Dental crowns are generally used to restore teeth that have been severely damaged by decay, cracked, or that have received root canal treatment. Crowns help hold the tooth together if it’s cracked, and add strength and stability to a tooth that has undergone a root canal. Generally, the crown is placed in two stages. First, the tooth is prepared for the crown. Some enamel must be removed, and the tooth must be reshaped in order to make room for the crown. The final crown is based on a mold taken of your tooth. While that crown is being prepared, you’ll wear a replacement crown to protect the modified tooth.
The replacement crown is affixed to the tooth with adhesive, but this adhesive isn’t as strong as the permanent type used to affix your final crown. The replacement crown is also not as strong as the permanent crown. It’s important to avoid sticky or chewy foods while you’re waiting for your final crown. Chewy or hard foods could break the crown, and sticky foods could pull it off the tooth, leaving the modified tooth surface unprotected. If the temporary crown does happen to come off, see your dentist as soon as possible.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dentists offer a wide range of solutions on how to restore your smile. You can try treatments and procedures like dental veneers, oral surgery, teeth whitening, or a number of other cosmetic procedures. All of them are suitable for different reasons. However, dental crown treatment is one of the most popular and effective cosmetic dentistry treatments available.
A dental crown is essentially a tooth-shaped cover for your actual tooth. It covers up your actual tooth in order to change its size, shape, or general appearance. These crowns are cemented in their place so they completely cover up the visible parts of the teeth over the gum line. They also protect the teeth from damage or decay. These are preferable to other solutions like dental fillings and veneers because they are extremely strong and can last a lifetime.
Necessity of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns serve a number of purposes. The following are some of the primary reasons you may need dental crowns:
- Protecting weak or decaying teeth from damage, fractures, or cracks.
- Restore the aesthetic appearance of a broken or fractured tooth.
- Restore the original shape of a decaying tooth that’s worn down.
- Cover up a tooth in order to level it against all the surrounding teeth.
- Maintain a dental bridge in place.
- Cover up crooked or stained teeth.
- Cover up dental implants.
- Make any other cosmetic modifications necessary to improve the general aesthetic appeal.
- In children, dental crowns can also help protect the child’s teeth from decay, especially when they aren’t diligent with oral hygiene.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are four different types of dental crowns.
- Ceramic — These are used for restoring front teeth, and are popular in this area for their ability to blend with your natural tooth color. The crown is made of a porcelain-based material.
- Porcelain-fused to metal – This crown provides a stronger bond than regular porcelain because it is connected to a metal structure. It’s also extremely durable.
- Gold alloys – This crown is a mix of gold, copper and other metals. In addition to providing a strong bond to the tooth, it doesn’t fracture, nor does it wear away the tooth itself.
- Base metal alloys – This crown is made up of non-noble metals that are highly resistant to corrosion, and make for a very strong crown. It also requires the least amount of healthy tooth to be removed prior to fitting.
Differences Between Crown Types
The sealing ability of the all-porcelain crown depends on the filling materials and the quality of the underlying tooth, whereas the other three provide particularly good seals against leakage.
Durability is best in the gold and metal alloys crowns, whereas the all-porcelain crown tends to be less strong, more suseptible if it is put under enough pressure (if you grind your teeth at night, this may pose a problem). By contrast, the crown of porcelain fused to metal offers better durability. Both porcelain-based crowns are highly resistant to wear, but they can quickly aggravate opposing teeth if the adjacent surface becomes rough. Incidentally, the gold and metal alloys are resistant to wear and gentle on opposing teeth at the same time.
Though they sometimes become loose or fall out, crowns can last a lifetime if properly maintained. The best way to achieve this is through proper oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day are your go-to methods of keeping your teeth healthy every morning and night. Use a proper toothbrush to keep your teeth spotless, especially your back molars. Above all, scheduling regular checkups with your dentist is key to sustaining good oral hygiene so that you won’t have to choose from these different types of dental crowns.
Top 5 Benefits of Dental Crowns
A dental crown is a custom made cap that covers the entirety of the tooth, from the chewing surface to the gum line. Your doctor can create and place these prostheses for medical and cosmetic purposes. Many patients have heard of dental crowns, but may not be entirely sure how they can help their teeth look and function better.
They can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms
It is recommended placing a dental crown to complete a restorative treatment, repairing damage to a tooth’s enamel or structure. If you suffer from extensive decay, a tooth root infection, or oral trauma such as a fracture, chip, or breakage, your tooth may ache or feel sore. Once your dentist addresses the main issue with your tooth (perhaps by placing a tooth-colored filling, performing root canal therapy, or sealing a crack with a bonding agent), the remaining portion of its structure may still be vulnerable to further damage or discomfort. A dental crown can fortify your tooth against further issues and prevent sensitivity.
They require a relatively simple procedure to create and place
Some people mistakenly believe that dental crown treatment is complicated or intensive. In reality, this procedure is minimally invasive and relatively straightforward. Once your enamel is clean and healthy, your dentist will shape your tooth so that it can securely hold a crown. Over the next one to two weeks, skilled technicians will handcraft your crown. When it’s ready, your dentist will place it over your tooth with strong bonding cement.
They’re custom made to suit your smile
Your dentist will design your dental crown according to your exact specifications in terms of shape, size, color, and fit. You can feel confident that this individualized treatment will suit your needs, preferences, and budget.
They enhance the appearance of your teeth
Dental crowns are primarily used as part of restorative procedures, but they also offer numerous cosmetic benefits. Since they fit over the tooth, they can instantly correct discoloration, staining, misshapen teeth, crookedness, chips, cracks, fractures, and more. For these reason, some patients use them as a purely aesthetic treatment, much like porcelain veneers.
They typically last for many years
The dentists use strong, beautiful materials to manufacture the patients’ dental crowns. With proper care (including regular brushing and flossing, as well as routine examinations, these permanent prostheses can last between 15 and 30 years. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of dental crowns for decades.
5 Tips to Care for Your Dental Crowns
Here are five tips to make sure that you do not lose your crowns sooner than the expected time:
Maintain Good Habits
Most dental crowns can last from five to fifteen years. The lifespan of your Dental Crown depends on your dental hygiene and other oral habits. Permanent crowns, however, require less maintenance than temporary ones. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and do not forget to rinse your mouth, especially the area with the crown with an antibacterial mouthwash.
Use a Night Guard
The night guard looks like a retainer and makes sure that your upper and lower teeth do not touch. It can be useful for people who have a habit of grinding their teeth during their sleep. The grinding motion doesn’t just wear the crown and the rest of your teeth down, but it can also cause the crown to pop off.
Get Rid of Bad Habits
Avoid bad habits like chewing your nails or grinding your teeth as they can loosen the crown. Some people also like to chew ice which is also really bad for the dental crown. While performing your daily oral hygiene activities, pay close attention to the area where the gum meets the teeth.
Dealing with a Damaged Crown
Chipping can be a problem with crowns that are not of high quality. It can happen to dental crowns that are entirely porcelain-based. In some cases, the dentist may be able to restore the crown.
They would etch the porcelain with a special adhesive and bond the composite resin. Do not forget that repaired dental crowns are more prone to damage and might not be the most durable crowns to have. In cases where there is severe chipping, you may have to replace the crown.
Keeping up With the Dentist
It is imperative to not skip your regular appointment with your dentist, more so the people with crowns and implants. A dentist can identify and remedy problems with the crown before they get worse and cost you more.
You should immediately schedule an appointment if you feel pain while chewing or biting down. The dentist will inspect the area and find the cause of the problem. In most cases, the pain is because the crown is too high.
If that’s the case, your dentist will adjust the shape and position of the crown. Sometimes, glue washes out from beneath the crown, and the bacteria may find a way in and cause decay. The crown may also fall out when the dentist has not fixed it with proper care.
If this happens, you should place the crown in a plastic bag and immediately talk to your dentist. You will have to get a new crown, but the old one is not a complete waste.