So your dentist told you that you need a crown — what does that mean? A crown is a cap that fits completely over your existing tooth. Its purpose is to interact with your food the way your tooth would, while keeping food and bacteria away from the tooth itself.
At Dentate Smile Design, our standards for crowns are exacting: we believe that a crown should feel just as natural as your own teeth do. Dr. Vo, the leader here at Dentate, has specific training and expertise in the field of prosthodontics — that’s the design and fitting of artificial teeth — that gives her a unique understanding of how to make a crown feel ‘right’ in your mouth.
Dr. Vo also keeps herself involved in every step of the crown-making process — even ones that other dentists typically leave to their lab technicians. Specifically, most dentists will perform the preparation — where they trim your tooth slightly so that the crown doesn’t feel oversized — and then their assistant will take an impression of the newly-trimmed tooth, and put a temporary tooth in place over it. Then they’ll send the impression off to the lab to have the crown made, where someone who has never seen the inside of your mouth will create the crown. It will return, and if it fits, great! If not, you’ll have to try again — and either way, you don’t really get much say in the matter.
Compare this to Dentate Smile Design, where Dr. Vo will personally prepare your tooth, make impressions of it, and then carefully fit you with comfortable, natural-looking temporaries. She sends it off to the lab to be created, but she has the lab send the tooth back before the lab performs the final steps. That’s because the most common problem with a crown is the ‘margin fit’ — the area where the crown’s bottom edge, your gumline, and the root of your tooth all come together. If that part doesn’t fit, the crown will never be comfortable or feel natural. Dr. Vo marks the margins of each crown she installs personally. Once she’s satisfied, she’ll send the marked crown back to the lab to be finished, and upon receiving the completed item, double-check it once more — and check again with you — before cementing it in place.
Why go through all this trouble? As mentioned, margins are the most troublesome part of any crown. If the margin is off, bacteria can get under a crown and cause decay of the tooth beneath. X-rays cannot see through metal underneath the porcelain of a crown, so often the decay isn’t detected until it infects the gums — and by then, you’re due for expensive and painful surgery. A properly-fitting margin is the best way to protect the tooth under your crown.
With Dr. Vo, you’ll get a crown that fits like a dream, looks and feels like a real tooth, and fits into your bite just like your old tooth did (or better!). If you’ve been told you need a crown and you want it done right, call our Rochester Hills office today at (248) 656-2300 — we’re looking forward to hearing from you!