Restoring Strong, Healthy Teeth in Centennial, CO
A toothache, a cracked tooth, a dislodged filling or crown – these situations can disrupt life. Left alone, they will only worsen to cause more pain and damage to your oral health. In many cases, a dental crown is the treatment of choice. At our Centennial, CO dental office, Dr. Christian Rippe offers cosmetic dental crowns made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or zirconia, so repairing a problematic tooth does not have to entail losing your white, healthy-looking smile. Some cases call for metal crowns, but normally they are only necessary on posterior teeth (molars), and even then, zirconia may be an alternative.
If you know that you need a crown, or if you’re suffering from a toothache, call 303-562-1073 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Rippe today. Our Centennial, CO dental office serves patients from the DTC area, as well as Greenwood Village and Englewood.
Why Crowns Work So Well
A dental crown is more than a filling. Where a filling literally fills a cavity (hole) within a tooth, a crown covers the entire head (or crown) of a tooth, above the gum line. Crowns provide structure on all sides of the tooth, and the top, for optimal durability. They actually reinforce a tooth, improving its strength.
Fillings are a direct restoration, which means a dentist makes them in the patient’s mouth. Composite resin is tinted to match a tooth’s enamel, then placed into a prepared and sterilized cavity. A curing light hardens the resin, then the doctor evaluates how the filling fits against opposing teeth. In contrast, dental crowns are indirect restorations, made in a dental lab from a solid structure of ceramic, ceramic fused over a metal base, zirconia, or precious metal. Because they are made offsite, designing and placing a crown generally requires two visits to our office.
What to Expect
At your restorative appointment, Dr. Rippe will provide anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure. He will then remove some of the enamel from the affected tooth and sterilize area of decay or bacterial infection. A dental impression will be taken, so the lab technician can craft a perfectly fitted restoration that will fit on the prepared tooth and fit properly against opposing teeth. A temporary crown will be secured, for you to wear until your permanent restoration is prepared. Dr. Rippe will determine what material will be best for your crown based on its location in your mouth and how much pressure it must endure when you bite or chew.
Ceramic is best for front teeth, because it’s strong enough to handle biting, while also providing a natural enamel appearance. Because it is stronger, porcelain fused to metal is often suggested for premolars, which must chew food. The metal base provides strength, while the ceramic overlay looks natural. For molars (back teeth), zirconia is the best tooth-colored option, and it provides durability that rivals metal. If you’re not concerned about your molars remaining white, metal is an option.
Your second visit will involve permanently placing the final restoration. Again, Dr. Rippe will administer anesthetic for your comfort, before removing the temporary crown. He will then set your permanent crown, check to make sure that it fits well, then adhere it to your prepared and cleaned tooth. The dentist will ask you to close your mouth and bite down on an impression paper, so he can see how your crown and opposing teeth fit together. He’ll ask you if your bite feels comfortable, then make any adjustments to ensure a proper fit.
Give Us a Call!
Dental crowns should be administered before decay or a crack deepens to the point that bacteria can enter a tooth’s canals. If you need a crown, don’t delay. With proper oral health care and no injuries, a ceramic crown generally lasts five to 15 years, and a metal crown can last up to 25, in some cases.
If you need a crown or are suffering from a toothache, please call us at 303-562-1073 to schedule your examination with Dr. Rippe.