What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

Apr 01, 2021

What do you do when a tooth breaks, chips, fractures, discolors, or weakens? While there may be several options worth considering, getting a dental crown is one of the best solutions.

In dentistry, a dental crown is an artificial cap fitted over a damaged tooth to restore its natural appearance, shape, and functionality. That’s not all. Dental crowns offer a variety of dental solutions, such as:

  • Preventing further damage to a tooth
  • Protecting a weak tooth
  • Holding and supporting a dental bridge
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Holding a cracked or fractured tooth
  • Covering a discolored tooth
  • Strengthening a filled tooth
  • Protecting a tooth after a root canal therapy treatment
  • Restoring a worn-out tooth
  • Enhancing a tooth cosmetically

Types of Dental Crown Materials

If you want to get a dental crown, your dentist will suggest some possible materials. However, you can choose one based on your personal preferences. Common materials for crowns include:

  • Porcelain crowns – These are the most popular. They blend in well with natural teeth and are ideal for front teeth restorations.
  • Gold crowns – These crowns are constructed from a combination of different metals such as gold, silver, and nickel. They are very strong and are ideal for back teeth restorations. The only downside is that they don’t blend well with the natural teeth due to their dark color.
  • Porcelain-fused metal crowns – These crowns feature a combination of different metals and porcelain. The outer coating is made of porcelain and blends well with the surrounding teeth. The metal inside makes them strong and durable.
  • Zirconia Crowns – As the name suggests, these crowns are made from zirconia. It’s relatively strong and perfect for both front and back teeth restorations.

When selecting the material for your dental crowns, you should keep in mind the following factors:

  • The cost of the material
  • The location of the tooth
  • The position of the gum line and tissues
  • The color of your natural teeth
  • Teeth grinding and clenching habits
  • Possible allergies to certain materials
  • The function of the damaged tooth

If possible, you should ask your dentist to guide you through the selection process. Below is a checklist of good crown material:

  • It should offer maximum protection to the damaged tooth.
  • It should blend well with the surrounding teeth.
  • It should bond easily with the damaged tooth.
  • It should be toxin-free.
  • It should be compatible with implants and bridges.
  • It should be long-lasting.
  • It should offer the same required biting strength as the natural teeth.
  • It should be safe for the damaged tooth as well as the surrounding teeth.

Once you identify the right material for your crown, your dentist will schedule an appointment for the procedure.

Dental Crown Procedure

On the day of the procedure, the dentist will clean the area around the damaged tooth. This involves removing decay & damaged tissues and the outer surface of the tooth.

Once the tooth is clean, the dentist will either:

Option 1 – Take a mold of the presumed structure of the crown and send it to the lab. The mold will be used to make the permanent crown. Your dentist will then put a temporary crown over the tooth and send you home. This may take about one to two weeks. Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will call you to the office and replace the temporary crown with the permanent crown. For this procedure, you’ll have to visit the dental office twice.

Option 2 – Take digital pictures and scans of your dental condition. Your dentist will then make a crown right there in the office. Once it’s ready, the dentist will fix and cement the crown in place. This can be done in one appointment.

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?

Based on the type of crown you choose and your oral hygiene, your crown may last for as long as 15 years. For your crown to last long, please follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions.

Common care tips include:

  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Avoiding sticky and hard foods immediately after the procedure
  • Practicing good overall oral hygiene
  • Eating healthy
  • Maintaining regular visits to the dentist for specialized cleaning and check-ups
  • Avoiding tobacco and colored drinks immediately after the procedure as it can stain the crown

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re considering a dental crown treatment, call Westwood Dental Group to schedule a consultation. We can help you determine if this treatment is suitable for you.

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