Today, it’s all about crowns.
As William Shakespeare once said:
“A tooth that requires a root canal almost always requires a crown.
A tooth that requires a crown, doesn’t necessarily need a root canal.”
Why do I say ‘almost always’? There are a few exceptions:
- Some younger patients who need a root canal are not old enough to have a crown placed yet
- There can be spacing issues. Some teeth, usually all the way in the back, or with patients who have a ‘collapsed bite’ do not have room for a crown.
With these exceptions, the dentist will usually just place a permanent filling.
The “standard” crown is called PFM or “porcelain-fused-to-metal”. Sexy right?
These are metal on the inside, where the crown meets the tooth, and porcelain (tooth colored) on the outside.
There are upgraded/”better” types with higher quality metals on the inside (i.e. Captek) and others with no metal at all (i.e. Emax, Zirconia). These typically look more natural than the PFM crowns.
The process works like this:
- The tooth is ‘prepared’ or essentially shaved down in all directions (front, back, left, right, and top) to what is essentially a stump
- Dentist takes an impression which is sent to a lab (some offices do this in the office nowadays)
- Dentist makes you a “temporary crown” which you wear until your next visit (as the stump needs to be protected)
- Impression is used to make the crown which can take a few days or sometimes weeks
- You return to the office for the crown to be inserted, final adjustments to be made, and the crown to be cemented
Complicated enough, eh? Not to make you crazy but if you have had a root canal done, BEFORE step 1, SOMETIMES, something called a “post” is placed. This is essentially a screw placed into the root of the tooth where the root canal was done. There is a large build up or “core” placed around the post to mend all of the broken-down tooth. Think of this as a beam in a large building.
Phew. I’m nausesous from typing that I cant even imagine how you feel.
Enough today. Next week, bridge! Woohoo!
In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂
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