Crowns are individual restorations that patients receive when the integrity of a particular tooth’s structure has been jeopardized by decay, frequent bruxism (grinding), or other corrosive forces. It is understood, when a patient decides to receive a crown, that much of the original tooth structure will be lost. A tooth that receives a crown is a peg for the new restoration to be permanently and securely cemented into place. Successful crown placement can restore the tooth to its original function and help the patient to chew, speak, and maintain a clean oral cavity better than if a poorly functioning tooth were left alone. There are two types of crowns (temporary and permanent) and several materials that are frequently used during crown placement. The success of either temporary or permanent crowns has much to do with proper cleaning of the crown by the patient every day at home.
For varying reasons, dentists may decide to place a temporary crown before a permanent one is crafted in a lab. Such reasons can include checking the health of a tooth (or, seeing how a tooth responds to a temporary crown before a more expensive, more permanent one is cemented in place), waiting for a permanent crown to be crafted (a process which can take several days to several weeks, and leave a decayed tooth vulnerable), and waiting for the patient to feel financially comfortable with paying for a permanent crown (in other words, a temporary crown is often better than an untreated tooth). Regardless of the reason, patients may be curious as to the role and variety of materials that are used when a temporary restoration is placed. The materials involved in the placement of a temporary crown often include acrylic resins and zinc oxide-eugenol.
Acrylic resins are used to create the tooth structure of a temporary crown, because they are easy to work with, cost-effective, and can be prepared in a timely fashion. A dental assistant often helps the doctor to take an impression of the teeth which is used as a guide for creating the temporary crown. Once the acrylic resin is poured, it is mixed with a powder, and each chemical works together to make the fabricated tooth harden. This process is referred to as ‘polymerization,’ and once it is complete, the temporary crown is ready to be placed.
Zinc Oxide-Eugenol (or ZOE, for short), is a type of soothing material that is used in a cement form to place a temporary crown. Eugenol cement can be mixed together easily, and is comforting to a tooth structure when there is exposed dentin. Because of its soothing properties, ZOE cement is also used in a variety of other procedures including root canals, regular fillings, and the placement of more complicated restorations.
Following the placement of a temporary crown, a permanent crown is cemented in to place once it has been fabricated in a lab.
Permanent Crown Materials
Permanent crown materials can include porcelain, which is a strong, sturdy substance that mimics the color of a natural tooth. In addition, crowns that are porcelain fused to metal, silver, and gold can also be used. The type of material that is selected for a permanent crown is up to the patient. This decision can be influenced by the cost, aesthetic result, and strength of a particular material.
Taking Care of Your Permanent Crown
On average, permanent crowns, depending on the material used, last from five to fifteen years. If a crown becomes chipped, cracked, or falls off prior to the need for a new restoration, dental professionals will remedy the problem during an appointment. Caring for a permanent crown should be very similar to care of regular teeth. It is important to brush, floss, and use a mouth rinse around any tooth with a crown just as frequently, and crown placement does not mean that a tooth is entirely protected from infection or dental caries (cavities). Cleaning a crown meticulously will prolong the life of the restoration and promote the health of the tooth structure that lies underneath.
For more information on dental crowns, contact Dr. Peter Thompson at his Portales office today!
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“What a feeling – being able to smile any time I want without shielding my two front teeth with my hand anymore! I must admit, I didn’t know much about veneers until a friend of mine mentioned them to me. He piqued my curiosity, but it was only after I spoke to Dr. Thompson and his staff that I decided to go ahead with the procedure.
I have had horrible experiences with several previous dentists and the thought of extensive work in my mouth was not appealing to me. Especially because I have a very low tolerance for pain. I can honestly say that Dr. Thompson and his staff are one-of-a-kind, and truly the best out there! Not only are the very efficient and use state of the art procedures and materials, but they are compassionate and caring. I had never thought that a healthy smile would give me such a confidence boost, but it sure did! It used to be that people always told me that my eyes smiled when I spoke to them… Now I smile with much more than my eyes!”
“I first came to Dr. Thompson’s office in January of 2010. I had been having headaches due to muscular tension in my jaw. I suffer from a relatively rare genetic disorder called Amelogenesis imperfecta. This disorder affects the enamel formation in teeth, and I basically had no enamel on my teeth as a child and adult. Due to this I had to have all my teeth removed and replaced with dentures when I was only 25.
Dentures also present some problems: because I no longer had tooth roots in my jaw, my bone slowly began to deteriorate and atrophy, both in my upper and lower jaws. Eventually, by the age of 43, I developed severe migraine headaches due to how much my jaw had changed shape over time.
This is where Dr. Thompson came in. He diagnosed the problem quickly and told me that if I didn’t get implants soon my jaws would atrophy to the point where they could no longer support dentures or implants. Before getting implants, he was able to modify my dentures so my headaches went away within a matter of a day or so. What a relief!
Now, implants are expensive, but not as expensive as I thought they would be, and it is certainly better than the alternative of not having any teeth at all, dentures or otherwise. The implants had to be installed (for lack of a better term) over the course of 3 surgeries. The surgeries were completed in the mornings and I was sent home the same day.
Recovery was roughly 3-6 months between surgeries. It was over a year from the time I first visited Dr. Thompson until I got my final implants, but the final result has been great! My new implants are much more stable than my old dentures and I can now eat things that I never could before. I don’t have to fuss with using adhesive to secure my dentures anymore, and my headaches are a thing of the past! Plus my jaws have stopped shrinking due to the implants.
Dr. Thompson and his staff were very friendly and professional during the entire process. I have been to many dentists in the past, but Dr. Thompson is easily the best.”
“When I found Doctor Thompson, you could honestly say I was at my end. All hope of ever having a normal pain-free life was entirely out of reach and there was no way anyone could possibly help me. I had been repeatedly let down by doctors, specialists, and dentists I had been to. I was convinced these people were only there to hurt you and take your money, not actually sit down with you and help you!”
My teeth were beautiful when something really bad began to happen. My teeth began breaking and wearing away. I brushed and did everything I had always been taught to protect your teeth, but nothing seemed to be helping. I saw a billboard with Dr. Thompson. I cried to my husband every time I passed it…. I only wished that I could find someone who could be what he claimed to be. I passed that billboard many times and highly doubted the possibility that he could help me. The last dentist I had gone to hurt me so bad that I was not about to trust anyone else to touch me. So I lived with it.
The day came when decided I had to trust someone. I had just gone through two pregnancies that took all the nutrients I had, therefore speeding up the deterioration of my teeth. I lived in a dark blur of pain, looked at the ground when I spoke to people, and sipped on liquid Tylenol like it was water. ALL I wanted was to be able to be the best Mommy I could be. I was able to care for them and give them everything they needed, but I couldn’t do a lot of things. It was just too painful. I wanted more for my babies! I wanted them to see their Mommy feeling wonderful and able to look her best. I wanted to show them I could interact with other people and not be afraid.
That was all a dream until I finally broke down and decided that I would never know if Dr. Thompson could help me if I didn’t ask. So, one day in 2010, I made the call. The call that would change my perspective on people and their ability to help others. That day I met Micah, and what an angel she was for me! They knew I was terrified and they did their very best to comfort me. No one can truly understand what you are going through until they have lived it, but they tried harder than anyone I had ever seen. My report was as I knew it would be, they would not be able to save my teeth. I would have to have them all removed.
At 28 years old, it’s not exactly the highlight of your life, but when you have been in so much pain and a dentist looks at you, almost with tears in his eyes and tells you that he is going to help you, it will bring life back to your view on your situation. I realized at that moment that these people were my friends and they were going to be there all the way.
One short visit and I walked away with a new mouth. At first, it was totally foreign to me to have a complete set of teeth in my mouth. It was painful, and was not easy having to relearn a lot of things all over again. With their support and confidence, they helped me believe I could do everything right again. I am writing this a year later and I could not be happier with MY smile. I have my complete set of dentures with two implants on bottom that allow the bottom denture to snap in without any troubles at all. It was a very hard road, but one that I have no regrets taking. I have my new beautiful teeth…. I can smile, talk, sing, laugh, and eat. Most importantly I feel amazing. I can be the wife that my husband deserves and the Mommy that my two little girls need me to be, energetic and fun!
There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing I will never hurt like that ever again. Everything was worth it for me. I don’t mind sharing to the world that Dr. Thompson and his team were the most dedicated and outstanding people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They took care of me, and I will forever be grateful that I called them.”
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