Dental crowns, which look like tooth-shaped caps, are protective coverings placed over damaged or weakened teeth. Crowns are used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of your tooth. They are custom-made to fit over an entire visible portion of your tooth, extending from the gumline.
What is involved in a dental crown procedure?
In general, dental crown fabrication involves the following steps:
Evaluation and preparation: your dentist will examine your tooth to assess its condition and determine if a crown is an appropriate treatment. If so, they will prepare your tooth by removing any decayed or damaged portions and reshaping it to accommodate the crown.
Digital scan or impression: a digital scan/impression of your prepared tooth is taken to create a custom-made crown that fits your mouth perfectly. The digital scan/impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown will be made.
Temporary crown: while your permanent crown is being made, a temporary crown may be placed over your tooth to protect it.
Crown placement: once your permanent crown is ready, you will return for its placement. Your dentist will check the fit and appearance of your crown and make any necessary adjustments. The crown is then bonded to your tooth using dental cement.
Bite adjustment and final polish: after the crown is placed, your dentist will check your bite and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper alignment and fit.
Who needs dental crowns?
Crowns may be recommended for various dental situations, and whether you need a crown depends on your specific dental condition.
Instances you may need dental crowns include:
Preventing a weak or cracked tooth from breaking further
Covering over severely worn down teeth
Covering and protecting a tooth that has a large filling with minimal tooth structure left
To contribute as part of a dental bridge unit
Covering a discoloured tooth
Reshape a tooth
Close up spaces between teeth
Covering a tooth treated by root canal treatment
Benefits of dental crowns
Tooth protection: crowns provide a strong and durable protective layer that shields the underlying tooth from further damage or decay.
Restoration of tooth structure: if a tooth is severely damaged, broken or fractured, a crown can restore its shape and structure, allowing it to function properly.
Improved aesthetics: crowns are designed to match the colour, shape, and size of your natural teeth, enhancing the appearance of your smile.
Long-lasting solution: with proper oral hygiene and regular dental care, crowns can last for at least 15 years, providing reliable and durable dental restoration. With proper care, it can last up to 30 years.
Increased confidence: a crown can boost your self-esteem, making you feel more comfortable and confident in social and professional settings.
TYPES OF DENTAL CROWN MATERIALS
There are several different types of dental crown materials available, and the choice depends on various factors including your specific needs and preferences.
Some common types of dental crown materials include:
Porcelain: porcelain crowns are the common choice as they are natural in their appearance and can closely mimic the colour and texture of natural teeth.
Metal: metal crowns (made of gold or alloy) are known for their strength and durability. It’s the most common option for molars or in cases where extra strength is required.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM): PFM crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. They have a metal substructure covered with a lyer of porcelain, thus offering both durability and a natural appearance.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain: all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are made entirely of ceramic or porcelain material, providing excellent aesthetics. These crowns are suitable for those who prefer metal-free options.
Zirconia: zirconia crowns offer a good balance of durability and natural appearance because of their strength and biocompatibility.
How do I take care of my crowns?
Adopt good hygiene habits
Regular flossing and gentle brushing habits can help to ensure your crowns last longer. Making regular visits to your dentist for professional examination and cleaning will also help to maintain the condition of your crowns.
Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
Hard-bristled toothbrushes can damage the polish of your crowns. By using a soft toothbrush, you can increase the longevity of the polish on your crown. Likewise, stay away from abrasive toothpaste containing large particles.
Avoid chewing on hard objects
Even though crowns are highly durable, you should still avoid biting on hard objects or foods such as nuts, crab shells, ice and even your fingernails as this extra pressure can cause your crown to get chipped or damaged.
Avoid food or drinks that stain your teeth
Crowns are stain resistant; however, the adhesive used to bond them to your teeth is not. As such, this can cause the edges of your crowns to become discoloured over time. Staining agents include coffee, tea, and red wine.
How long do crowns last?
With proper care and maintenance, crowns can last anywhere between 15 to 30 years.
Frequently asked questions
Is the procedure for crowning a tooth painful?
In cases where a tooth has been root canal treated, the crown procedure would be relatively painless even without local anaesthesia. However, if the crown is done on a vital tooth, local anaesthesia would be given prior to the preparation of the tooth to make it painless and comfortable for the patient.
Will it be painful after getting a dental crown done?
Dental crowns are designed to protect any damaged tooth/teeth you have to decrease any pain or discomfort felt. However, it is important to note that the crowned teeth can still cause pain and become infected just like normal teeth. If you experience any pain, your dentist will be able to help alleviate it through medication or follow-up treatment.
Can I eat after getting a dental crown?
It is recommended to wait at least 60 minutes after your crown has been cemented before eating anything. During the first 24 to 36 hours, do strictly avoid foods that are hot, sticky, or chewy. Likewise, avoid hard foods such as nuts, chips, or bagels as these can either chip the dental crown or fracture your own tooth.
Can a crown be removed?
Removing a permanent crown can be more challenging as the process would involve sectioning the existing crown before it can be removed.
We look forward to answering any questions you may have in your pursuit of health, beauty and mind. Feel free to drop us a message right here.
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