Crowns are a common dental treatment dental professionals suggest for many reasons. The overall goal of these devices is to improve the strength of a tooth and give it a better appearance by making it uniform in shape and size.
What Exactly is a Crown?
A dental crown sits on top of an affected tooth, like how a crown sits on someone’s head — hence the name! However, the dental device is a hollow cap that sheaths the tooth visible above the gum line. It’s sealed in place to look and behave like any other tooth. Another variation of a dental crown known as ¾ or “onlays” covers the tooth to a lesser extent.
Reasons Your Dentist May Recommend a Crown
Dentists usually give crowns to adult patients and may recommend one for the following reasons:
- You have a broken or severely worn-down tooth
- You have a crack tooth that needs to be held together
- You have a severely weak tooth at risk of breaking
- You're also having a dental bridge, as crowns can help keep them in place
- You have a tooth that requires a larger filling than possible (usually due to broken or eroded parts of the tooth)
- You have to cover a dental implant
- You have a discolored tooth
- Your tooth is severely misshapen
Crowns are also often used purely for cosmetic reasons, as they improve a tooth’s overall appearance.
Occasionally, a dentist may recommend a crown for infant/first teeth. This is usually because:
- The child has a first tooth that is decayed beyond the treatment of a normal filling, and a crown is the best option to protect it.
- The child cannot complete or withstand proper oral care techniques, putting them at a much higher risk of tooth decay and its associated problems.
Types of Dental Crowns
Many types of dental crowns available for patients! The right one for you will depend on the reason for getting the crown, your insurance, and your budget. The common types include:
Metal crowns are the cheapest option and are mostly used for functional repair. Most patients prefer to have this type of crown on the molars because of their metallic appearance. However, metal crowns are also some of the most resilient kinds, as they can withstand heavy use much longer than other varieties and are near impossible to chip or crack.
Dentists use stainless steel crowns as a temporary cover for the tooth while the permeant one is being created. They’re quick and easy to fit, which is why they’re almost always the only kind used on primary teeth. Once a baby tooth falls out, the crown comes out with it, leaving a space for a healthy adult tooth to grow.
These types of crowns are made from metal fused to an external porcelain covering, giving them a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. They can be color-matched to your existing teeth.
Porcelain/ceramic finish crowns are the most cosmetically pleasing because they can be closely color-matched with your existing teeth. They’re also suitable for patients with metal allergies. Unfortunately, porcelain/ceramic not as strong as their metal/porcelain mix counterparts.
All resin varieties are sone of the cheapest types of crowns. This type is probably the most vulnerable to breakage and wear and tear.
What Will Happen During My Procedure?
Crowns normally require a few visits to our Vero Beach office. During the first one, the doctor may take x-rays of your teeth to determine if a crown is the best treatment for you.
Then the doctor will anesthetize your mouth to file and shape the affected tooth for the crown to fit. How much he needs to file will vary based on the kind of crown you’re getting. If your tooth is already much smaller than it should be, then your doctor will use filling material to make it large enough to support the crown.
Once this has taken place, he will use special dental putty to take an impression of the tooth and the surrounding ones for the crown, ensuring a perfect fit. Your doctor will then send the impressions to the lab, along with a recommendation on color for porcelain or ceramic crowns, to be fabricated at a dental lab. Finally, he’ll place a temporary crown on the tooth to protect it until your permanent one is ready.
During your second visit, your doctor will remove the temporary crown while you’re under anesthesia. After checking to ensure the permanent one is a good fit and color, he’ll firmly secure it in place.
Polishing Your Crown
Just as it’s important to look after your normal teeth, it’ also crucial to give your crown proper care and attention, especially the temporary one.
While you have a temporary crown, you should:
- Avoid hard, chewy, or sticky food, which could damage or pull out the temporary crown.
- Switch to side flossing rather than vertical flossing. Pulling particles outside reduces the risk of pulling the crown out.
Once your permanent crown is in place, you can resume your normal oral hygiene. When brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, pay closer attention to the area where the crown meets the gum.
Trust Vero Dental Spa for Your Restorative Dental Crowns
Your crown could last between five to fifteen years when you look after it properly. If you have any other questions about how to take care of yours, give the Vero Dental Spa office a call today!