Dental crowns refer to covers or “caps” that your dentist might put over teeth to restore them to a natural shape and size and allow them to function properly. Crowns help to strengthen teeth and also improve their appearance, if necessary.
Why would I need a dental crown?
You might need a dental crown if you have a cracked, weakened, or worn tooth; if you’ve had a root canal and need a crown to protect the tooth that was restored during the treatment; or if one of your cavities is too large for a filling to take care of on its own.
Some people simply want a dental crown but not necessarily need it. They might want a dental crown to cover up a badly shaped, decayed, or discolored tooth. A dental crown will improve the tooth’s appearance and a smile’s overall aesthetic.
How is a porcelain dental crown different from other crowns?
Various materials could be used to make dental crowns, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, composite resin, or porcelain fused to metal. Most dental crowns are made to blend in with the color of your teeth.
A dentist will choose which material to use for your dental crown based on factors such as the tooth’s position in your mouth, your gum tissue, your own personal preference, and the color of the tooth getting the dental crown.
Some people prefer porcelain dental crowns, since they have the ability to look almost identical to the original tooth. Porcelain also allows the tooth to function just as it did before. However, porcelain crowns can take time to manufacture, and patients should be aware that porcelain is not quite as flexible as tooth enamel, so some foods might need to be avoided after the crown is in place.
What is getting a dental crown like?
Dental crowns usually take two dental visits to complete. On your first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth by removing any decay and the outer portion of the tooth so that the crown will fit over it. Sometimes a dentist may need to build up the core of a tooth if too much decay has left it without enough support for the crown.
Then, your dental team will make an impression so that they can have an exact model to use when making the crown. This is done either with a mold or digital scan. You might get a temporary crown while you wait for the final version to be made.
Less than two weeks later–though some dentists have the equipment to make the crown that same day–your dentist will place the completed crown in your mouth, make necessary adjustments, and then cement it into your mouth.
How long do dental crowns last?
On average, dental crowns that are well cared for should last about 15 years. Some can last 25 to 30 years if patients take great care of them. Porcelain crowns specifically last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
The longevity of a crown will depend on many factors, including the wear and tear placed on the crown, a patient’s dental habits, and maintenance of the crown with regular dental check-ups.
Some tips to keep in mind for good dental crown maintenance include:
- Practice good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily.
- Attend your regular dental visits to ensure the crown is in good shape.
- Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth if you can help it. If you know you grind your teeth, you will want to get a custom-made night guard to help protect your dental crown and natural teeth.
- Avoid chewing on hard candy, ice, fingernails, or hard objects.
If you follow these tips and take great care of your dental crown, it should last a long time. Every mouth is different, and of course dental health can be quite complex. Continue visiting your dentist regularly to make sure you’re following the right steps to make your dental crown last as long as possible.Leave a reply →