Small areas of decay or fractures can be replaced with a filling surrounded by a tooth structure; however, there comes a time when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling. In those situations a restoration is made that will cover the remaining tooth rather than just be placed inside it. This is called a ‘crown’. Dr. Nealis offers this restorative service to patients at his office in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, IL, and sees patients from surrounding areas such as The Loop, Gold Coast, Near North Side, River West, River North, Magnificent Mile, Ukranian Village, Uptown, Bucktown, and Old Town, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and West Town.
What are crowns?
A crown is a prosthetic device used to entirely cover or cap a damaged or weak tooth. Along with strengthening the tooth, a crown can improve its appearance, shape or alignment. Crowns can be made of several materials including porcelain or ceramic which can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth. Gold and metal alloys or acrylic crowns are stronger and are generally recommended for molars. In some cases, porcelain can be bonded to a metal shell for a strong and attractive result.
How are crowns placed?
Crowns take two separate visits to be placed. At the first appointment, Dr. Nealis will file the tooth down. Or, if the tooth is damaged or broken, he will fill it to ensure it’s strong enough to hold the crown. After the tooth is filed or filled, an impression will be made. A temporary crown will then be placed to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is fabricated. A dental lab will create a permanent crown using the impression of your tooth. The permanent crown will be placed during a second visit.
How should I care for a temporary crown?
Good oral hygiene is essential with a temporary crown. Patients should brush at least twice a day. When flossing, it is important to pull the floss through the space between the teeth instead of up as it could dislodge the temporary crown. Hard and sticky foods should also be avoided while the temporary crown is in place.
It feels strange when I bite on the temporary crown. What causes this?
Since your mouth is numb when the device is placed, it is often difficult to get the right fit with a temporary crown. If it seems the temporary crown is making contact before your other teeth, please call Dr. Nealis immediately to come in for an adjustment. When teeth contact each other prematurely, you could experience soreness and sensitivity to cold. Additionally, the bone surrounding the tooth could be damaged.
What if the temporary crown comes off?
If the temporary crown dislodges, the patient should have it replaced as soon as possible. Call Dr. Nealis’s office to schedule a time to have it replaced.