Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: crowns

By Murphy Dental Group
May 14, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

If your tooth sustains damage that compromises its structure — typically through decay or trauma — you have several options depending on the extent of the damage: One of them is a crown. This method saves the tooth and its root and completely conceals the visible portion of the tooth, or crown, under a natural-looking cap made to mimic as closely as possible the size, shape and color of the original tooth.

Crowns also hide imperfections in the original tooth like discoloration, chipping, fractures, excessive wear (from bruxism, or tooth grinding, for example), or abnormalities in the way the tooth formed. And they’re used following root canal treatments, which treat infected pulp at the center (canal) of a tooth root by removing the pulp and replacing it with an inert, rubber-like material.

Saving the natural tooth has long been the goal of dentistry because normal micromovements of the tooth root, which is suspended in its jawbone socket by elastic ligaments, stimulate the surrounding bone to rejuvenate. Without that stimulation, the bone continues to lose old cells, but no longer replaces them. Crowns are also designed to restore tooth function.

The function and location of the damaged tooth can determine what material the crown will be made of. If the damaged tooth is clearly visible when you smile, porcelain, the most realistic-looking material, is almost always used. If the tooth receives significant bite force, a stronger material is considered — either, a gold/porcelain combination, or a high-strength ceramic. If you are restoring a second molar, an all-gold crown may be considered.

With the advent of dental implants, saving a damaged tooth is no longer the only option for preserving the health of the bone surrounding the tooth root. The implant — a tiny biocompatible, titanium screw-like artificial root — is placed in the jawbone and is then capped with a natural-looking crown of course!

If you would like more information about dental crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”


Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By Murphy Dental Group
April 13, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Murphy Dental Group PLLC
April 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

How dental crowns can help your teeth and your smile

Dental crowns, also known as caps, are the perfect choice for you if you have teeth that are weakened from large, unsightly metal fillings. Metal fillings can actually weaken teeth and make them more prone to breaking. Thanks to new dental materials and techniques, dentalCrowns crowns are a state-of-the-art treatment to strengthen your teeth. Not only do they strengthen your teeth, but they are also cosmetically beautiful, actually enhancing your smile. Your dentists John M. Murphy, DMD and Patrick J. Murphy, DMD at Murphy Dental Group, PLLC in Milton, Massachusetts want you to know why dental crowns are right for you.

Large, bulky, unsightly metal fillings used to be the common solution for restoring teeth; but metal fillings can actually work as a wedge in your tooth, so if you bite on something just right, you can shear off a portion of your tooth, along with the filling.

Your dentists at Murphy Dental Group, PLLC want you to know that when they place a crown on your tooth, the crown functions as “armor” protecting your tooth and shielding it from biting forces and trauma.

Dental crowns are right for you if you have teeth that are:

  • Damaged and broken
  • Treated with a root canal
  • Worn down from aging
  • Traumatized from a bad bite

Dental crowns might also be right for you if you want to restore your smile to greatness by rejuvenating aging, dull, yellow teeth. You can also cosmetically straighten your teeth by placing crowns on teeth that are crowded, uneven or crooked.

There are several types of dental crowns. They can be made from gold, porcelain and metal, or all-porcelain. Your dentists at Murphy Dental Group, PLLC prefer to use the total porcelain crowns, they are super strong and aesthetically beautiful. They look and feel like your own teeth.  

Dental crowns are a great choice to strengthen your teeth, but they can also improve the look of your smile. You deserve a great smile, so don’t wait. Call your dentists at Murphy Dental Group PLLC in Milton, Massachusetts and find out more about why dental crowns are right for you. Call today!

By Murphy Dental Group, PLLC
August 05, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  
Dental CrownsA porcelain crown can restore good health and strength to your teeth, giving you the confidence to smile and eat freely again. It’s one of the most common cosmetic treatments offered at dentist's offices across the country. In advance of your next appointment at Murphy Dental Group PLLC in Milton, MA, educate yourself about porcelain crowns and how they can improve your smile.
The "Anatomy" of a Tooth
To understand how a crown helps a tooth, it's helpful to first understand the anatomy of a tooth. There are four main layers or parts: the enamel, dentin, pulp and root. The root is the part of the tooth that keeps it firmly embedded in your jawbone. As long as the root is healthy and strong, you can add a porcelain crown to the tooth that will effectively replace the enamel. In some cases, a root canal by your Milton dentist may be necessary to thoroughly clean the pulp and fill it with a plastic material called gutta-percha before a crown is placed.
The Structure of a Porcelain Crown
When you think of a crown, you probably think of something that’s designed to fit over another object (like a hat on your head). A dental crown is a piece of hard, white porcelain material that is shaped so that it will fit snugly over a re-shaped, rooted tooth. When bonded, the crown covers the entire area that is visible above the gum line.
How Crowns Help Improve Your Smile
A porcelain crown betters your smile in two ways. For one, it strengthens the outer surface of your tooth, so that you can chew and talk normally. Second, the porcelain material can be created to mimic your natural tooth color, size and shape, so the crown fits in perfectly with the surrounding teeth. It is extremely durable and normally lasts for decades before a replacement is needed. Some people maintain their crowns for as long as 25 years.
Get Crowned at Murphy Dental Group
If you're convinced that a crown is what you need to restore your smile, call (617) 696-3900 today to schedule a visit with our qualified Milton dentists. Dr. John M. Murphy and Dr. Patrick J. Murphy at Murphy Dental Group are accredited members of the American Dental Association and Massachusetts Dental Society who are committed to helping patients with quality dental care.