A dental crown, commonly called a “cap,” is a custom-fitted covering that encases the entire surface of a tooth. It is used to restore a tooth’s shape, size, and strength while also enhancing its overall appearance.
This comprehensive guide explores the various aspects of dental crowns, including their purpose, the types available, and the care they require. You’ll learn what’s involved in the crown placement procedure and how to care for your new restoration properly.
Knowing the ins and outs of crowns will enable you to make fully informed decisions regarding your dental health. Let’s dive in!
Why You May Need a Crown
Dental crowns serve a variety of purposes, addressing both functional and aesthetic dental concerns. You might need a crown if your tooth has become cracked, broken, or has been severely worn down. Crowns can protect damaged teeth from further fracture and restore teeth to their original shape and function.
If you have a large cavity or existing filling that is causing weakness in the tooth, a crown can encase the tooth and prevent breakage. Dental crowns are also used cosmetically to cover misshapen, severely discoloured, or malformed teeth. The porcelain or ceramic material mimics the look of natural enamel to make for a beautiful smile.
In cases of extreme tooth decay, a crown may be needed to hold together what remains of the original tooth structure. Crowns are also sometimes placed on top of dental implants to create an artificial tooth.
Ultimately, crowns provide reinforcement and protection for compromised teeth while improving their appearance. In a nutshell, you might need a crown if:
- Your tooth is extensively decayed or broken to the extent that it cannot support a filling.
- There’s a necessity to hold a dental bridge or implant in place.
- A dental implant needs covering for protection and aesthetic purposes.
- You have undergone a root canal and the affected tooth requires protection and reinforcement.
- You wish to improve the appearance of misshapen or severely discoloured teeth.
The Crown Procedure
Getting a dental crown typically involves two main appointments. On the first visit, your dentist prepares the tooth, which might involve reshaping the tooth’s surface to ensure a proper fit for the crown.
An impression of the tooth is then taken to create a custom crown fabricated in a dental lab. A temporary crown is placed until the permanent one is ready. During the second visit, the permanent crown is carefully fitted and cemented into place, ensuring comfort and functionality.
Dental crowns are made from various materials, each with its own pros and cons:
Metals (Gold Alloy, Base Metal Alloy): these are highly durable and great for back teeth due to their strength. However, the metallic colour is a drawback for visible teeth.
Porcelain Fused to Metal: offers a better colour match than metal crowns and is more durable than porcelain alone, but can wear down adjacent teeth over time.
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain: provides the best natural colour match and is more suitable for people with metal allergies. Ideal for front teeth but may not be as strong as metal crowns.
Caring for Your Crown
Maintaining a dental crown is akin to caring for natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are crucial, as well as avoiding hard foods that could damage the crown.
Regular dental check-ups are also essential to monitor the health of the crowned tooth and surrounding gums. Crowns can last many years with proper care. Be diligent about your oral hygiene routine by:
- Brushing at least twice daily, taking care to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once per day to remove plaque from between teeth.
- Avoiding sticky, hard, and crunchy foods like nuts, candies, ice, and popcorn. These can dislodge or even crack your crown. Opt for healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, cheese, poultry, and fish.
- Scheduling regular dental cleanings every six months. Your dentist will remove built-up plaque and tartar to prevent decay and disease. They will also check for any cracks or damage to your crown.
With conscientious home care and professional cleanings, you can ensure your crown lasts for many years. Protect your investment and your smile by taking excellent care of your crowned tooth.
When You Might Need Crown Repair or Replacement
Over time, a crown may become worn or damaged. In such cases, it might need repair or replacement. Signs that indicate the need for attention include discomfort, a loose fit, or visible wear and tear. Regular dental check-ups help in the early detection and management of such issues.
A dental crown can play an important role in restoring the functionality and aesthetics of a damaged or decayed tooth. It’s an investment in your oral health and your smile.
By understanding the purpose, types, and care of dental crowns, as well as recognising when they might need repair or replacement, you can ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your dental crown.
Remember, a crowned tooth requires protection and care just like your natural teeth to maintain overall oral health and a beautiful smile.
Take Control of Your Family’s Oral Health in Berkshire – Schedule an Appointment Today
The experienced dental professionals at Lower Earley Family Dental can help if you need wisdom teeth removal. We offer private surgical extractions for timely access and personalised care. Our dentists will walk you through the procedure, costs, recovery, and follow-up to ensure a smooth process from start to finish.