Health

What is a Dental Crown?

Your teeth can get damaged for various reasons, including injuries and decay. Over time, they may also lose their shape and size, altering your overall appearance and affecting your self-confidence. Fortunately, dental crowns in Midtown can transform your smile and make you less self-conscious. Crowns are caps that fit snuggly over your natural tooth, restoring the shape, size, and strength of your tooth. They can also cover dental implants for patients with missing teeth. The following are the steps involved in preparing your tooth for a crown.

Examination and tooth preparation

The dentist examines the tooth that needs a crown and may take x-ray images of the bone around it. If you have tooth decay, your doctor might have to do root canal treatment before you have a crown placed on top.

Next, the dentist files down, across, and around the sides of the tooth to create room for the crown. The amount of enamel filed away depends on the crown you will be getting; for example, crowns made of metal are thinner and do not require much filing of the teeth. However, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns often require much filing of the tooth.

If you have insufficient tooth structure due to damage or tooth decay, your dentist uses a filling material for the crown to fit on your teeth. Using a paste or putty, the dentists make an impression of your tooth getting a crown. Impressions before and after getting a crown are also made to ensure the prosthetic does not affect your bite.

The mold impressions of your teeth are sent to the lab, where a permanent crown is made. Your dentist may send you home with a temporary crown to protect your prepared teeth for two to three weeks as you await your temporary crown.

Tips for caring for your temporary dental crown

  • Avoid sticky foods such as caramel and chewing gum because they may pull off the crown.
  • Limit using the side with the crown and shift the bulk of your chewing to the other side.
  • Do not lift out floss when cleaning your teeth to avoid dislodging the crown.

Receiving the permanent crown

During the second visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and checks the fit of the permanent one. The color of a dental crown should match or closely resemble that of your natural teeth. Your dentist confirms this before placing the permanent crown. If the fitting is correct and the color matches your natural teeth, your dentist administers local anesthesia and permanently cements the crown. You may experience some discomfort and sensitivity once your anesthesia wears off.

How long will the crown last?

Crowns last for an average of five to 15 years, but the life span depends on the wear and tear exposed to them. For example, mouth-related habits such as fingernail biting, chewing ice, and grinding and clenching teeth cause the crown to wear faster. Although crowns require no special care, dentists encourage patients to follow oral hygiene practices.

Do not let damaged teeth affect your self-esteem. Schedule a session with your dentist at 286 Madison Dental to establish whether you are a good candidate for crowns.

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