In the case of a crown restoration, a “cap”, that is, a tooth crown, is added onto the remaining portion of a tooth, in order to restore the function and form of the lost tooth substance. Crowns can be made from different materials or combinations of materials.
Crowns may be necessary or may need to be replaced for various reasons. In most cases, caries, gum problems, aesthetic defects due to previously used materials or functional aspects play a major role.
In the classic procedure, the tooth is prepared with a restorative filling and then the necessary amount of tooth substance is trimmed away for the crown to fit. An impression of this tooth and the opposing teeth is then taken. A temporary plastic crown is placed onto the tooth to protect it until the final crown is manufactured in the dental laboratory. The impression will be used by the dental laboratory as a model for manufacturing the crown. The production time ranges from approx. 5 to 10 working days.
The fit of the crown is inspected and then fixed with a special cement. Depending on whether it is a posterior tooth or an anterior tooth, it is necessary to plan and discuss the crowning process beforehand. In the case of anterior crowns or changes in the bite height, an analysis of the existing situation is carried out, for example with the help of photographs or a functional diagnosis. The border or structure of the gum line may need to be corrected. In more complex cases, a restoration with laboratory-made temporary crowns is often necessary.
Tooth reduction is usually performed under anesthesia (local anesthesia). If you find it difficult to select a shade, you should consider planning additional time for a laboratory visit and any necessary corrections.
Several different risks arise. During tooth reduction, the tooth nerve may be harmed and a root canal treatment may be necessary. Recent studies indicate that a significant part of the shaved tooth will die over the course of one’s life.
What is hidden beneath existing crowns oftentimes cannot be clearly established in advance. Follow-up treatments such as, for example, surgical interventions of a smaller scope or other prosthetic measures taken for an optimal result may be necessary. If the gums are very thin, they may recede after the impression is taken.
As a rule, if the procedure is well-thought, a long-lasting and aesthetically perfect result can be achieved. An appropriate selection of the crown material ensures that the gums and/or teeth will be free of discoloration and that no black lines will appear around the edges of one’s gums.
Significantly fewer crowns are used than a few years ago, within the framework of modern therapy concepts. Ceramic fillings and veneers have made this possible. Nevertheless, if properly considered, a crown makes for a good, tooth-preserving option.