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When is a dental crown necessary?

Friday, November 25th, 2016

dental crowns ChicagoHas your dentist recommended dental crowns to enhance your smile or restore your teeth? Are you wondering if a crown is necessary? When a crown is recommended to restore a damaged or diseased tooth, it is a necessity. Having a crown placed over a damaged tooth will allow patients to retain biological tooth structure and protect a tooth from becoming critically diseased. In these instances, a crown can prevent the need for extraction and the development of an abscess. Dental crowns have cosmetic protocols as well. They can be used to improve the appearance of worn, jagged, diseased, and stained teeth. If a crown is recommended for cosmetic reasons only, it may not be necessary but beneficial nonetheless.

What are dental crowns, exactly?

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit over a tooth like a cap. When a crown is placed, it will cover all around a tooth’s structure that is visible above the gums. A crown is hollowed out on the inside to accommodate the biological tooth. It is permanently bonded to a tooth so that it can provide a sturdy surface for oral function.

What makes up a dental crown?

A few different materials can be used for fabricating crowns. Most common are metals like gold or silver, which are very durable—especially for the back teeth. Although metals are durable, they are noticeable. There are more natural looking alternatives available such as all porcelain and porcelain fused to metal. Crowns made from porcelain closely resemble natural tooth structure so that patients can enjoy a restoration that doesn’t affect the aesthetics of their smile.

Why are dental crowns custom made?

Dental crowns are custom made because people’s teeth and mouths are different sizes. Since a crown must fit over an entire tooth, it must be made to very exact measurements. Not only should a crown rebuild a tooth to its rightful size, it should fit between teeth for optimal oral function. Dental crowns are made by trained technicians in laboratory settings to ensure that our patients receive high quality and long lasting restorations.

Call our office today to reserve a checkup or consultation with one of our skilled dentists.



When is a dental crown recommended?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

dental crowns ChicagoDental crowns can be used to preserve significantly damaged teeth or as a measure of protection for teeth that may be vulnerable to breakage. This valuable restoration can help patients save a biological tooth rather than have it extracted.

Sometimes a crown is too severely compromised to be restored by a more conservative measure like a filling. In these cases, tooth-shaped caps made of materials that replicate the appearance of natural enamel can be placed atop a tooth to restore the smile’s appearance and protect the tooth from further damage.

Additionally, dental crowns are placed after root canals, as the treated tooth is more susceptible to breakage after that procedure. The dental crown helps to prevent that outcome.

Your dentist can advise you about the most appropriate restoration for your particular issue. If you do decide to pursue a crown, the treatment timeline will likely be just a few weeks. At an initial appointment, the dentist will gather information about your tooth and may take photos, X-rays or dental impressions to be used in the design of the crown.

The tooth will also need to be prepped prior to crown placement, and this may take place at that first appointment as well. A thin layer of enamel must be removed from the crown in order to create enough room for the restoration. The patient can be fitted with a temporary crown to maintain the smile’s appearance until the permanent crown is ready, if desired.

That information is then relayed to the dental lab responsible for creating your crown. When it is ready – usually just a few weeks later – the patient returns to the office to have it bonded to the tooth.

When you take good care of a crown, it can last for many years. If anything happens to the crown, come to our office to be examined and determine the next steps.

If you think you may benefit from a dental crown, contact our team at Ora Dental Studio to schedule a consultation and learn more about this option.



What happens to a cracked tooth after it has been crowned?

Friday, March 25th, 2016

dental crowns ChicagoDental crowns can help patients preserve a cracked tooth and avoid having it extracted, which is almost always preferable to replacing a missing tooth with a prosthetic version. Here is an overview of how this treatment process works.

If you suffered some sort of injury that has severely damaged your tooth, your dentist may recommend that you consider a dental crown, a tooth-shaped cap made of metal, porcelain or composite materials. That crown offers a layer of protection to the tooth. Dental crowns can be used to repair damage too extensive to be addressed by a filling, and they are placed after a root canal for this purpose, as well. 

In order to prepare your tooth for placement of the crown, your dentist may first need to remove a thin layer of enamel to create room for the crown. You may also need to get a dental impression and/or have photos taken of your tooth in order for the crown to be designed.

It can take a few weeks for the crown to be ready for placement, so you may be fitted with a temporary crown while you await the permanent one. When the final crown is ready, you’ll return to the office to have it placed.

Patients can have significant input into the appearance of your crown. The porcelain and composite materials can be tailored to closely match the shade of your natural teeth so that the crown does not stand out. Further adjustments can be made before the crown is bonded to the tooth, but no changes are possible after that, so be sure that you are satisfied before the crown is placed.

After the crown is in place, it should protect your tooth from bacteria and other undesirable elements that could infiltrate the exposed inner core, as a result. Dental crowns can protect fractured teeth against abscesses and infections that can access the bloodstream and spread elsewhere in the body.

Don’t despair that you’ll need to have a cracked tooth removed and replaced. Schedule an evaluation at one of our Ora Dental Studio locations to see if a dental crown might help you save the affected tooth.



What are my options for replacing a metal-based crown?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

dental crowns ChicagoDental crowns are a wonderful restoration for restoring badly damaged and diseased teeth. These restorations fit over the entire tooth above the gums and protect it from future damage. Without crowns, patients’ damaged teeth would eventually fail and require extraction. The protection afforded by a crown, however, can prevent a tooth from failing or the need for its removal. Today, patients have more options than ever before when it comes to the materials used to fabricate a crown. One of the most popular options is porcelain. This high-quality ceramic comes in a number of white shades that can be matched to the color of existing tooth structure. Porcelain crowns are as durable as they are beautiful. Our dentists can even remove old, conspicuous restorations and replace them with porcelain crowns to improve the aesthetic appeal of a smile.

Why are crowns necessary?

The reason restorations are necessary is because once the enamel layer of teeth is damaged, the tooth’s interior structures cannot ward off bacteria that cause decay and can even chip or crack under pressure. Once a tooth is damaged at this level, it cannot repair itself and the damage will only worsen with every day oral function and exposure to bacteria. Dental crowns are needed to prevent structural damage from worsening and decay from deepening. With a crown, a patient’s tooth and his or her occlusion is restored.

A crown is a cap that is cemented over the tooth. It is custom made so that is properly fits over a tooth, between neighboring teeth, and does not protrude too much to affect a patient’s bite.

What are the benefits of porcelain crowns?

Porcelain crowns make for beautiful and very lifelike restorations—especially when compared to their all-metal predecessors. Since this material reflects light, it has a very tooth-like luster. If you receive a porcelain crown or have a metal one replaced with porcelain, you will enjoy a restoration that is so natural others won’t be able to tell that you have had dental work done.

To learn more about restorations, call our practice to schedule an appointment.



Will I need a dental crown after root canal treatment?

Friday, September 4th, 2015

dental crowns ChicagoWhile teeth are very strong, they are not indestructible. Teeth are unlike other parts of the body in the sense that they cannot regenerate new tissue like a tendon or bone can. When a tooth becomes damaged by a crack, fracture, or an infection, it must be professionally repaired and restored by a dentist. Sometimes, root canal treatment is necessary if oral bacteria infect the inside of a tooth. Treating an infected root canal literally saves a tooth from having to be surgically removed. Since root canal treatment typically accompanies significant damage, dental crowns are often placed after treatment to preserve a tooth’s structure and restore oral function. Following are some helpful facts about dental crowns and root canal therapy.

What is the root canal?

The root canal is a hollowed area deep inside the tooth where the nerve endings come out. This part of the tooth also contains dental pulp (cellular material). In a healthy tooth, the root canal is protected by the outer layers of teeth—the dentin and tooth enamel—from harmful oral bacteria and debris from food and beverages.

What is root canal therapy?

In simple terms, root canal therapy is a procedure that treats the inside of an infected tooth. Since an infected root canal typically produces great discomfort, the nerve and pulp is removed. Removing the nerve and pulp will prevent the infection killing the tooth as well.

Why are dental crowns necessary after root canal treatment?

Compared to fillings, dental crowns are a more extensive restoration. Like a cap, a crown will cover the entire visible structure of a tooth. If the exterior of a tooth has been damaged by a deep cavity or crack, a crown is used to hold the tooth together and prevent its structure from further deterioration. These custom made restorations can be constructed from lifelike white materials or metals.

To learn more about dental crowns or to schedule a visit with one of our specialists, contact Ora Dental Studio today.



Protect and Strengthen Teeth with Dental Crowns

Friday, April 11th, 2014

dental crowns chicagoDental crowns provide the best solution to repair teeth suffering from excessive dental decay, broken teeth, and to complete treatment following a root canal. Crowns allow the patient to save teeth that may have otherwise been lost without the ability to “cap” the injured tooth.

When a tooth has incurred dental decay, the process of drilling out the decay and filling with a restorative material can weaken the tooth. The tooth can generally support an initial filling, but if the tooth is subjected to additional trauma or decay, the result may be a break. 

Crowns allow the patient to save teeth that may have otherwise been lost without the ability to “cap” the injured tooth.

If this does occur, the best option is to save the base of the tooth and cover it with a restoration that looks and will function identically to the tooth it repairs. At this point, the original tooth is covered with a material that is strong enough to support chewing and speaking while protecting the core of the biological tooth.

The result is a functional tooth that looks just like the surrounding teeth making this repair virtually undetectable.

When the root of a tooth becomes infected through decay or trauma, the goal is to do whatever is possible to save the tooth. Quite often, endodontic therapy will do just that. This procedure involves drilling an access point to the roots of the tooth to remove the contents of the root canals. When completed, the tooth may be treated further in an effort to heal infection to prevent an abscess from occurring.

Once the dentist is confident the infection has been sufficiently treated, the tooth must be sealed. In the case of anterior teeth, it may be possible to seal the tooth with composite resin. However, when dealing with posterior teeth, the usual solution is to complete treatment with a dental crown.

The nerve and tissues have been removed from the tooth, so the likelihood of retreatment for that tooth is minimal so sealing the tooth with the permanent restoration of a crown is the optimum final step.

Once a dental crown has been placed, caring for the restoration is much like caring for your natural teeth. Your dentist will demonstrate the best way to floss around a dental crown, but brushing like usual with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel is recommended.

Your crown will provide many years of protection and in many cases can last a lifetime, contact our office at 312-328-9000 to learn more about dental crowns today.



Dental Crowns: How long is the process?

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Placing crowns is a common restorative dental procedure that helps save damaged and decayed teeth from extraction. Dental crowns take a conservative approach to restoring your oral health. When teeth become worn down from decay, wear and tear, and damage from facial injuries, your dentist may recommend a crown to restore the shape and size of your teeth.  When teeth become severely damaged or worn, a crown also restores a patient’s bite to protect teeth from future wear and tear.  

Dental crowns take a conservative approach to restoring your oral health.

A crown is made in a dental laboratory to precisely fit over your existing tooth. Unlike a filling, which only repairs a portion of the tooth, a crown is like a cap that covers the entire tooth above the gum line. They can be crafted from an array of materials including metals and high quality ceramics.

When your dentist determines that you are in need of a crown, your tooth will be cleaned and prepared for placement. In some cases, your tooth may require root canal therapy prior to the placement of the crown so that all of the infection is cleared away. Once the decay and damaged portions of the tooth are removed, your dentist will then take impressions of your remaining tooth and surrounding teeth. These impressions will be used by dental laboratory technicians to build your custom-made crown. Because a crown is made specifically for you, the process will take a few weeks. However, while you are waiting for your permanent crown, you will be provided a temporary one so that you can eat properly.

Once your crown is ready and sent to our dental office, you will return for a second appointment where the permanent, custom crown is placed. At this point, the crown will be bonded to your tooth. In just two office visits, you will leave our practice with your custom restoration and renewed tooth function. With proper care and routine checkups and cleanings, your restoration will last for years.

To learn more about dental crowns, contact Ora Dental Studio at 312-491-9494 to schedule your consultation.



How well will I be able to eat with a dental crown?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Crowning or capping your tooth is among the very best ways to add strength and beauty to your smile. By creating customized dental crowns for your natural teeth, your dentist can literally reconstruct a tooth that would otherwise be too weak to be of any use. This includes teeth that are worn down, patched together with old fillings, broken, decayed, or potentially brittle due to a root canal procedure. The indications for a crown would also include a tooth that requires a substantial cosmetic improvement.

According to professional recommendation of your dentist, with consideration to your personal preferences, a dental crown can be fabricated from porcelain, white gold, or a combination of both. The procedure will typically require two dental visits to complete, and it is the preferred treatment choice under the following circumstances:

  • When it is necessary to recreate the natural anatomy of your teeth due to severe wear, breakage, or extensive cavities.
  • To provide protection and strength to weak teeth due to root canal therapy or a filling that is excessively large.
  • A new crown can be used to replace an old crown that has been found to be defective, broken, or unattractive.

Crowns are designed and then constructed with a fascinating combination of precision, science, and artistry. The ultimate goal is to deliver a crown that will perform all the same functions that would be performed by a natural tooth. For the dental patient, this means that the finished product will look real and feel real, too. The crown will not interfere with your comfort or confidence during meals.

Chewing your favorite foods is an important part of your life, and a dental crown will enhance that experience immediately. In fact, the crown is permanently cemented onto your real tooth, preserving the whole tooth root and the surrounding bone. As you chew, you will feel the complete strength and stability of a normal tooth.

Eat what you like, but remember to treat your smile with respect. Resist the urge to bite directly into very hard foods and don’t chew ice.

To learn more about dental crowns, contact ORA Dental Studio and schedule an appointment today.



How Dental Crowns Can Help Restore Teeth

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

There are several circumstances where dental crowns are the ideal treatment to give the patient the best chance to save their tooth:

  • Dental decay – When a tooth has been repaired due to decay, subsequent fillings could do more harm than good. At this point a crown, onlay, or inlay may be the best course of action.
  • Cracked/broken tooth – If a tooth sustains a crack or break, the tooth can be saved by protecting it with a crown.
  • Endodontic therapy – When infection is present, a tooth may require a root canal to relieve discomfort and prevent an abscess from forming. After this treatment, quite often a crown is the final step as a means to seal the opening created to remove the nerve from the tooth.
  • Fixed denture – When tooth loss does occur, patients that request a denture that is permanently affixed require the denture be anchored by placing crowns on the abutment teeth that hold the denture in place.
  • Dental implants – Another form of restoring one or more missing teeth is with implants. A dental crown is permanently placed over the implant at the conclusion of treatment to provide a restoration that will look and function as well as natural teeth.

When a natural tooth is capped with a crown, the tooth itself is altered and the crown is fabricated to cover the remaining base of the tooth. The crown will likely be stronger than the broken or decayed biological tooth, and allows the patient to have fully restored function.

The crown will have the same contour and color as the natural tooth it is covering. Today’s materials appear so lifelike, it is virtually impossible to tell which tooth has been treated.

By recommending a dental crown, your dentist is saving you from potential tooth loss. Patients that prefer to have a tooth extracted rather than try to save it can incur problems connected to speech, eating, or loss of self-confidence. A dental crown is an excellent option to avoid these problems, and maintain great oral health.

Contact our experienced dental team at 312-328-9007 to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.



Tooth Decay: Will I need a dental crown?

Friday, April 26th, 2013

When cavities are identified, patients should seek treatment promptly so that the dentist can be conservative with the initial attempt to address the problem. A small cavity can be treated with a simple filling.

However, some patients don’t seek treatment until the decay has progressed significantly. In these cases, a filling alone may not suffice.

Instead, dental crowns may be used for advanced decay that is too extensive to be addressed by a standard filling.

Dental crowns may also be used if additional decay has developed under a filling, or if the original filling breaks and causes more damage to the tooth. Crowns are also appropriate when some other damage, like a deep crack, has compromised the integrity of the tooth.

These tooth-shaped caps can be made of a number of materials, including gold and porcelain. Sometimes the porcelain may be fused to metal to further strengthen the crown.

If you do need to get a crown, the dentist will remove the decayed tooth material to prep the tooth before placing the crown. The patient wears a temporary crown until the permanent device is ready to be placed.

At a second appointment, a week or two later, the patient will be fitted with the permanent crown, which is bonded to the tooth with a dental cement.

The process of getting a dental crown involves little or no discomfort. A local anesthetic will suffice to minimize discomfort in most patients and may not even be needed by all crown candidates.

Dental crowns are valuable tools for protecting and preserving a natural tooth that has experienced extensive damage, and with modern materials, crowns can be designed to look remarkably lifelike and blend in with the patient’s natural teeth.

Patients who have tooth decay should be examined by a dentist to determine what treatment is most appropriate in their case. Ideally, you’ll be able to start with a standard filling, but some circumstances will warrant a dental crown. Schedule an appointment with our skilled team of dentists as soon as possible if you have signs of decay.