Dental crowns or “caps” are used to cover and protect damaged teeth. A crown may be constructed of a variety of materials, such as porcelain or metal, and is generally recommended to patients with damaged or missing teeth. When choosing a dental crown, there are many factors to consider, such as the strength, durability, and cost. Many patients want to achieve a natural look following the procedure. This can typically be achieved by placing porcelain crowns that look like your real teeth. However, the use of metal crowns may be recommended for back teeth, such as molars.
Types of Dental Crowns
While porcelain and metal crowns are some of the most familiar options, they are not the only ones. Dental crowns can be made up of other materials too, such as ceramic, composite resin, zirconia, or a combination of materials. When selecting the best material, your dentist will consider several factors. The location of the tooth, the function of the tooth, the position of your gum tissue, how much the tooth will show when you smile, and the color of your surrounding teeth are all considered.
Placing a Dental Crown
The process of placing a dental crown is fairly straightforward. The treatment begins when your dentist prepares the tooth by removing the outer portion, including any decay on the tooth. This process allows the crown to fit over the natural tooth. If the tooth was broken and requires additional tooth structure, your dentist may need to build up the tooth before placing the crown.
The next step in the process involves making an impression that is an exact model of your tooth. Today, impressions can be made from a traditional mold or digitally by scanning the tooth. While the crown is being made, the prepared tooth must be protected. Your dentist will create a temporary crown until the permanent one can be made. This process can take up to two weeks on average.
Once the permanent crown is ready, your dentist will test its fit in your mouth. If necessary, additional adjustments can be made to the crown at this time. If both you and your dentist are satisfied with the way that the tooth looks and feels, it can be cemented in place. Once cemented, you can chew food just like you would your natural teeth. However, you will want to be careful as just like natural teeth, crowns can break.
Signs a Crown Is Needed
There are several reasons why a dentist may recommend dental crowns. Largo, FL dentists generally suggest dental crowns when a tooth is broken. Once a tooth breaks, it can impact the internal tooth root, often causing pain and possibly infection. Before a crown can be placed on a broken tooth, it will usually require a root canal to remove the damaged root. If the tooth cannot be saved, your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth and inserting an implant that holds a crown.
Dental crowns may also be recommended for patients that have a fracture in their tooth. While the tooth may still be usable, allowing a fractured tooth to go without treatment can cause the break to worsen over time. Placing a crown over the tooth can help to slow down the damage. The same concept applies to teeth with large fillings. Each time you get a filling, more tooth structure must be removed. Over time, this can affect the structural stability of the tooth. A dental crown can help restore strength to the tooth.
Is a Dental Crown Really Necessary?
Many benefits come from getting a dental crown. A crown can act as a long-term option to restore your tooth. Additionally, most last an average of five to 15 years, depending on the material and the patient’s oral care routine. However, crowns are not necessary in all cases.
Contact Our Largo, Fl Experts
To determine if you’re a good candidate for a dental crown or to speak with a dental professional about treatment options, contact Bonham Dental Arts.