The Crown and Process
The purpose of a crown is to replace the structure, function and esthetics of a damaged or defective tooth. This protects the tooth, and often nerve, from future damage. Crowns are all-ceramic, highly esthetic restorations that fully cover teeth. To prepare a tooth for a crown, the visible portion is reduced in all dimensions (360deg) by 1 - 1.5mm. All damaged tooth struc- ture (including decay, fractures and old fillings) is removed. Sometimes, fractures decay and old restorations extend under the gum line. In this case, a laser is required to remove the gum tissue so that healthy tooth structure can be exposed and prepped. This process is called a "gingivectomy." Tooth structure that needs to be replaced, to aid in the retention of the crown, is called the "buildup." If a gingivectomy is needs, the gum tissue around the crown can be sore for 7-10 days. Proper hygiene less flossing should be continued to keep the gum area clean while it heals. The Motrin regiment below will be essential to limit discomfort during the tissue healing phase.