What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns, formally known as “caps,” are dental restorations that are used for a variety of reasons, including both cosmetic and restorative. Crowns can be constructed using a variety of materials but some of the most commonly used are gold – for its strength and durability, and porcelain due to it most resembling a natural tooth.
What are Dental Crowns Used For?
Dental crowns are commonly used in dentistry for a variety of reasons including:
- Restoring a broken or severely worn tooth
- Protect a tooth following root canal treatment
- Secure a dental bridge
- Cover/protect a dental implant
- Enhance the beauty of your smile
- Improve a misshapen tooth
- Strengthen a tooth that is fractured or weak
- Support a large filling when little natural tooth structure remains
How are Dental Crowns Prepared?
Dental crowns typically require two appointments. At your first appointment your tooth will be reshaped to prepare for the crown. How much tooth surface is removed depends on the type of crown and how worn/decayed the existing tooth is. Impressions come next. At our office, we now have the capability to take these impressions digitally. We use an innovative device called an iTero machine which is more comfortable for the patient and alleviates the mess of traditional alginate impressions. The digital scan will then be sent off to the lab to make your permanent crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and cemented to the tooth structure. The permanent crown typically takes about 3 weeks to make and will be cemented at the second appointment. Porcelain crowns are carefully color-matched to your existing teeth.
How to Take Care of Your Crown:
Dental Crowns can last a long time, generally between 5-15 years. Taking good care of them is essential to their longevity. Remember, tooth structure remains under the crown and decay can still occur. Home care is very important. Continue to brush twice daily and floss daily. Also, be mindful of what you’re chewing. Chewing especially hard foods or ice can cause damage to your crowns. If you clench your teeth, you may want to consider investing in a night guard as well.
Dental crowns are widely used throughout modern dentistry for many reasons. If you have any questions or think you might be in need of a dental crown, call our office today for a consult at 828-252-9351.