Modern dentistry gives preference to conservative procedures over complex treatment options, which generally require more time at the dentist's office and greater demands on the patient’s time and budget.
For this reason, when possible, Dr. Cruz will recommend alternatives to the dental crown such as fillings. In some cases, your needs for treatment may be greater and a filling would be inadequate to restore the health, function, and appearance of your tooth.
Q: I understand veneers are another type of restoration. What is a crown and how is it different from a veneer?
If a tooth is damaged by decay, disease, or other trauma, a crown may be recommended. The crown or "cap" is tooth structure made from dental materials and designed to fit over existing tooth structure, like a crown or cap fits over the head.
A veneer is also tooth structure, but is designed to cover cosmetic damage to the tooth such as chipping and stains. Both veneers and crowns require removal of some tooth structure to accommodate the bulk of the respective restorations. Since a crown treats more significant damage, a greater amount of tooth structure must be removed than that required during a veneer procedure.
Inlays or onlays, in some respects, are midway between veneers for minor needs and crowns for significant damage to the tooth. Full coverage crowns are a more aggressive approach than inlays and onlays or veneers.
Q: How are crowns made to fit your tooth?
After existing tooth structure has been reduced and the treatment site has been prepared, Dr. Cruz will take an impression of your tooth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory. Lab technicians will use the impression to create a wax or metal mold of the crown. This is used to guide the creation of the prosthetic tooth, which is shaped out of ceramic or metal dental materials.
Q: I've heard of crowns coming off. Why and what causes them to fall off?
There are many reasons a crown may fall off, including:
- Inadequate cementing to natural tooth structure
- Saliva contamination
- Excessive pressure or wear on the crown
- Poor preparation
These reasons underscore the importance of partnering with a skilled and experienced dentist like Dr. Cruz. He can minimize potential risks that can affect the lifespan of your new tooth. He will also walk you through ways you can get the most out of your properly designed and placed crown.
Q: What are the varieties of crowns available?
While many dentists in Orange County may limit themselves to a few types of dental materials in the making of a crown, Dr. Cruz is very open to all that modern technologies have to offer. He can recommend crowns made from metals, ceramics, gold, and a mix of porcelain and metal (porcelain-fused-to-metal or PFM).
Just as there are advantages and disadvantages of procedures, there are pros and cons associated with various dental materials. Call (949) 661-1006 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz and to discuss your preferences and needs for treatment.
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