Using dental crowns for smile restoration

At Sterling Plaza Dentistry, Dr. Tom Alexander and his team in Irvine, California, work to provide patients with solutions for their smiles. This includes restorative and cosmetic dentistry treatments. Individuals who are interested in restoring their smile and addressing damaged or weakened teeth may want to ask about dental crowns, a standard dental restoration used to protect and strengthen a natural tooth structure.

What are dental crowns?

Dr. Tom Alexander describes the dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” professionally placed over a tooth to provide coverage and restore its shape and size, strength, and/or appearance. This “tooth cap” may be used in various situations to help protect and strengthen a tooth that might have been affected by cavities or damage, including a root canal. A crown may be needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth, and a dental filling alone is not enough to repair the structure or integrity of the tooth. A dental crown might also be used to support a dental bridge or cover a misshapen, severely discolored, or malformed tooth. When replacing a missing tooth, a crown is also placed over an implant to provide a natural-looking replacement for the visible portion of a missing tooth.

What materials are used to create dental crowns?

Crowns are made from different materials. The three most common types are metal, such as gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), and all-ceramic crowns. Your dentist will recommend the type that is most appropriate for you. Most patients desire a cosmetic restoration that doesn’t stand out as a noticeable repair, so they often choose ceramic or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Ceramic crowns are strong and durable while appearing like a natural tooth within the smile.

What to expect when creating and placing a dental crown

Creating a dental crown typically takes place over two visits to the dentist. During the first appointment, Dr. Tom Alexander removes the decay from your tooth and takes an impression of the tooth. The impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to create your custom crown. While you are waiting for the restoration to be finished, a temporary crown will be placed on top of your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At the second visit, you’ll have your permanent crown cemented in place by Dr. Tom Alexander to finish the process.

How can I learn more about restorations like dental crowns?

If you would like to talk with Dr. Tom Alexander or a team member at Sterling Plaza Dentistry in Irvine, CA, about restoring or replacing one or more teeth with ceramic crowns, call (949) 857-2004 to request an appointment.