Crowns: Not just for kings and queens anymore!

Since you are becoming an expert in all things restorative (meaning: fillings and things that fix your teeth) I thought I’d further your knowledge by explaining the ins and outs of what a crown is.

This seems to be another death blow dealt to people.  Its not actually that bad.  When you come into your West Seattle dentist for your check up and cleaning, and hear that you need a crown, this is what it means:

west seattle dentist

A crown is a porcelain tooth that fits over your existing tooth.  Something’s happened to your tooth, either it has a big filling that needs to be replaced but there’s not enough tooth structure left to support the new one, your tooth has broken, or you’ve gotten a root canal.  When one of these things happens, your tooth needs reinforcement in the form of something more than just a replacement filling.  Enter a crown.  They are also commonly referred to as a cap.

When you are getting a crown done, the process takes two appointments.  During the first appointment, the old filling is removed from the tooth.  If there is hardly any tooth left, Dr. Kirchner may do what’s called a build-up that puts a little extra tooth structure in the form of a filling back onto the tooth so that it can support a crown.  She then will smooth up all the edges of the tooth and make it perfect so that its edges will match up perfectly with the edges of your new crown.  She’ll then take an impression of the tooth (not a huge one like in this post, usually just a little one) that will be sent to the lab.  The lab will then make your crown from this information.  One of Dr. Kirchner’s lovely assistants will have matched the shade of your tooth to a guide, so when it comes back it will match the other teeth in your mouth.  Unless you wanted a gold crown.  Then it will be gold colored.

While Dr. Kirchner is filling out the information to send to the lab, one of Dr. Kirchner’s lovely assistants will make you a temporary crown made out of acrylic to put over your tooth while you wait for your permanent crown to be fabricated.  After about two weeks, your new crown will be ready to go on.  That’s when you’ll come back for the second appointment.  During this appointment Dr. Kirchner will use special cement to bond the crown to your tooth.  She’ll clean up any excess cement that gooshed out, make sure everything feels good, and VOILA!  You’ve got a functioning tooth back!

Got a broken tooth bothering you?  Give the office a call and make an appointment today to get that tooth back in working order!


Have you entered our contest yet to win a free (FREE! NO STRINGS ATTACHED!!) In-Office teeth whitening session?  If you haven’t yet, scramble on over to Facebook and check out the details there.  You can also leave a comment for this post telling me if you could have a tiny design baked into the porcelain on a crown to be put in your mouth, what it would be.  The drawing will be held September 13, 2012 using RANDOM.ORG.  Be sure to leave your email so we can notify you if you win!


  1. Stefanie

    probably a tiny picture of my kids!

  2. Jennifer Dempsey

    a tiny beetle 🙂