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Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.

Crowns are "cemented" onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

What do I do for a cracked tooth? 

You may have a very commonly occurring problem in one of your teeth. Teeth may crack when subjected to stress of chewing hard foods or ice or by biting on an unexpected hard object. Teeth with or without restorations may exhibit this problem, but teeth restored with typical silver alloy restorations are most susceptible.

Symptoms And Signs Are Some Or All Of The Following:

Pain on chewing

Pain on cold air application

Unsolicited pain (usually leakage of sugar into tooth crack)

No radiographic evidence of problem

Easy verification of crack when tooth is prepared for restoration

Treatment Of Cracked Teeth:

Simple Crack: The majority of cracked teeth (about 9 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a simple crown (cap) on the tooth. When the tooth is prepared for the crown and a temporary restoration is placed, the pain usually leaves immediately. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown without a problem on your next appointment and the condition should be solved.

Complex Crack: Occasionally (about 1 in 10) the tooth cracks into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. If the pain persists after placement of the temporary crown you may have a crack into the pulp of the affected tooth. Please call our office! This tooth may require endodontics (root canal therapy) before the crown is placed. This requires about two additional appointments before the crown is placed.

How do I care for my temporary restoration?

Important Concerns:

The temporary must stay on. Your temporary is held on with strong cement. Occasionally, it may loosen or come off before it should. If this happens, the tooth may move, become sensitive or cause inflammation. Any of these conditions may prevent timely placement of the final restoration.

To Prevent Loosening. Be careful with biting and chewing foods. Avoid hard, tough, crunchy and/or sticky foods. Floss carefully. After gently positioning the floss between the teeth, merely pull the floss out through the side to avoid pulling up or down on the temporary.

What To Do If It Comes Off Or Breaks. Call us. We would like to re-cement or repair it for you in a timely manner. If you cannot come in, replace the temporary with finger pressure or secure it with a small amount of denture adhesive such as a Poli-Grip or Fixodent.

The Tissue Around Your Temporary Must Be Kept Very Clean and Healthy. Flossing and brushing are the most important things you can do to insure good tissue health. If you were prescribed chlorhexidine rinse, it was to improve the tissue health and to facilitate the placement of the final restoration. Dip your brush in a small amount of the solution; massage it into the tissue around the tooth for 20 seconds twice daily. You may also rinse with warm salt water for 2 to 3 days.

Normal Expectations. It is normal for you to expect some tenderness or soreness, but only for a few days. In most cases this can be controlled by over the counter analgesics such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Please call us if you experience any conditions that in your opinion seem to be out of the ordinary.

Using Soft Cement

The soft cement given to you is for re-cementing your provisional restoration (temporary). Please follow the directions carefully to obtain a satisfactory result.

Clean out any remaining cement from your provisional restoration.

Clean off any cement left on your tooth/teeth.

Place the provisional restoration on your tooth/teeth and bite on your back teeth to make sure it completely seats (not high).

Thoroughly dry the provisional restoration.

Remove equal amounts of cement from each vial. Place on a nonabsorbent surface, for example a saucer.

When ready, mix the two cements together to a uniform consistency and color. Do not let any water or saliva come in contact with the cement as this will cause the cement to set too fast.

Apply a thin layer of cement to the inside of the provisional restoration. With a paper towel, remove any excess saliva from your tooth/teeth, leaving them slightly moist. Immediately place the provisional restoration on your tooth/teeth. Bite on your back teeth for one minute until the cement hardens.

Open your mouth and clean off any excess cement from the provisional restoration and around the gums.

Clean up with rubbing alcohol and brush with toothbrush. DO NOT USE METHYL (WOOD) ALCOHOL. DO NOT USE INTERNALLY.