A dental crown is a custom-made durable cap that is bonded over a damaged, weak, or cosmetically flawed tooth to cover it up and protect it from chewing forces that could break it. The crown reinforces the tooth’s strength and restores missing tooth structure so it looks like a natural tooth and restores functionality.
Crowns are commonly needed to hold a broken tooth together and provide more strength when a tooth has a large crack, a large filling, or has been weakened from root canal therapy. Crowns also complete tooth restorations like bridges and dental implants and are used to hide cosmetic issues like discoloration in single teeth. Contact us at DentAllon Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.
All metal crowns can last for up to 20 years.
Dr. Allon will examine and take x-rays of your teeth to look for underlying tooth decay. If any is detected, this will need to be removed before you receive a crown. Teeth that cannot be repaired may need to be extracted.
Crowns need space to fit over a tooth so after administering local anesthesia, we will trim the outside surfaces of your tooth to alter your tooth’s shape and create more space for the crown to fit over top.
After preparing your tooth, impressions will be taken and sent to an outside dental lab. To protect your filed-down while you wait, you will receive a temporary crown to wear.
The dental lab will use special technology to fabricate a custom-made crown that fits over your tooth using your impressions as a model.
After a few weeks of crown fabrication, your crown will be ready to be bonded to your tooth.
Teeth can be brightened up to 10 shades in a single in-office teeth whitening session. It’s also the most popular cosmetic dental treatment.
On average, dental crowns of various materials last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
How long your crown lasts is ultimately up to you. You can choose a highly durable material to create your crown out of, avoid damaging habits that can cause premature degradation in your crown, and practice good oral hygiene to prevent oral health problems in the underlying tooth.
Durable and long-lasting materials include all metal and zirconia crowns. Porcelain-fused-to-metal is somewhere in the middle and porcelain and ceramic crowns have a reduced life expectancy but are much more aesthetic which may be more of a priority in the front teeth.
As a general rule, fragile crowns should be placed in the front of the mouth and durable crowns in the back. The back teeth are used for chewing which means the crowns will undergo more force and wear and tear.
There are three important areas of crown maintenance to consider to maintain the integrity of your dental crowns over time. The first is oral hygiene – covering a tooth with a crown doesn’t protect you from oral health problems if you don’t care for your teeth and gums properly.
You should brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You should also brush your tongue and floss once a day. No matter how good your oral hygiene is at home, you still need to go to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup.
The next area of consideration is wear and tear. You need to prevent damage to your crowns by limiting your exposure to damage and avoiding it where possible. This might mean getting fit for a custom mouthguard if you grind your teeth, avoid eating hard, sticky, and crunchy foods, or stop harmful habits like chewing on ice, your fingernails, and using your teeth to open packages.
Finally, if you have a tooth-colored crown, you will need to reduce your exposure to stains. The first thing you should cut out are tobacco products, which can cause significant discoloration. Then you should limit your consumption of highly pigmented foods and drinks or at least rinse your mouth with water afterward. You can also try drinking through a straw to limit contact with the teeth.
A dental crown can be used for restorative and cosmetic purposes.