A dental crown is a tooth-shaped synthetic cap that is used to replace a missing tooth. A dental crown is usually made of a material like porcelain or gold and is placed on the top of a tooth or gum.
A dental crown is normally used to restore the appearance and function of a tooth after a dental restorative procedure, such as a root canal. For instance, when tooth decay is so severe that a large portion of the tooth must be removed during treatment, a dental crown is often used to restore the tooth.
The porcelain crown is the most common type of dental crown and can also be used to cover implants, support dental bridges, or prevent the worsening of a cracked tooth. More so, a dental crown can serve an aesthetic purpose. For instance, a dental crown may be used when a discoloured or stained tooth needs to be restored to its original look.
In a nutshell, you need a dental crown for any of the following reasons:
- To cover a dental implant
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling, especially when there isn’t much tooth left
- To cover misshaped, stained or badly discoloured tooth
- To hold and support a dental bridge in place
- To make a cosmetic modification
- To hold cracked tooth together or to protect a weak tooth from breaking
- To restore a worn down tooth or an already broken tooth.
What Is The Dental Crown Made From?
A dental crown is made from several different types of materials. These materials include composite resin, porcelain, ceramics, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials. In the process of fabricating the dental crown in the lab, any chosen material is often coloured to match the colour of your natural teeth.
Your dentist must ensure that the dental crown created looks very natural and fits comfortably and perfectly in your mouth. However, before your dentist can decide on what material to use for your dental crown, some certain factors must be considered. These factors include the location/position of the tooth, the function of the tooth, the shade or colour of the teeth, the position of your gingival tissue, the amount of tooth that will show when you smile, and your preference.
Steps Involved In Receiving a Porcelain Crown
Several steps are involved in receiving a porcelain crown. Generally, you are required to make at least two dental visits to your dentist before your dental crown treatment can be completed.
Before you can successfully receive the porcelain crown, the size of your tooth must be trimmed down to accommodate the crown. Your dentist would prepare your affected tooth by removing any decay as well as its outer portion. This will help the dental crown to fit well. During this stage, your dentist may need to build up any additional tooth structure to support the crown if necessary.
Then, a cast of your existing tooth is made and an impression of the tooth is created to provide an exact model for the dental crown. The tooth impression is taken to the dental lab, where the custom-made crown would be designed.
Pending the time the bespoke permanent crown would be ready, you would be given a temporary crown. The temporary crown may be too sensitive to hot and cold. More so, avoid using the temporary crown to chew gummy or sticky foods.
The permanent porcelain crown, which should be completed in about 2 weeks, would then be placed in your mouth and necessary adjustment would be made. Once your dentist is satisfied with the look and feel of the crown, he or she would cement the crown in place.
Most people often confuse dental crowns with veneers. However, both are relatively different. Veneers are usually applied to only small areas of the teeth.
Caring For Your Dental Crowns
If you observe good and proper dental hygiene, your dental crown should last you at least eight years. Just like your natural tooth, it is very important for you to brush and floss the area of the crown so as to avoid trapping of debris or excess plaque around the crown area.
Certain dental behaviours, such as teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching can shorten the lifespan of a dental crown significantly.
More so, eating hard foods, gummy foods, hard candy or ice can either damage the dental crown or compromise its adhesion.
Do you want to know more about dental crown treatment or you need more information about when a dental crown treatment is needed? Kindly schedule an appointment with any of our professional dentists today.
Remember, you may need a dental crown if you:
- Need a replace your dental filling with a better dental option.
- Have a cavity in your teeth that are too large for a dental filling
- Have a missing tooth/teeth and require a dental bridge
- Have a crooked, cracked, weakened, or worn down tooth.
- Had undergone any root canal treatment in the past. The dental crown will help you to protect the restored tooth.
- Need to cover up your dental implant
- Need to cover up your discoloured, stained or badly shaped tooth.
There are some few things you need to do to prevent damage to your dental crown, these are:
- Brushing your teeth at least thrice daily and flossing at least twice daily to get rid of any plaque or sticky film of bacteria in your mouth.
- Look out for dental care products that bear the Seal of Acceptance of any recognized dental body. This is because dental care products that have such Seal of Acceptance have must have met certain standards for safety and effectiveness.
- Avoid clenching your teeth or using your teeth on any hard foods or objects like crown corks or pencils. This if you have a porcelain crown.
And finally, ensure that you visit your dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and dental examinations.