Among the patients he works with every day, Dr. Lamarche meets people who have teeth that have suffered damage due to severe tooth decay, gum disease, or facial trauma. While the doctor can repair some damaged teeth with dental fillings or dental bonding, many have received too much damage for these methods to prove effective. In these cases, the doctor turns to dental crowns as a solution. Dental crowns have several other uses, as well, and the doctor relies on them in many situations. When placing dental crowns for our patients, Dr. LaMarche generally recommends all porcelain crowns. These crowns look the most lifelike, and will blend seamlessly with just about any smile.
About Dental Crowns
Dental crowns protect teeth that have suffered damage due to severe decay, fractures, and breaks from incurring further damage, while restoring a natural, healthy look to your smile.
Dr. LaMarche uses crowns to replace
large fillings in teeth that don’t have enough structure remaining to support a
new filling, or to help support dental bridges for patients who have lost one
or more teeth. The doctor often uses crowns to cover the site of a root canal
procedure. When used in conjunction with a dental implant, a crown can
even replace a missing tooth.
Technicians in an offsite dental lab fabricate these custom designed shells, creating them to achieve a permanent, snug fit over damaged teeth.
Placing a Traditional Dental Crown
The process of placing a porcelain dental crown will generally require two visits to our dental office. You will begin the first visit by having a one-on-one consultation with Dr. LaMarche. The doctor will review your medical and dental history, as well as any medications you currently take, then he will perform a thorough examination of your mouth to ensure that no other issues need addressing before placing your crown.
The doctor will polish the damaged tooth and prepare it for placement of the crown by removing a minimal amount of enamel from the surface to make room for the thin shell. Once he has finished preparing the tooth, the doctor will make impressions of it and the rest of your mouth.
He will forward the impressions, along with any necessary shading information to match the crown to your natural teeth, to a reputable dental lab, where a certified lab technician will fabricate and tint your crown so it matches your natural teeth.
Dr. LaMarche will provide you with a temporary crown to wear while you wait for the lab to create your permanent restoration. While wearing this temporary restoration, you will need to avoid hard or sticky foods that could dislodge the crown or cause it to break. You should do your best to keep chewing to the side of your mouth without the crown. The doctor also recommends sliding dental floss out from between your teeth, rather than lifting it out, to decrease the likelihood of accidentally pulling the crown out.
When your permanent crown arrives in our office, usually around two weeks later, you will return to our office to have it placed. Dr. LaMarche will remove your temporary crown and replace it with the new permanent restoration, then check for a good fit and test for proper occlusion.
When he feels everything fits correctly, the doctor will use dental adhesive to permanently bond your new crown to the tooth. With proper care and regular dental visits, your ceramic crown can last up to 15 years before it needs replacing.
Placing a Crown to Restore a Dental Implant
If you have lost one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease, or facial trauma, Dr. LaMarche will surgically place tiny posts made of titanium, called dental implants, in your jaw to replace the missing tooth roots. As the implants heal, they will fuse with the bone in your jaw, providing a sturdy anchor for a restoration. The doctor has several restoration options for these implants, including porcelain dental crowns.
This procedure typically requires two surgeries, each taking place in our office. The doctor will place the implants during the first surgery. He will then send his design of your crown to the offsite lab, where technicians will fabricate your crown while the implants heal.
Three to six months later, when the implants have fully healed, you will return to our office. The doctor will surgically expose the implants from underneath the gums and attach small connectors, called abutments to the head of each implant. He will then attach your new crown to the abutment, bonding it in place. Implant-supported dental crowns provide a very life-like restoration in both appearance and function.