Dental crowns are a popular choice for protecting and replacing missing or damaged teeth. As the finishing touch for a dental implant or a stand-alone treatment for worn, cracked, weak, or discolored teeth, Yuki Lu, DDS, and her expert dental team at Pearl Dentistry in West Covina, California, can help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

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What are dental crowns?

A dental crown is a “cap” that fits over a damaged tooth. Crowns can strengthen teeth, protect them from further damage, and restore their function. They’re an effective restoration for teeth that:

  • Are in danger of fracturing
  • Have undergone a root canal
  • Have fillings that need to be replaced
  • Are damaged or discolored

Pearl Dentistry ensures your crowns are custom-made, so they match your natural teeth. Since they’re designed to match the shape of the original tooth, crowns fit snugly over the tooth, completely covering up the damaged portion, and are bonded in place with dental cement.

When are crowns necessary?

Dr. Lu may recommend crowns for a number of reasons, like capping off a dental implant or restoring a tooth that’s damaged, discolored, or misshapen. Crowns are also a necessary part of supporting a dental bridge, which is a fixed oral appliance that replaces a missing tooth with an artificial tooth called a pontic. The pontic is sealed to crowns on either side, which are, in turn, bonded to the teeth that are adjacent to your missing tooth.

While crowns can help improve your teeth’s appearance, their purpose is more than just cosmetic. If your tooth is too damaged for a filling to restore its function, a crown can hold it together and allow you to still use the tooth. They can also protect teeth that are vulnerable to serious damage, including teeth with large fillings and little natural enamel remaining.

Depending on your needs and preferences, Pearl Dentistry offers crowns made of various materials that provide durability and a natural look. They also offer IPS e.max® and zirconia all-ceramic crowns, both of which use state-of-the-art materials that are very durable and look just like your natural tooth enamel. IPS e.max and zirconia are excellent choices for anterior cosmetic crowns, since they blend in well with the rest of your smile.

How are dental crowns placed?

The first step of getting a dental crown is for your dentist to take X-rays of the tooth. Dr. Lu then alters your tooth to accommodate the crown. Depending on the condition of your tooth, Dr. Lu will either file it down so a crown can fit easily on top or add a foundation to support the crown.

Dr. Lu then takes an impression of your teeth to send to a dental lab, which creates your crown. While you wait, you wear a temporary crown to protect the tooth. When your permanent crown is ready, 2-3 weeks later, your dentist fits it to your tooth and bonds it using dental cement.

To learn more about dental crowns, schedule an appointment at Pearl Dentistry online or over the phone.