Small and medium cavities can often be repaired with a basic filling made from gold, amalgam, porcelain, or composite resin. As time goes on, it’s not uncommon for the natural bacteria in your mouth to start to exploit the cement anchoring a filling in the remaining tooth enamel. As a general rule of thumb, large and old fillings are more likely to fall out.
When this happens, it is possible that the tooth might not have enough remaining healthy enamel to anchor a replacement filling. In a situation like this our dentists might recommend having the tooth fitted for a crown.
A crown effectively restores a tooth by replacing the enamel layer with an artificial material, that is not subject to tooth decay. What your particular crown is made from will be based on the tooth’s primary function and appearance in your smile.
Our dentist starts by examining the tooth, to assess the extent of the decay and to make sure the interior structures of the tooth are healthy. If decay extends beyond the enamel layer, a root canal might be performed.
We will then use a drill to remove the majority of the enamel layer, leaving just enough to surround the dentin layer of the tooth. This is called an abutment, later it will anchor your new crown. We will then take an impression of the area, which is sent to a dental lab, where your crown is made. In the meantime, we will cover the abutment with a temporary crown to protect it.
Once the dental lab has completed your permanent crown, we will call you in for a brief second appointment to cement the permanent crown in place.
If you have a tooth that has recently lost a filling, you need to call us today to schedule an appointment. Left unresolved the problem could develop into something even more serious!