Dental Crowns

Cosmetic procedures in dentistry come in a variety of forms, but none so versatile as the dental crown. A treatment designed to simultaneously protect and enhance, a dental crown can be prescribed not only as its own treatment, but also as a supporting feature for many other cosmetic procedures like dental bridges and implants. Dr. Konkle and Dr. Hatch at Hatch Family Dentistry provide dental crown services to patients in the greater Phoenix area.

What is a dental crown?

The secret to the dental crown lies in its form. Unlike other cosmetic procedures like dental bonding or porcelain veneers that are attached to one side of a tooth, dental crowns are hard, tooth-like “caps” that completely fit around the teeth to protect them. That means that crowns are ideal solutions for a range of both aesthetic and health-related issues (see below).

dental crowns in tempe az

Several types of dental crowns exist, but they differ solely in the material used to make them. For example, your dentist could provide dental crowns that are all-metal, all-porcelain, Zirconia, similar to but stronger than porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal (PFM). Each of these materials has certain strong points and drawbacks. We will recommend a material based on your specific needs. Regardless of which type you choose, you’ll retain full functionality in your tooth.

Rather, the biggest difference between the different types of dental crowns is aesthetic in nature. This might not sound like an important distinction at first, but the field of cosmetic dentistry is abundantly concerned with providing the best aesthetic results. For this reason, most dentists avoid the silvery sheen of metal alloys in favor of the more natural, tooth-like look that porcelain provides.

Why might I need a dental crown?

As mentioned briefly above, the versatility of the dental crown means that it can be used to treat both cosmetic and health-related dental problems. There are several general cases in which crowns might be necessary. These include:

  • To protect a weakened tooth: Severe tooth decay could weaken a tooth to the extent that basic chewing and speaking functions might further harm the tooth. A dental crown protects such a tooth by surrounding it with a hard shell to absorb the forces.
  • To restore a damaged tooth: Dental emergencies are always a possibility, and sometimes these accidents leave a patient with a chipped or cracked tooth. In some cases, the damage might merit a restorative procedure, but, in most scenarios, the biggest problem is the potential damage the already chipped or cracked tooth could cause. A dental crown can keep these carefully quarantined and out of the way, preventing further harms from occurring.
  • To cover cosmetic issues: Of course, dental crowns are a cosmetic procedure first, and, like most cosmetic procedures, can be used to treat a number of dental irregularities. For example, crowns can cover serious discoloration, smooth out bulges and craters, or even reshape a tooth to look more beautiful.
  • To support a dental bridge: Dental crowns can also be used to support other cosmetic procedures. Dental bridges are a common example. Crowns are used to attach the prosthetic and create the bridge that gives this procedure its name.
  • To fit over a dental implant: Dental implants are another procedure that benefits from crowns. Dental crowns are attached to the implant to create the actual tooth prosthetic.

What is the dental crown procedure like?

To attach a dental crown, your dentist will first begin by preparing the tooth. Because dental crowns take up space, the tooth to which they will be attached will need to be carefully filed down to make space for it.

After making sure the tooth is ready, your dentist will take pictures of your tooth to be used in our CEREC system. This system provides chair-side ceramic restorations in a fraction of the time it would take to make and send the impressions to a lab. The crown that matches your tooth exactly in both color and shape will be designed, created and milled while you wait. This usually takes 1.5-2 hours from start to finish.

If you’re interested in getting a dental crown, or if you just want to learn more about cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact Hatch Family Dentistry in Tempe! Dr. Konkle and Dr. Hatch are always happy to discuss potential options with new patients. Just call our office at (480) 838-3073 or visit our website to set up an appointment!