Dental crowns are a valuable tool your dentist can use to save a tooth that otherwise may require extraction. For decades, crowns were made with gold or some type of metal. Crowns today are often made from porcelain (especially ones needed for teeth in the smile line). Although metals are still used at times for back teeth, porcelain provides a strong and aesthetically pleasing repair that will make your crown practically indistinguishable from neighboring natural teeth.
What is a Dental Crown?
Think of a crown as a cap that is made to fit over the base of your tooth. The tooth to be crowned is reduced in size leaving a base large enough to accommodate the crown. Dental impressions are sent to a dental lab for crown fabrication. It generally takes two weeks for the finished product to be delivered.
Your dentist will try in your crown and make needed adjustments. When it fits correctly, it will be polished and cemented in place. You may be instructed not to eat anything sticky for a day or two to prevent dislodging your crown.
When is a Dental Crown Recommended?
Save a broken tooth … teeth are very strong, but in the event that one becomes cracked or part of a tooth breaks away, a dental crown can prevent the loss of that tooth. For a tooth with deep dental decay, your dentist may elect to crown the tooth to prevent further damage.
To attach a partial or bridge … if tooth loss should occur, the teeth on either side where loss occurred can be crowned to use as anchors to enable the patient to have a fixed prosthesis rather than a removable one.
Seal a tooth following endodontic therapy … a root canal requires an access point be drilled into the tooth. Once this procedure is completed, the opening must be sealed. A dental crown is often the best option.
The final step for a dental implant … if tooth loss occurs, many patients opt for a dental implant. Once healed, the implant will be covered by a cosmetic restoration that functions very much like a dental crown.
Caring for a tooth that has been treated with a dental crown is the same as for all your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, floss daily, and visit our team at Aesthetic Dental Partners every six months for cleaning and exam.