be fabricated from a variety of different materials.

Traditionally, the majority of dental restorations were made in gold or full metal alloys. Depending on the specific requirements of the individual, we still use these materials on occasion. Gold or full metal alloys are still considered the "gold standard" of dental restortions, however it is important to note that these materials do have some shortcomings which has resulted in the use of newer materials.

Some crowns are made by overlaying a layer of porcelain on a metal substructure. These are called a porcelain fused to metal restoration. This method leverages the benefits of gold dental crown restorations while providing patients with an aesthetic restorative solution. The combination of porcelain and metal substructure dental crowns are particularly beneficial when crowns are in a highly visible area of the mouth.

Over the last decade or so, there has been significant improvement in the qualities of dental ceramics. The majority of dental restorations are ceramic restorations. Chemically bonded to the enamel and dentin surfaces of the tooth, ceramic restorations restore the missing or compromised tooth structure without unnecessarily removing any additional tooth structure. A variety of ceramic materials are used including Emax or Zirconium and even traditional water and powder porcelains.

Which dental crown material is recommended?

All dental crown materials have pros and cons. No material is a clear, superior choice. Depending on a tooth's requirements, we will determine the best material suited for the patient's particular needs.

What does a dental crown procedure involve?

A dental crown procedure involves tooth preparation including some removal of tooth structure and possibly a build up of any compromised tooth structure that the dental crown will cover. The substructure restoration that is occasionally completed for a dental crown is called a CORE restoration or a CORE build up.

Once the preparation for the dental crown is completed, an impression (digital or analog) is performed in order to communicate the shape and form of the tooth to the dental laboratory.

The dental laboratory then fabricates the dental crown based on the design and structural requirements indicated by the dentist. The fabrication process may take a few days to complete.

What are the stages of a dental crown treatment?

Appointment 1: Preparation and Impression

Dr. Pasha prepares the tooth and takes an impression for the fabrication of the dental crown. This includes some removal of tooth structure if it is indicated for that particular case as well as a possible build up of any compromised tooth structure that the dental crown will cover. Once the preparation for the dental crown is completed an impression (digital or analog) is performed in order to communicate the shape and form of the tooth to the dental laboratory.

Once the impression is made, a temporary dental crown is placed on the tooth to protect of the underlying tooth structure.

Appointment 2: Dental Crown Insertion

Once the crown is fabricated and ready, an insertion appointment is scheduled where the temporary crown is removed and the final one is tried in to evaluate the fit and comfort. Once all parts of the crown are evaluated and a proper fit is confirmed, the crown is permanently bonded to the tooth structure.

How should I take care of my dental crown?

Careful attention to your dental crown can help prolong it's life. Here are a few tips to help:
  1. Brushing and Flossing

    Careful brushing at least twice a day, along with flossing daily can help keep all of your teeth (including the dental crown!) in great shape.

  2. Avoid hard foods

    Try to avoid chewing on ice of other hard foods which could result in your dental crown to crack, especially if you have a porcelain crown.

  3. Wear a night guard

    This is particularly recommended if you grind of clench your teeth at night. A night guard will help ensure your dental crown and surrounding teeth are protected.

How should I care for my temporary dental crown?

It is important to practice gentle care with a temporary crown as the adhesive is only meant to be a temporary solution until the final dental crown is ready for insertion. Brush as usual but be extra gentle on the dental crown. When flossing, try to pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown rather than snapping the floss back upward which could inadvertently dislodge the crown. If your temporary crown breaks while you're waiting for the permanent one, please contact Dr. Pasha so he can reattach it or make a new one for you.

How long do dental crowns last?

The longevity of a dental crown depends on many factors including:
  1. The health and structural stability of the tooth when the crown is being placed. This is usually discussed with the patient and the long-term prognosis of the tooth itself.
  2. The presence of sufficient enamel /tooth structure for the crown or onlay to bond to.
  3. Absence or presence of periodontal disease.
  4. Amount of force being applied to the tooth while in use.
  5. Oral hygiene and maintenance after the insertion of the crown.
Under ideal circumstances, you can expect a dental crown to last anywhere from 10-20 years but this is highly variable upon the specifics of each individual tooth.
If you have a chipped or broken tooth, talk to Dr. Pasha Nasirzadeh about your options.


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