If your dentist needs to repair a decayed tooth, they may recommend a crown. Your dentist will always provide personalized recommendations for your teeth, and there are various reasons they may suggest a crown over a filling.
Ultimately, a crown can be a more effective solution to restore the appearance and functionality of a damaged tooth.
Let’s Talk About Tooth Hats
Teeth can become damaged for a variety of reasons, like decay, injuries, or ageing. Damage can result in your tooth losing its shape or size. Your dentist can cement a crown in place to restore your tooth’s strength and appearance.
Simply put, a dental crown is like a little cap or hat for your tooth that is customized to look and feel natural. A crown can completely cover a tooth with structural damage due to decay or fractures, and they are made out of a large number of materials, like metal, porcelain or resin.
Reasons to Recommend a Crown
Your dentist may recommend a crown for the following main reasons:
- The size of a cavity: If tooth decay is left untreated for a longer period, it can become larger and move deeper into the tooth. If a tooth is significantly decayed, your dentist may suggest a dental crown.
- The tooth’s condition: A tooth can weaken or become vulnerable to pulpitis after it’s been filled a few times. Your dentist may recommend a crown to help strengthen the structure.
- Cracked or broken teeth: A crown is custom-made to look like your natural tooth, making it a perfect solution for damaged teeth.
- A root canal: During a root canal, your dentist will clean out the infection at the core of your tooth; however, this procedure can hollow and weaken the structure of a tooth. A dental crown helps prevent your tooth from having to be extracted.
Your dentist may investigate the possibility of using a crown for a large number of additional factors, like:
- Protecting a weakened or decayed tooth.
- Keeping together parts of a cracked tooth
- Restoring a broken tooth
- Preserving a severely worn down tooth
- Supporting a tooth with a larger-sized filling.
- Holding a dental bridge in place
- Covering misshapen teeth
- Covering discoloured teeth
- Concealing a dental implant
Temporary Crowns for Children
If your child has baby (primary) teeth that are weak or at a high risk of decay, your dentist may recommend temporary stainless steel crowns to help support their dental health.
A crown may be used on baby teeth to:
- Save a damaged, weakened, or decayed tooth that cannot support a filling.
- Protect the teeth of a child with a high risk of tooth decay.
- Help decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children who may not be able to meet the requirements of proper dental care.
What To Expect at Your Appointment
It generally takes two visits for a crown to be fitted and placed on your tooth.
Your 1st Visit
Your dentist will examine and prepare the tooth for a crown at the first visit. It’s essential to ensure that X-rays are taken of the tooth and the surrounding bone structure. Your tooth may need to be filed down to make space for the crown.
Once your tooth is reshaped, an impression will be made of your tooth and the surrounding area using a paste or putty. These impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory, where the crown is made.
It typically takes 2-3 weeks for a crown to be made and delivered to your dentist’s office. In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown over your prepared tooth while you’re waiting for the permanent crown.
You may need to take a few additional precautions while waiting for your permanent dental crown, like:
- Avoiding sticky or chewy foods: These types of foods can pull out your temporary crown.
- Shifting where you chew: Try to minimize chewing on the side of your mouth with the temporary crown.
- Avoiding hard foods: These foods can break or dislodge the temporary crown.
- Flossing carefully: Gently slide out your floss to avoid pulling off the temporary crown.
Your 2nd Visit
When the permanent crown is ready, you will attend your second appointment to have it placed on your tooth. The dentist will carefully inspect the fit and colouring of the permanent crown before removing the temporary one.
If the new crown is a perfect match, it is cemented into place.
How Long Will My Crown Last?
You can expect your dental crown to last between 5 and 15 years, but its life expectancy depends on a variety of factors, like:
- Oral hygiene
- Tendencies to grind and clench teeth
- Habits such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, or crunching hard candies
- Practices like using teeth to open packaging
How to Care For Your Permanent Crown
Great news! Your crown doesn’t require any additional or special care. Although, you’ll need to make sure the tooth under your crown remains protected from decay and gum disease.
Make sure you’re continuing to follow the hygiene practices recommended by your dentist, and be especially aware of brushing and flossing around the crown area where your gum meets the tooth.
If your crown is made of porcelain, you’ll want to avoid biting down on crunchy foods like popcorn seeds, ice, or hard candies to help prevent cracking.
We’re Here to Help
If you have questions about temporary or permanent crowns or would like more information about oral health, contact our amazing team at West 85th Dental. We’re always ready to help!