Dental Crowns: An Overview
Dental crowns are nothing short of a revolution in the dental domain. These nifty, cap-like fixtures, when snugly placed over a tooth, restore its aesthetics and function. Beyond just enhancing the look of a damaged tooth, they act as a protective shield, offering strength and longevity.
What are Dental Crowns?
Think of dental crowns as protective helmets for your teeth. They are custom-made covers placed on teeth that have undergone significant damage or decay. We either use dental crowns to replace the crown of a tooth to preserve the root, or we use them after root canals to prevent further decay. We also place dental crowns over implants to serve as replacements for teeth in that spot. Whether it’s from a sporting injury or an unfortunate bite into a hard candy, dental crowns can come to the rescue.
Importance of Dental Health
Dental health is not just about a beautiful smile; it’s intertwined with our overall health. Poor dental health can lead to infections, which, if unchecked, can spread to other parts of the body, making routine dental check-ups and procedures like dental crowns essential.
Types of Dental Crowns
Gold or other metal alloys constitute these crowns. Their unparalleled strength makes them a preferred choice for back teeth, ensuring they last a lifetime with minimal wear.
Check out our full article on Metal Crowns!
Offering the durability of metal with the aesthetic beauty of porcelain, these crowns are versatile. They’re ideal for both front and back teeth, ensuring a seamless blend with the natural teeth.
Check out our full article on Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns!
While they’re more affordable than their counterparts, all-resin crowns tend to wear down over time and are more susceptible to fractures.
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain Crowns
The epitome of natural appearance! They offer the best color match to natural teeth, making them a top choice for front teeth.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Primarily used as a temporary measure, especially on children, they protect the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is being prepared.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
Restoring Damaged Teeth
From cracks to extensive decay, dental crowns are the perfect solution to bring your tooth back to its original form.
Enhancing Cosmetic Appearance
For teeth that are discolored or badly shaped, dental crowns provide a makeover, ensuring a brighter and more aligned smile.
Strengthening Weak Teeth
Protect a fragile tooth from breaking or hold parts of a cracked tooth together. Dental crowns add a layer of strength and protection.
The Procedure of Getting Dental Crowns
This is where discussions about the need, type, and cost of the crown take place. Your dentist will take X-rays to examine the roots of the tooth and surrounding bone.
Preparing the Tooth
This involves removing the outer portion to accommodate the crown. An impression is then made to provide an exact model for the crown.
Placing the Crown
With the crown prepared, your next visit will involve its placement. Once adjusted for fit and comfort, it’s cemented into place.
Cost and Financing of Dental Crowns
Factors such as the crown’s material, the expertise of the dentist, and geographical location play a pivotal role in determining cost. However, insurance can cover a portion, and many dental offices offer financing options, easing the burden.
Dental Crowns Maintenance Tips
A crown can last a lifetime, but they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The key is to practice good oral hygiene.
Regular Cleaning and Check-ups
Much like natural teeth, crowns need regular brushing and flossing. Scheduled check-ups allow your dentist to review the crown and make adjustments if necessary.
Avoiding Hard Foods
Avoid habits like grinding or clenching your teeth, and be cautious when eating hard foods which can damage the crown.
Using Night Guards
For those who grind their teeth at night, a night guard can ensure the longevity of your dental crown.
Comparing Dental Crowns to Other Dental Solutions
Unlike crowns that cover a tooth, bridges replace missing ones by bridging the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A popular and long-lasting solution for missing teeth. The implant is surgically placed in the jawbone, offering strength and stability.
An age-old solution for missing teeth. They’re removable and can replace all or some of your teeth.
Challenges and Risks Associated with Dental Crowns
After the procedure, the crowned tooth may become sensitive. Usually, this sensitivity subsides after a few days.
Over time, the crown can become loose due to underlying tooth decay, impacting the fitting.
Chipping or Breaking
Porcelain crowns, in particular, can chip or break. Small chips can be repaired without removing the crown, but larger breaks may require replacement.
Why are dental crowns needed?
Dental crowns are essential to protect, cover, and restore a tooth’s shape when fillings are insufficient.
How long do dental crowns last?
They typically last between 5 and 15 years, depending on oral care and wear and tear.
Can a crowned tooth get cavities?
Yes, decay can develop where the gum meets the crown.
Are crown placement painful?
The procedure itself isn’t painful due to anesthesia, but there might be mild discomfort after it wears off.
How should I care for my dental crown?
Maintain oral hygiene, avoid hard foods, and have regular dentist check-ups.
Are there alternatives to dental crowns?
Yes, dental veneers, fillings, and bonding, among others. Every situation is unique, therefor it’s important to ask your dentist about alternatives during your appointment.
Final Thoughts on Dental Crowns
In the realm of dental restorative procedures, dental crowns reign supreme. Whether it’s about bringing a decayed tooth back to life or just cosmetic enhancement, dental crowns are the answer.