When a substantial portion of a tooth fractures or decays, a crown reinforces and protects the remaining tooth. A crown fits over the remaining tooth and looks and chews like a natural tooth. A crown can also enhance a tooth's appearance or strengthen a tooth after root canal treatment. Dental implants can hold a crown to replace a missing tooth, too.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, covers a tooth weakened by injury or decay. A crown helps to rebuild the tooth’s structure and restores its natural function. A long-lasting crown is usually made from zirconia or porcelain to replicate your natural tooth’s shape, color, and size. A crown may also be securely attached to a dental implant to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
Why do I need a dental crown?
You may need a dental crown if a tooth has an extensive injury, decay that cannot be treated with a filling alone, or has weakened from multiple procedures. If a tooth needs a cosmetic upgrade, has a root canal, or has been replaced by an implant, a crown may be indicated.
What does the crown procedure involve?
A new dental crown requires two appointments to finish. The first visit is a longer appointment that includes Dr. Maney’s preparation of the tooth for a crown. She removes damaged or decayed portions of the tooth and places bonding to strengthen and seal the remaining tooth structure. The tooth is precisely shaped about one millimeter around and on top to make enough room for the crown to fit. A custom-made temporary crown is made for you to wear while a technician crafts your permanent crown. The second shorter appointment involves any final adjustments to your custom-made crown before it’s permanently bonded into place.
If your new crown includes a dental implant, the process is slightly different. See our section about dental implants for further detail.
What are the benefits of a dental crown?
The benefits of a dental crown include: Improved appearance and confidence, restoration of a weakened tooth, protection from further damage, and preservation of your natural bite. With a dental implant, the benefits include closing the gap of a missing tooth or teeth, maintaining the jawbone, and preventing surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap.
How do I take care of a dental crown?
To maintain your new dental crown, treat it just like your natural teeth with a little extra care. You will want to avoid chewing on hard foods like nuts or ice and biting on nails or pens. Regular preventative exams and professional cleanings are crucial to help ensure that you maintain your dental crown. Proper oral hygiene is essential to prevent plaque and bacteria from getting underneath the crown and creating cavities. Wear a nightguard and or mouthguard if recommended by Dr. Maney to protect your crown further.
How long do dental crowns last?
Most crowns will last approximately 10-15 years before needing a replacement. However, it depends on many factors, including your personal hygiene, diet, and oral habits, such as grinding your teeth or biting your nails.
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