Dental Crown 1

Dental Crown

As you are likely already aware, there are varying degrees of restorative dental care. Obviously the degree of restorative dental care one needs is based on the extent of damage their tooth or teeth have sustained. For example, minor tooth decay or staining require only a simple tooth filling or veneer, while more significant decay or tooth fractures require more thorough treatment. Where more significant restorative dental care is warranted, a dental crown may be appropriate.

What is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants in order to entirely cover a damaged tooth. They are often made of porcelain or ceramic, so that they can be matched to the individual’s natural tooth color, but they are sometimes made of gold or metal alloys or acrylic. The choice of material is often based on where the crown is placed, as gold and metal alloys are stronger materials and are therefore better suited to the restoration of back teeth. In some cases porcelain can be bonded to a metal shell so that the individual can have a crown that is both strong and attractive.

Dental crowns are most often used in order to strengthen a damaged tooth, and can simultaneously work to improve the appearance, shape or alignment of the tooth. Dental crowns can also be placed over implants for the purpose of restoring appearance and function, and they can work as part of the support system for dental bridges. Your dentist may recommend a dental crown if you don’t have enough natural tooth remaining to support a large filling, if a weak tooth needs to be protected against fracture, if you need a dental bridge, if you have a dental implant that can be covered for appearance’ sake, if you have an extremely discolored or poorly shaped tooth, or if a tooth has received a root canal and needs to be sufficiently protected from further decay.

Making a Dental Crown

In order for a dental crown to be made, the dentist will have to make room for it in the mouth. This means that the tooth the crown will be placed over will need to be reduced in size. Reducing a tooth’s size requires enamel removal, and since tooth enamel cannot grow back or be restored, preparing a tooth for a dental crown is a permanent arrangement.

Once a tooth’s size has been reduced sufficiently in order to make room for the crown, the dentist will make an impression of the tooth. The resultant mold will be used by the dental lab when manufacturing the crown. In the case that porcelain is being used on the crown, the dentist will also match the color shade of your existing teeth and send this information on to the lab as well.

While you are waiting for your dental crown to be made, your dentist will likely install a temporary crown to help support the structure of and protect your tooth. Once the permanent crown has been made, you will return to the dentist to have the temporary crown removed and the permanent crown installed. This process is very precise, as the dentist will want to cement the crown into place in such a way that it fits well and comfortably in your mouth and does not impede your speaking, talking or eating abilities.

Caring for a Dental Crown

Properly designed, installed and cared for, a dental crown can last for many years. They rarely become loose or fall out, and normally only do so when they have not been properly cared for. Proper dental crown care includes maintaining good oral hygiene, which is comprised of daily brushing and flossing, annual dental examinations and bi-annual dental cleanings. It is also important to avoid chewing hard foods or other items, like ice or pen caps, so as not to damage the dental crown. It is well worth it to take good care of your dental crown, because not only will it help you to maintain a healthy smile and comfortable mouth, it can be undetectable by you or others as it efficiently restores your tooth’s structure and function.


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