What is a crown?
The crown of your tooth is the visible
part that is above the gum line. A dental
crown (commonly called a crown or cap)
is a shield that covers the visible part
of your tooth. Crowns are placed on teeth
to make them strong, attractive, and easily
cleaned. Crowns are also made to change
the shape and color of teeth for cosmetic
reasons. In addition, crowns are made
to improve the bite and alignment of teeth.
Whom does a crown benefit?
Functionally, anyone with a weak, cracked
or badly damaged tooth will benefit from
the protection given by a crown. Teeth
with old, large filings often need crowns
to prevent breakage of the tooth. Also,
most back teeth that have had root canal
treatment need crowns for strength. In
addition, some teeth that have bite or
alignment problems can be improved with
crowns. Cosmetically, the appearance of
teeth can be greatly enhanced with crowns.
First, Dr. Lockwood removes all of the
old filling material and decay from the
tooth. Then, he refills the voids in the
tooth with a special filling material
that makes the tooth stronger. Then, he
reshapes the tooth to allow the dental
crown to fit over the tooth properly.
After this, a mould is made of the prepared
tooth and a temporary crown is placed
on it to provide comfort, appearance,
and protection while the new crown is
made. The fabrication of the new crown
takes days of behind the scenes work,
and it is placed on the tooth at a subsequent
appointment. Dr. Lockwood works closely
with talented and experienced technicians,
and enjoys performing some of the laboratory
work himself. Once the new crown is fabricated
it is tried on the tooth to verify fit,
form, and appearance, and then is cemented
in place with a very strong adhesive.