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Dental Crowns / Crowns Lengthening

WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN?

Dental crown installation process

A dental crown is essentially a hollow false tooth that is cemented over a natural tooth. Crowns have long been used to restore the appearance and functionality of compromised teeth while shielding them from further damage.

Today, you may also hear the term used in reference to dental implants. A specially designed solid dental crown can be attached to an implant to replace a single tooth.

TRADITIONAL DENTAL CROWNS SAVE TEETH

Although we take great pride in the quality of our implant services, our first priority is serving the patient’s best interest. In many cases, extraction can be avoided with a quality dental crown placed to restore health and functionality to the tooth. This option will likely be recommended when:

  • A root canal procedure has been done on a tooth, because it may be brittle
  • The tooth is deeply cracked or broken
  • Deep cavities or large fillings have weakened the tooth structure
  • The tooth is badly misshapen or has other issues that cannot be corrected with options that are more conservative
  • The tooth is worn down from bruxism (grinding) or normal wear and tear
A crown is designed to mimic a natural tooth in size and shape for optimal comfort and functionality. This restoration can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, gold, or a layer of porcelain fused to a strong metal base. Most patients prefer porcelain or porcelain fused to metal for visible teeth because they can be colored to blend flawlessly with the smile, providing full cosmetic restoration.

THE PROCEDURE

The first step in tooth repair is an examination to determine the most appropriate treatment. Minor damage can often be repaired with cosmetic fillings, inlays, or onlays, which do not involve significant alteration of the tooth structure. If the tooth is not likely to remain healthy after restoration, we will recommend extraction and immediate replacement with a dental implant. If a crown is needed, the entire process can be completed in two or three office visits.
The first visit is reserved for preparation of the damaged tooth. After numbing the area with local anesthetic your doctor will remove all damaged or decayed tooth material and then shape the tooth for optimal retention of the crown. An impression is taken to create a model of the tooth, which will be sent to the dental laboratory where the crown is created. We will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth until the permanent one is ready, which takes about ten days.
Your new crown will be designed to fit snugly and replicate the shape of a healthy tooth. Before cementing it in place, your dentist will check the appearance and fit, making adjustments if needed. When the procedure is complete, your smile will look and feel natural and your tooth will be completely functional.
A crowned tooth requires the same hygiene and dental care as any tooth. It is especially important to clean around the edges (margin) to prevent decay under the restoration. With good care, a crown is expected to last between ten and fifteen years. If you are ready to schedule an appointment, or you would like more information on crown treatment, call Center for Implant Dentistry at (510) 338-4490.

WHAT IS CROWN LENGTHENING?

When you hear the word “crown” in reference to dentistry, you probably think of restorations that fit over the teeth like caps. The term “crown” is also used to describe the part of the tooth that is visible above the gumline.
Crown lengthening is a procedure we may perform to improve the appearance of a tooth or teeth, or to prepare for another dental treatment. Using precision techniques, we shape the gum tissue around the tooth to make that tooth appear longer.

The cure for a gummy smile

Teeth that seem very small or short are often simply covered by excess gum tissue. When gingival tissue covers too much tooth surface, the result is a gummy smile. In the crown lengthening procedure, we remove the excess gingival tissue and sculpt the gumline for optimal beauty.

Crown lengthening in preparation for a dental restoration

In certain situations, crown lengthening may be necessary for us to reach a part of the tooth that has been damaged. Adjusting the gumline, we gain access to that allows us to repair the tooth.

THE PROCEDURE

Before beginning, we will completely numb the area with local anesthesia and administer provide sedation if you wish. Small incisions are made and the gum tissue is gently separated from the tooth. Depending on the case, a small amount of bone tissue may also be removed from around the root of the tooth.
The number of teeth treated will vary depending on the reason for the procedure and the extent of the problem. If crown lengthening is needed on a single tooth, the adjacent teeth are usually treated as well. This allows your dentist to contour the gumline gradually for a natural appearance. After crown lengthening surgery, it is important to avoid the treated area when brushing until the tissues have fully healed. Food particles can be removed with an oral irrigator or a toothpick.
From crown lengthening to complex oral surgeries, our dental team performs care with you in mind. Call Center for Implant Dentistry at (510) 338-4490 to schedule your visit.

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