Functional Dental Crowns
Our goal at Marana Dental Care is preserve your natural teeth for healthy function and beauty; and to preserve the supporting bone structure and stability of the surrounding and adjacent teeth. When the function of a tooth is compromised it must be either restored or removed and replaced with an implant or other device. A functional dental crown is designed to restore and preserve healthy tooth structure and function; and to avoid the loss of a tooth.
There are four common types of crowns:
This type of crown is often used for teeth that are visible when smiling as they are made from a porcelain-based material that retains the look of your natural teeth.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
These crowns are known for their strength and durability while also allowing for a natural-looking restoration.
These may be used when more strength is needed, particularly for patients who grind their teeth at night.
Base Metal Alloys
These are strong and corrosion-resistant and are often used when there is less existing tooth structure available to support the crown restoration.
What are functional dental crowns made of?
The choice of material used to make a crown depends on the tooth to receive the crown. For teeth that are visible when you smile, the crown will be created with a porcelain material that mimics the look of natural teeth including translucency as well as strength and durability. The front teeth are designed by nature for cutting and tearing and don't take the pounding and grinding of the back teeth.
When crowns are necessary for back teeth which are designed for crushing, chewing and grinding food, the material is often porcelain fused to metal for a strong, durable restoration that looks completely natural and can take hundreds of pounds of pressure created when chewing, crushing and grinding food.
When will a functional crown be recommended?
A crown will be recommended when 3/4ths of the tooth structure is destroyed. The goal is to protect and retain a weak tooth from further breaking or cracking that could cause the loss of the tooth. Functional crowns are recommended for any tooth that is so damaged or broken that it must be encased in a crown to preserve function.
A functional crown is designed to look, feel and perform just like your natural tooth. It is used to restore function but is also to restore the look of your natural teeth or to enhance the appearance of your natural teeth.
- When any tooth is damaged, broken, cracked, or severely decayed, has a large broken or leaking filling, or is severely worn it is weak and subject to breaking or cracking. A functional dental crown will be recommended to protect the healthy tooth structure from further damage and to restore function.
- A functional crown will be recommended after a root canal. Inside the root of the tooth is a canal filled the pulp, soft tissue including blood vessels and nerves. When the tooth becomes infected due to deep decay, a crack, chip, or injury it can damage the pulp and allow infection to spread into the bone.
- A root canal removes the infected pulp. Then the tooth is dead, becomes brittle and can fracture with use. Also, after a root canal the tooth often darkens. A functional crown will preserve the tooth structure, cover up the darkened tooth and restore tooth strength and function.
- A crown may also be recommended to preserve a tooth to hold a dental bridge in the mouth to restore function.
- A functional crown will be part of a dental implant. Dental implants are used to replace the roots to teeth that have been lost. The root is made of metal and implanted into the jaw bone. Then permanent crowns are attached to the posts to restore function and aesthetics. Implants look, feel and act like your natural teeth.
What is the procedure to prepare for a crown on a tooth?
Whether you choose a single crown or multiple adjacent crowns, when you choose to have a dental crown to preserve your tooth, the first step is to take an impression which is used to make a model of your teeth and your bite. This allows the crown to be created to look and function just like your natural tooth.
Next Dr. Trombetta will work with you to choose the color of the crown. The color will be chosen to match the color of your existing adjacent teeth. However, if you are having multiple crowns placed, full mouth reconstruction or a smile makeover, you may desire to choose a brighter, whiter shade particularly on the front teeth and nearby teeth. Discuss this with Dr. Trombetta.
The tooth is prepared under local anesthesia. The decay is removed, and the healthy tooth structure is prepared to create room for the crown to fitted tightly on the tooth. Then an impression is taken to ensure the final crown will fit properly when seated on the prepared tooth.
Next the crown is sent to a dental lab to be created, or in some cases can be created with 3-D printing and placed on the tooth the same day. When the crown is ready, it is cemented into place and your bite is adjusted. Dental crowns are designed to last a lifetime with good oral hygiene and regular dental care.