What is a Crown?
The purpose of a crown is to restore the size, shape, and function of a tooth. A crown is also known as a cap. Designed to protect the entire tooth, crowns are used in various situations. For example, when a cavity is too large for a filling, or when a tooth is:
- Badly shaped or discolored
- In need of protection after a root canal
What are Crowns Made of?
Crowns are made from a variety of durable materials such as ceramic, porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and composite resin.
Because a crown is made to blend in with the surrounding natural teeth, the dentist uses the following factors to determine the type of material used.
- Tooth location and function
- Position of gum tissue
- Patient preference
- How much of the tooth shows in a smile
- The shade and color of the surrounding teeth
How is a Dental Crown Installed?
After the numbing anesthetic is applied to the tooth receiving the crown, the dentist drills the tooth. Next, an impression of the drilled tooth is taken and sent to the lab where the crown is made. Making the crown takes two to three weeks.
During the waiting period, the dentist may place a temporary crown on the tooth.
Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist removes the temporary crown and attaches the permanent one to the tooth with cement. After that, it is cured, or hardened, with a light. The permanent crown is resilient and designed to withstand chewing.
Why are Crowns Beneficial?
If a tooth breaks down or decays, it leaves a gap, which interferes with the bite. Installing a crown restores the integrity of a damaged tooth and improves its appearance.
Caring for Crowns and Teeth
Crowns can break just like natural teeth. To prevent damage to crowns and to teeth, be sure to:
- Brush twice daily.
- Floss daily with floss bearing the American Dental Association seal on the package.
- Avoid chewing ice, hard foods, and objects like pencils.
- Visit the dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams.
Crowns aren’t the answer for every tooth problem; however, they might be the right choice for you. If you think that you may be a good candidate for a crown, schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.