Crowns are a big thing these days. Take that show on Netflix about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth. Boatloads of Americans love watching the travails of England’s royal family and the young queen. Who needs the Boston Tea Party anyway?
Dr. Steier prefers a crown of a different sort, dental crowns. She uses dental crowns to strengthen damaged teeth and to anchor bridges. She doesn’t use them to take over Buckingham Palace.
What is a Crown?
A dental crown is a prosthesis that covers the entire visible portion of a tooth, interestingly also called the “crown” of the tooth. A dental crown fits over the tooth, covering it all the way down to the gumline. Dr. Steier uses only porcelain for her crowns, as she believes in the strength and aesthetics of porcelain.
What Does a Crown Do?
When a tooth is severely damaged, its strength is compromised. Maybe it is cracked. Maybe it has a large filling already in it, and new decay has formed. Maybe there is so much decay that removing it won’t leave a great amount of the original tooth. When this happens, the tooth is so weakened that it will eventually need to be extracted.
But not if you put a crown on it. A crown returns the strength to the tooth. It enables the patient to use the tooth again, rather than having to replace it with an implant or a bridge.
Crowns are also used as the anchors for dental bridges. Two crowns are placed on the two teeth on each side of the missing tooth. They support the artificial tooth in the middle.
How is a Crown Placed?
Dr. Steier places crowns in two visits. During the first visit, she prepares the tooth for the crown. First, she removes any decay or damage. The tooth (or teeth) is then prepared for the crown. This involves removing a portion of the healthy tooth on all sides and top. This makes room for the crown to fit over the tooth. Next, she takes impressions and photographs of your teeth. The dental lab uses these to fabricate the crown. The photos allow the lab technicians to match the color of the adjacent natural teeth. While waiting the two weeks or so that it takes to make your crown, Dr. Steier places a temporary crown on your tooth.
When your crown is finished, you return, and Dr. Steier checks the finish and the color match of your crown. Once you and she are satisfied with the fit, the crown is glued permanently onto the tooth, and you’re good to go.