A guide to versatile tooth preservation and replacement with durable, aesthetic crowns

Cracked, broken, decayed and otherwise damaged teeth can affect many aspects of your life, including how you chew and function, how you speak, the enjoyment you derive from eating, to how you feel about your appearance. Dr. Klara N. Efner and our team in Ventura, Southern California at Serene Dentistry Ventura understand this. We know time is of the essence when it comes to restoring your teeth and, subsequently, your health and quality of life.

Dental crowns to the rescue

Dental crowns are used to restore teeth that have more advanced destruction and are not suited to be restored with dental fillings. In the past, dentists traditionally used metal alloys (i.e. cast gold or non-precious metal alloys) or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Today, thanks to advancements in dental materials and technology, most crowns are made from durable and highly esthetic monolithic or layered porcelain materials. Most of the crowns are now fabricated utilizing CAD/CAM technology, which means more precise restoration fit, multiple options for accurate shade selection, ability to design the restorations with the Dentist more involved in the process (very important for cosmetic cases) and a faster turn-around time, to name a few. 

In short, while there is still place for metal-based restorations in certain cases, we’re fortunate to have many more options available that are sure to fit each patient’s individual needs and desires. This gives us the flexibility to utilize materials according to the needs of the patient and the tooth in question. Dr. Efner is happy to discuss the pros and cons of each option with you.

The crown is shaped to fit on top of the natural tooth. Before a crown can be placed, the tooth must be cleaned of decay, disinfected, oftentimes rebuilt and shaped to accommodate the crown. Dr. Efner uses precision techniques and technologies to remove diseased tissues. The idea is to use materials and methods that minimize the amount of healthy structure removed during the process. This step is vital to ensure the effective treatment of decay and other damage, and to assure that the crown will fit on top of the tooth properly. Crown restorations are also commonly the final following root canal therapy. Root canal and other endodontic treatments are designed to resolve deep or severe decay at the center or innermost chamber of the tooth, following inflammation of the nerve inside the chamber. These services may be the only way to preserve a badly damaged tooth.

Another nod to the versatility of crowns: they may also be used as a form of tooth replacement. The replacement tooth or “pontic” in a dental bridge relies on crowned teeth on either side of the gap to anchor or support it. When you have chosen a dental implant to replace a missing tooth or teeth, the crown is the visible part of the replacement that relies on the implant, which is positioned and fixed in the jawbone to support it. The implant fixture, then, functions as a tooth root to stabilize the crown attached to it. 

In some cases, very worn or poorly-shaped teeth can be covered with crowns. Veneers can be limited in their capacity to resolve some cosmetic imperfections, as they are placed on the front surfaces of teeth in the smile zone. If more coverage and strength are required, crowns may be the more fitting way to get the contours, color, and overall appearance that you desire from the likes of worn-down and severely misshapen back teeth. 

Call (805) 653-1599 sooner rather than later to schedule your examination, or request one at the button featured on this website. We may be able to prevent or even reverse the effects of damaging conditions without more involved interventions.