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What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns, more commonly referred to as dental caps, are a type of dental restoration involving placing a cap that covers the tooth or a dental implant to change its size and shape back to its original anatomy. Dental crowns help strengthen the tooth. A crown will be permanently cemented after it is placed on the tooth and fully covers the tooth above the gum line. Dental crowns can last 10-30 years, depending on the wear and tear, dental hygiene habits, and certain habits like clenching or grinding your teeth or biting your nails. 

When do you need a dental crown?

Dental crowns are usually used to restore the appearance and function of teeth that have been fractured, worn out or broken unless more straightforward methods of dental restorations have proven more effective.

Dental crowns also serve aesthetic purposes for patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth and can’t rely on simpler restorative or cosmetic procedures for their teeth or dental implants.

Lastly, patients who underwent endodontic treatment may benefit from crowns, which have been found to be very effective in stabilizing teeth and preventing the fracturing of fragile teeth. Since the cap encases the whole tooth, it will prevent it from further decay. Relying on crowns has also proven to be an excellent way to promote the normal development of the jawbone and jaw muscles. 

Which crown is the best for you?

Crowns are available in various materials, such as gold, stainless steel, all resin, and all ceramic or porcelain fused to metal (also known as PFM crowns or veneered steel crowns).

The most commonly used crowns, especially for children, are stainless steel crowns, which are easily customized metal shells that can encase any tooth. Given their strength, durability and resistance to moisture, they are the crowns of choice for molars. Stainless crowns are the least expensive type of caps on the market.

A wide array of alloys can also be used for crowns, including silver, nickel and even titanium. But they are more challenging to adjust, may cause opposing teeth to wear and may not be suitable for patients with specific allergies.

Strip crowns are commonly used for front teeth and are more expensive than stainless steel crowns. Strip crowns made of resin or composite are transparent shells filled with tooth-coloured filling and then fitted over the tooth. Once the filling is set, the case is removed, leaving behind a material that looks exactly like a natural tooth. 

How many visits to the dental clinic are required?

If you require a crown, you should expect two trips to your dental clinic. During the first visit, the dentist will examine and prepare your tooth for the procedure and will likely take a few x-rays to get a better view of the roots of your tooth and the bone around it. If significant decay or risk of infection is identified, the dentist may want to recommend a root canal treatment before placing a dental crown.

During the first visit, the tooth and its surrounding gum tissue will be numbed before the tooth can be reshaped to make enough room for the crown. The dentist will then make impressions of the tooth that will receive the crown and the teeth above and below that tooth to ensure that the procedure does not impact your bite. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab for production, and the crown will typically be ready within two to three weeks. The dentist may need to apply filling material if there is too much decay or damage in the area that requires dental restoration.

During your second visit, you will receive a local anesthetic before the crown can be placed over your tooth and cemented in place.

We would be happy to see you if you have any questions about dental crowns. Please call us today to schedule an appointment

 

What Is A Dental Crown & Do You Need One?

What Is A Dental Crown & Do You Need One?

A dental crown is a hollow “cap” that is placed over a prepared tooth to restore the strength, function, and appearance of the tooth.

When are dental crowns needed?

After a root canal

A tooth that underwent root canal treatment is no longer living or vital. While this results in the tooth becoming more brittle and prone to breaking, a dental crown will preserve the strength of the tooth and prevent breakage.

Large fillings

Teeth with large fillings are weaker than a natural tooth. As a result, they are prone to breaking under the forces of chewing. However, a crown restores the strength of these compromised teeth.

Aesthetics

If you have broken, worn, decayed, misshapen or discolored teeth, dental crowns improve the appearance of your smile. However, other tooth replacement options exist as well.

Full mouth rehabilitation

Severely worn teeth due to grinding or erosion need extensive dental treatment. Opening up, or enlarging the bite and restoring the appearance and function of the teeth may require dental crowns to be placed on one, or more teeth.

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Dental bridge

A missing tooth that is replaced with a dental bridge, requires at least one dental crown. A dental crown covers the adjacent teeth on either side, and an artificial tooth fills in the space of the missing tooth.

Types of crowns:

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There are different types of crowns available for you and your dentist to choose from. Some materials that crowns are made of include: gold or other metal alloys, ceramic, composite resin, porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The location in the mouth, aesthetics and durability are considered when deciding on the best type of crown to use.

How is a dental crown done?

This procedure is done in two separate appointments, giving time for the fabrication of the permanent dental crown.

First visit:

  • The dentist freezes the area first (this may not be necessary if there was a root canal).
  • The tooth is shaved down to make room for the crown to fit over the top.
  • Impressions or a scan of the tooth are taken and sent to the laboratory that makes the dental crown
  • A temporary crown is made and cemented to the tooth.

Second visit:

  • The dentist checks the shape, size, and colour of the crown to ensure it fits your smile perfectly.
  • The temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown is cemented.
  • The dentist checks your bite to ensure your new crown functions properly.

How to care for your dental crown:

Thorough daily brushing and flossing are necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. While a dental crown adds strength to a tooth, it is still susceptible to gum disease and decay if not kept clean. Avoid very abrasive or whitening toothpaste that can scratch the crown and cause it to lose its luster. Additionally, ensure that you have regular dental check-ups so your dentist can monitor the health and condition of your teeth and dental work.

If you have any further questions about dental crowns, call us today! We would be happy to answer your questions or book a consultation with a dentist.