A crown is a full-coverage prosthetic tooth replacement. It is not an implant; it does not replace the root(s) of a tooth, just the portion above the gumline. Crowns are recommended when teeth are severely damaged, malformed, or have had a root canal procedure.
Crowns look exactly like real teeth, in many cases even better, as they look like they are brand new teeth; all a single color of your choosing, with perfect cusps, fossae and contours.
Crowns can close spaces between teeth, where food gets impacted, they can also restore a brighter smile to mouths that have large amalgam (AKA: mercury) fillings. Also, if placed together to form a bridge, can replace entire missing teeth making an entire segment of a mouth look and function like it did when you were younger.
Crowns require precision; precision takes a bit of time, so expect your appointment to not be rushed and be done correctly the first time.
Dr. Hoffman is a perfectionist when it comes to creating the proper crown preparation. This is because part of making a crown look and feel correct involves a dental laboratory, who performs their work based on principles of material science.
Crown preparations must have certain reductions, in certain locations, to allow the materials to possess the proper strength to last the full life-expectancy, also for the shade and shape of the crown to properly mimic a natural tooth. If a tooth is having a crown for the first time, and the damage is not overly severe, a crown should last between 15-30 years.
Crowns do not get cavities, but the margin, or area where the crown meets the tooth can get cavities. Actually, this area is the area that most commonly fails on a crowned tooth. There are two ways to combat this phenomenon: 1. Have the crown fit correctly at the time of placement 2. Make sure proper flossing and brushing is done around the crown nightly.
Crowns take 2 visits to complete. The first visit is the actual removal of the damage and/or cavities, the rebuilding of the tooth, and the preparation of the tooth for the crown. This is also where the impression is taken for the lab, and when your temporary crown is fabricated.
The second visit is to permanently deliver your new crown; this visit only takes about 30-minutes or so. Before your new crown is permanently delivered to you, all parties must be completely happy. You must be happy with the color (shade), shape and bite, and Dr. Hoffman must be happy with the x-ray, the margins, the interproximal contacts, and the bite. Once everyone thinks things are "perfect", Dr. Hoffman will ask your permission to permanently deliver your new crown.