Porcelain Crowns (Caps)

Sometimes the strength of a tooth is compromised. It may have extensive decay or have a large chip or crack. A porcelain crown returns the needed support, saving the tooth and improving its function.

A crown, which is sometimes referred to as a “cap,” covers the entire tooth surface down to the gumline, restoring the original size and shape of the tooth, and more importantly, giving it strength. Crowns are used when other restorations such as fillings will leave the tooth too weak, and they can be used as abutments (anchors) for bridges.

What is a crown? 

A crown, as the name implies, basically sits atop the natural tooth covering it all the way down to the gumline. Crowns are fabricated in a dental lab or by CEREC system to precisely fit your tooth and match the color of the adjacent teeth. To make room for the crown (because it has to occupy the same size with the crown on as the natural tooth did), we remove some of the natural tooth. The crown is then attached on top. Crowns can be made from various materials: gold, dental composite, porcelain fused to metal, or all porcelain. We use only porcelain crowns, feeling they provide the best combination of strength and appearance.

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What problems with a tooth can call for a crown? 

The goal of a crown is to return strength to a tooth, restoring its function. Crowns can be used on:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Teeth with large fillings
  • Fractured fillings
  • Severely worn teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Severely stained teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that have had a root canal
  • The teeth on both sides of a bridge

How is a crown placed on a tooth?

Crowns require two appointments at most dental practices. However, since we have the CEREC system, we can prepare your tooth, measure for the crown, fabricate the crown, and attach it all in a single appointment. Here’s the process.

First, Dr. Hoffenberg, or Dr. Amin, removes all the damage and decay from the tooth, along with any filling that has fractured or is otherwise unstable. Next, the tooth is shaved down to create room for the crown. We then take a series of impressions, photographs, and other measurements to provide the input for our CEREC system. Using this data, the CEREC system takes a block of solid porcelain and mills it down into your porcelain crown.

Once the CEREC crown is complete, we place the crown onto your tooth with a temporary bonding material so that we can test the bite and see if you are satisfied with the fit. Once we both agree everything is right, we cement the crown permanently onto your tooth. No recovery is needed; you can eat normally as soon as you leave our office.

Is there any special care required for my porcelain crown?

A crown doesn’t require any special care, just diligent brushing and flossing on a daily basis. As long as you’re removing plaque and food debris on a daily basis your crown should endure.

How long do crowns last?

How long a crown will last is hard to determine. Their lifespan often depends on the home hygiene of the patient. Porcelain doesn’t decay, but that doesn’t mean the tooth under the crown can’t decay. Also, if the patient practices bad habits such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, and the like, the lifespan of a crown can be greatly diminished. But with the proper hygiene and respect, our high-quality porcelain crowns can last for decades.

Porcelain Crowns

Sometimes the strength of a tooth is compromised. It may have extensive decay or have a large chip or crack. A porcelain crown returns the needed support, saving the tooth and improving its function.

A crown, which is sometimes referred to as a “cap,” covers the entire tooth surface down to the gumline, restoring the original size and shape of the tooth, and more importantly, giving it strength. Crowns are used when other restorations such as fillings will leave the tooth too weak, and they can be used as abutments (anchors) for bridges.

How is a crown placed on a tooth?

Crowns require two appointments at most dental practices. However, since we have the CEREC system, we can prepare your tooth, measure for the crown, fabricate the crown, and attach it all in a single appointment. Here’s the process.

First, Dr. Hoffenberg, or Dr. Amin removes all the damage and decay from the tooth, along with any filling that has fractured or is otherwise unstable. Next, the tooth is shaved down to create room for the crown. We then take a series of impressions, photographs, and other measurements to provide the input for our CEREC system. Using this data, the CEREC system takes a block of solid porcelain and mills it down into your porcelain crown.

Once the CEREC crown is complete, we place the crown onto your tooth with a temporary bonding material so that we can test the bite and see if you are satisfied with the fit. Once we both agree everything is right, we cement the crown permanently onto your tooth. No recovery is needed; you can eat normally as soon as you leave our office.

Is there any special care required for my porcelain crown?

A crown doesn’t require any special care, just diligent brushing and flossing on a daily basis. As long as you’re removing plaque and food debris on a daily basis your crown should endure.

Want to see if a porcelain crown is right for you? Contact Drs. Hoffenberg & Amin at (847) 367-6760 to schedule your appointment in Vernon Hills. You can also read more on caps and our other offered services on our blog!