Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns are fabricated to fit over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns help prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay and or fractures are removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. Dr. Strange will choose the material of the crown based on the characteristics of the tooth that is being treated. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.
The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fit to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. It's important to understand that dentures do not function the exact same way as natural teeth but the restoration they provide is a sound and acceptable option. Dentures still require maintainence and cleaning every so often and will require adjustment and or repair from time to time. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures. Implants for denture retention are an excellent option for most people and can be placed at any time the patient is ready.
Implants have been used as part of a small variety of replacement options. However, in Dr. Strange's office they are usually used only for single tooth replacement. And in some (very few) cases part of the treatment may need to be done with the oral surgeon.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth, a filling is placed through the entire tooth starting from the root tip(s), and then the crown of the tooth is re-built. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once a tooth has been root canal treated the patient will then need to get a crown.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
Problems in this area can cause:
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, night guards, etc. Other recomendations could include massage and stress management as will as regular fintess/excerise routines, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece (night guard) is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery and or other treatments or therapies may be required to repair a badly damaged joint. A lot of TMJ issues are handled by a specialist. Edmond has an excellent TMJ specialist and Dr. Strange will refer you if necessary.