Dental Crowns

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Having a dental crown fitted is a non-invasive procedure. The crown is essentially a cap for damaged teeth. They may be needed for a variety of reasons. For example, following a root canal you may require a crown to cover the procedure.

What Are Dental Crowns and When Are They Used?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth  to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Dental Crowns can easily improve teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, chipped teeth, cracks, and missing teeth.

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

 – To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth

 – To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down

 – To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left

 – To hold a dental bridge in place

 – To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth

 – To cover a dental implant

 – To make a cosmetic modification

Having a dental crown fitted is a non-invasive procedure. The crown is essentially a cap for damaged teeth. They may be needed for a variety of reasons. For example, following a root canal you may require a crown to cover the procedure.

What Steps Are Involved in Making a Dental Crown?

Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist — the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.

Before the process of making a crown begins, your dentist will numb the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist typically will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Sometimes, though, impressions are made with a digital scanner. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.

It will typically take about two weeks for the crown to be completed. While the crown is being prepared, your dentist may use a temporary crown to protect your tooth from future damage. The temporary crown will not offer the same level of protection as the permanent crown. It is just a temporary measure that is used until the permanent crown is ready.

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

Caring for Dental Crowns

When it comes to proper care for your dental crowns, you should simply observe the same oral dental care that you use for the rest of your teeth. Basically, you will just use good oral hygiene to continue to maintain your teeth.

You should brush your teeth at least twice per day. Brush before going to bed to remove bacteria and build-up from your teeth. You should also brush or floss after eating to remove food debris.

After you get a dental crown, follow the same dental habits but you may want to pay a little extra attention around your dental crown. Make sure that you do not leave food stuck between your teeth or go too long without brushing.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

On average, dental crowns last between five and fifteen years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of wear and tear the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits. To ensure a long life for your crowns you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging.

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