When a filling is applied to a cavity it is intended to repair the area of tooth decay for a long time. Unfortunately, as time passes the natural bacteria in your mouth can start to attack and weaken the cement holding your filling in place.
The larger and older a filling is, the more likely it is to fail one day. If you lose a large filling or a tooth with a previous filling develops another area of decay, there might not be enough healthy enamel left to effectively anchor another filling. In a situation like this Dr. Spear might recommend having the tooth restored by a crown.
A crown essentially replaces the enamel layer of a tooth with an artificial material like gold, base metals or porcelain. The tooth’s primary function in your mouth and relationship to your smile, will determine the material Dr. Spear recommends for the crown.
Having a tooth restored by a crown often requires two separate appointments. At the first appointment Dr. Spear will examine the tooth and take a few x-rays to assess the extent of the tooth decay. If the pulp or root of the tooth has been compromised he might need to perform a root canal.
Dr. Spear will then form an abutment to mount the crown, by removing the majority of the tooth enamel leaving behind a small amount to help protect the healthy interior of the tooth. Once this is done Dr. Spear will create an impression of the area, which is sent to a dental lab where your permanent crown is made. A temporary crown is then cemented over the abutment to protect it.
When the permanent crown is ready, Dr. Spear will call you in for a brief second appointment. The temporary crown is removed and your new permanent crown will be cemented in place over the abutment.
If you have a tooth with severely damaged enamel or concerns that you might need a crown, please feel free to call Dr. Spear at 817.920.1488 to schedule an appointment.