Dental Crowns

When teeth are damaged due to injury, decay or wear, the original shape is often affected. Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit onto the original tooth and cemented in place. Crowns can benefit patients in several ways, such as protecting a weakened tooth, cover a discolored or decayed tooth or restore the tooth’s shape after wear or injury.

Crowns are made from several different materials, porcelain or ceramic, stainless steel, gold alloy and resin. For aesthetics, porcelain is preferred by most patients because of the natural coloring and durability. Stainless steel is often used as crowns for children because they don’t require multiple visits to the dentist. Stainless steel and gold alloy are also often selected for out of sight molars in adults. Resin crowns are quite affordable but not as durable as other options.

Generally there are 5 steps involved in getting a crown:

  1. At the initial appointment, a scan or a mold is taken of the natural tooth
  2. The data is sent to a lab that constructs the crown out of the selected material, then sends it back to the dentist.
  3. At the second appointment, the dentist shapes the natural tooth to receive the crown, generally by grinding it down or grinding away damaged or decayed portions.
  4. The crown is affixed to the natural tooth using dental cement.
  5. The dentist makes minor adjustments to the shape of the crown and ensures that it fits naturally in the patient’s mouth and doesn’t affect the bite.

Crowns can last for many years with proper oral hygiene and general care and protection. Certain mouth action, like chewing hard candy or ice, as well as teeth grinding, can cause cracks or other damage to the crown, thereby shortening its life. Patients should practice standard brushing and flossing techniques with crowns, just as they would do with natural teeth.


If you would like to learn more about fillings or any other dental service, please contact Bridge Creek Dental at (406) 652-1600 for a consultation. 

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