What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. They can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two.
Benefits of dental crowns
Dental crowns offer a number of benefits, including:
- Protecting a damaged or weakened tooth from further decay or breakage
- Restoring a tooth’s shape and function
- Covering a dental implant
- Improving the appearance of a tooth
Types of dental crowns
There are several different types of dental crowns available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of dental crowns include:
- Metal crowns: Metal crowns are the strongest and most durable type of crown. They are often made from gold or alloys of gold, but they can also be made from other metals, such as nickel, chromium, or cobalt. Metal crowns are a good option for teeth that are subject to a lot of wear and tear, such as back teeth.
- Porcelain crowns: Porcelain crowns are made from a tooth-coloured material that can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. They are a good option for teeth that are visible when you smile or talk. Porcelain crowns are less durable than metal crowns, but they are more aesthetically pleasing.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. They are a good option for teeth that are subject to a lot of wear and tear and that are also visible when you smile or talk.
Which type of dental crown is right for you?
The best type of dental crown for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Your dentist can help you choose the right type of crown for your tooth and budget.
Stay tuned for the next chapter, which will discuss when dental crowns are necessary.
When are dental crowns necessary?
Dental crowns are a versatile dental treatment that can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the most common reasons why dental crowns are necessary:
- To protect a damaged or weakened tooth. If a tooth is cracked, chipped, or broken, a dental crown can help to protect it from further damage. Dental crowns can also be used to protect teeth that have been severely decayed or that have large fillings.
- To restore a tooth’s shape and function. If a tooth is missing a large portion of its structure, a dental crown can be used to restore its shape and function. This is especially important for teeth that are involved in chewing or speaking.
- To cover a dental implant. A dental implant is a metal post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. A dental crown is then placed over the implant to restore the appearance and function of the tooth.
- To improve the appearance of a tooth. Dental crowns can be used to improve the appearance of discoloured or misshapen teeth. They can also be used to close gaps between teeth.
Here are some specific examples of when a dental crown may be necessary:
- A tooth that has been cracked or chipped. A crack or chip in a tooth can make it more susceptible to further damage. A dental crown can help to protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking completely.
- A tooth with a large filling. If a tooth has a large filling, the remaining tooth structure may be weakened. A dental crown can help to strengthen the tooth and prevent it from breaking.
- A tooth that has been root canal treated. A root canal is a procedure that is performed to remove the infected or damaged pulp from inside a tooth. After a root canal, the tooth is often more brittle and more susceptible to breakage. A dental crown can help to protect the root canal-treated tooth and prevent it from breaking.
- A missing tooth. A dental crown can be used to cover a dental implant, which is a metal post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth.
- A discolored or misshapen tooth. A dental crown can be used to improve the appearance of a discoloured or misshapen tooth.
- A tooth with a gap. A dental crown can be used to close a gap between teeth.
If you are unsure whether or not you need a dental crown, be sure to talk to your dentist. They can assess your individual needs and determine if a dental crown is the right treatment for you.
The dental crown procedure
The dental crown procedure typically takes two appointments.
During the first appointment:
- Your dentist will start by numbing the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue with local anaesthesia.
- Next, your dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown. This involves removing some of the tooth’s enamel to make room for the crown.
- Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take impressions of the tooth and the surrounding teeth. These impressions will be used to create a custom-made crown.
- Finally, your dentist will place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready.
During the second appointment:
- Your dentist will start by removing the temporary crown.
- Next, your dentist will fit the permanent crown over the prepared tooth.
- If the crown fits well, your dentist will cement it in place.
- Once the crown is cemented in place, your dentist will check your bite to make sure that the crown is not interfering with your ability to bite and chew properly.
The dental crown procedure is generally painless. However, you may experience some minor discomfort after the procedure, such as sensitivity or soreness. This discomfort should subside within a few days.
Here are some tips for caring for your new dental crown:
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods, such as ice, candy, and nuts.
- See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
Caring for dental crowns
Dental crowns are durable, but they can still be damaged if not properly cared for. Here are some tips on how to care for your new dental crown:
Brush and floss twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Be sure to brush around and under the crown. Floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and around the crown.
Avoid hard foods and sugary drinks. Hard foods, such as candy, nuts, and ice, can damage your crown. Sugary drinks can promote plaque buildup, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will check your crown for any signs of damage and perform a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar.
Here are some additional tips for caring for your dental crown:
- Avoid chewing gum. Gum can stick to your crown and damage it.
- Avoid using abrasive toothpastes or mouthwashes. Abrasive products can wear down the surface of your crown.
- If you clench or grind your teeth, wear a mouth guard to protect your crown.
If you follow these tips, your dental crown should last for many years.
Signs that your dental crown may need to be replaced:
- Chipped or cracked crown
- Loose crown
- Crown that is causing pain or sensitivity
- Crown that is discolored or stained
If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your crown checked.
Dental crowns are a versatile dental treatment that can be used to restore the function and appearance of your teeth. They are durable and can last for many years with proper care.
If you are considering getting a dental crown, be sure to talk to your dentist about the best option for you. They can assess your individual needs and help you choose the right type of crown for your tooth and budget.
With proper care, your dental crown can help you enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile for many years to come.