Q: When does a tooth need a crown?
A: A dental crown is needed when a tooth is badly broken down, or has a large old filling that is failing, a root canal has been done on the tooth, or there is significant decay present. A filling can restore a tooth if the area is small—a crown is needed when the damage is extensive. Another situation requiring a crown would be for a patient who has had an implant placed to replace a missing tooth, and now a special implant crown and abutment is needed to complete that restoration.
There are several types of crowns that can be done: CEREC®–which is an all porcelain crown that is fabricated in the office using CAD-CAM technology, allowing the patient to have their new crown placed in one visit. There are also lab porcelain crowns, which contain no metal, but require two appointments to complete. Lastly, a porcelain fused to gold crown, which has a metal base and tooth colored porcelain baked on the outside. This type of crown also requires two visits. Dr.Shlafer will examine and determine, with you which type of crown would be the best long term restoration.
For front teeth needing crowns, cosmetic considerations come into play. This is when it becomes important to understand that a good cosmetic dentist requires special skills and extensive training beyond dental school. There is a great difference between a good dentist and an artistically inclined cosmetic dentist. For most patients the appearance of their smile is very important to them, therefore you will want to take great care in choosing the right dentist to help you.