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Crowns are a type of restoration that is used to restore fractured, cracked, broken, or significantly decayed teeth. They can be fabricated from a variety of materials such as gold, metal with porcelain baked onto it, or all porcelain. Traditional dental crowns are made to fit over the top of an existing tooth, while implant crowns are made to fit on top of a dental implant in order to replace a missing tooth. 

Did You Know?

Dental crowns are also sometimes referred to as “caps” since they sit on top of a natural tooth. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do I need a crown?

You may need a dental crown if you have a tooth that is cracked, fractured, broken, or that has a significant amount of decay. Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons to improve the color, size, or shape of one or more teeth. You may also need a crown if you have just had a dental implant placed to replace a missing tooth. Finally, you may need to have a dental crown placed after having a root canal. To determine if you need a crown, schedule a consultation with Dr. Morales of Desert Pearl Dentistry. 

What are the different types of dental crowns?

Dental crowns can be fabricated from a variety of state of the art dental materials, such as: 

various types of dental crowns
  • Gold: gold has been successfully used in dentistry for over 4,000 years. Gold crowns are extremely strong and durable, long lasting, and require minimal enamel modifications. However, gold is very noticeable and will not blend in with the rest of the tooth. Because of this, gold crowns are generally used on non-visible teeth in the back of the mouth. 
  • Porcelain-Fused to Metal (PFM): PFM crowns combine the durability of metal with the aesthetics or porcelain. However, PFM crowns have a dark ring at the base that may be noticeable. Additionally, PFM crowns can also chip or break, as well as wear out the opposing teeth. 
  • Porcelain: porcelain crowns are valued for their natural appearance and resistance to stains, and are commonly used on the front teeth. However, they are not as strong as other types of crowns. Still, porcelain crowns are an ideal choice for use on the front teeth, since these teeth are visible. 

The type of material used for your dental crown will depend on a number of factors such as aesthetic goals, budget, and the location of the affected tooth. During your consultation, you and Dr. Morales can discuss these different materials in more detail to determine the best choice for you. 

What can I expect when having a dental crown placed at Desert Pearl Dentistry?

dental drill reducing a tooth in preparation for a dental crown

To meet our high standard of care and keep you comfortable, dental anesthetics are used when having a crown placed at Desert Pearl Dentistry. Once your mouth is numb, any decayed or damaged tissue will be removed and then the remaining tooth structure will be reduced in size to accommodate a dental crown. It will also be shaped so that it has a circumferential ledge at the gum line. After the tooth has been completely prepared, the next step is to have a dental impression taken. This dental impression will be used by a state of the art dental laboratory in order to fabricate you a customized crown. 

Since your permanent crown needs to be fabricated at a dental laboratory, you will need to return for a second appointment once your crown has been completed. In the meantime, you will be fit with a temporary crown. Temporary crowns are made from resin and are placed during the first appointment after the dental impression is taken. During your second appointment, the temporary crown will be removed and replaced with your permanent crown. 

Will I need to follow any special instructions after having a crown placed?

Since dental anesthetics are used during dental crown placement, it is very likely that your mouth will still be numb for about 1-3 hours after your appointment. During this time, you will need to take special care to not accidentally bite your tongue, cheeks, or lips until the anesthetic wears off.  

While wearing your temporary crown, you will need to remember that this crown is not meant to last a long time. This means that it is more likely to fall off or break if exposed to extremely hard, sticky, or chewy foods. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid these foods and to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Once you have your permanent crown placed, you can return to your usual diet. To care for your new crown, be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and attend regular dental appointments and cleanings.