Las Vegas dental clinic uses crowns in many ways
Dental crowns have been around since about 200 AD, when an early Italian culture crafted them from gold. Technologies, techniques, and materials for dental crowns have changed a lot since then, and their usefulness continues to evolve. Keep reading to learn about the ways Dr. Christopher Lim uses this versatile treatment at his clinic in Las Vegas.
What is a crown?
Imagine if you could grin into the mirror and see right through gum tissue and bone. Beneath the gum line, you would see roots of teeth extending into bone. That is what keeps them solidly anchored. The other portion of each tooth is called the crown because rises above gum tissue (like a crown on top the head of an emperor), allowing you to bite, tear, and grind food.
A dental crown encircles the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line, mimicking the size and contours of the natural crown.
Crown placement first involves shaping the tooth. The tooth may be reduced (ground down somewhat) to allow a dental crown to fit over it. In other cases, such as when a great deal of decayed or damaged structure must be removed, the tooth is built up with composite bonding material to support the crown.
Then the doctor takes impressions of your mouth, photos using an intraoral camera, and meticulous measurements. This information, along with instructions on shading, goes to a professional dental laboratory. The ceramist fabricates a crown that matches your own dentition beautifully.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lim protects the prepared tooth with an interim restoration. When you return to Hillside Dental in a few weeks, the “temporary” is removed, and your new crown is cemented into place.
Dr. Lim may suggest a stand-alone dental crown in these situations:
- A large filling has failed, possibly taking some of your tooth with it
- Untreated tooth decay has left a sizeable hole in your tooth
- A piece of the tooth has broken off
- The tooth has one or more significant fractures
- The tooth is worn down
- There is deep discoloration that does not respond to professional bleaching
- Shape, size, or enamel texture is unattractive
- To protect a tooth that has had endodontic (root canal) treatment, which may leave it brittle
- To finish a dental implant, replacing an entire missing tooth
In addition crowns are a vital part of a dental bridge. The bridge contains an artificial tooth (sometimes several in a row). It is moored in place by crowns cemented to teeth on either side of the gap.
Caring for your crown
With good care, a dental crown can last many years, and home hygiene is crucial. The crown cannot decay but bear in mind that your natural tooth is underneath and it can get a cavity. In addition, you could develop gum disease around the crowned tooth.
Dr. Lim urges you to brush your teeth after eating. Use a soft toothbrush, mild paste (avoid whitening formulas which are abrasive), and a light touch. It is important to brush gently but thoroughly at the margin, where the crown meets the gumline. The Hillside Dental hygiene team will be happy to give you a refresher demonstration on healthy brushing technique.
Be sure to floss before going to bed at night; more often if you’d like. If the contact on either side of a crowned tooth is tight, or if floss tends to catch at the margin, please do not yank it out! Gently pull floss to the gums, work it up and down a few times, then slide it out.
If you tend to grind or clench excessively, Dr. Lim will fit you with a night guard. It slips over teeth, relieving strain on jaw joints and cushioning force on teeth as well as restorations such as your new crown.
Why Las Vegas patients trust this dental clinic for crowns
Every licensed dentist learns about crowns in dental school, and most general dentists offer the treatment. Why do individuals and families in the Las Vegas area come to Dr. Lim for this service? He uses leading edge technologies for precision crown design, and he works with a top-flight lab. The doctor is experienced in crafting crowns from a variety of materials – all porcelain, gold, stainless steel, and porcelain fused to metal – for options that fit every budget and lifestyle. Plus, Dr. Lim is an artist (you can see some of his paintings on this website). His eye for proportion and color contributes to natural-looking crowns.
New patients are welcome at Hillside Dental. Call 702-666-8584 to schedule your appointment.