If you have cracked, broken, or worn down teeth, your dentist may give you a dental crown. A crown helps restore a damaged tooth’s shape, size, and strength. While a crown is artificial, it still requires diligent care.
Continue reading to learn more about dental crowns, including helpful tips to protect their integrity.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a cap used to protect, cover, or restore the shape of a damaged tooth. Your teeth can sustain damage from tooth decay, injuries, or other factors. Dental crowns help address this tooth damage, restoring function and improving the tooth’s appearance.
The artificial crown completely covers the damaged tooth, and your dentist seals it in place with cement. A crown can restore the healthy functioning of your mouth.
Why Does Someone Need a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns help protect a damaged tooth that is cracked, broken, or worn down. Covering this tooth with a crown helps prevent further complications.
Your dentist may recommend a dental crown for several reasons, including:
- Restoring a broken or worn down tooth
- Protecting a weakened tooth from breaking
- Holding a cracked tooth together
- Covering a tooth with a large filling
- Holding a dental bridge in place
- Covering a dental implant
- Covering a misshapen tooth
- Making a cosmetic change
Types of Dental Crowns
There are many materials available for your dental crown. Your dentist will recommend the material they think is best for your needs. The reason you need a crown and the tooth’s location may influence the material your dentist recommends.
Some of the possible materials for your crown include:
- Metal crowns: Consisting of gold, these crowns are durable and last for a long time without wearing down the surrounding natural teeth
- Porcelain crowns: Porcelain crowns look like natural teeth, but they are more brittle than other materials & may break more easily
- Composite crowns: Designed to look like natural teeth, composite crowns are more durable than porcelain crowns, but they may wear down quicker from chewing & are more susceptible to staining
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: These crowns look like natural teeth & are more durable than other options, but the metal portion of the crown may show if you have thin gums
No matter the material your dentist recommends, a dental crown can help protect your damaged tooth. When receiving a crown, how does this procedure work?
What Is the Dental Crown Procedure Like?
You receive a dental crown in 2 appointments. During the first visit, your dentist will remove precise amounts of your tooth to ensure the dental crown will fit. They will take impressions and create a temporary crown to protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being created.
Your dentist removes the temporary crown and places the permanent crown during your second appointment. They will ensure the fit, shape, and colour is correct before cementing the dental crown into place.
After your procedure is complete, your dentist will show you how to care for your crown to help it last.
5 Tips on Caring for Your Dental Crown
Dental crowns require care and maintenance to avoid potential problems and prolong their lifespan. Consider following these 5 tips to care for your dental crown and promote good oral health.
Avoid Problematic Foods
Your dental crown is strong and durable, but it is still susceptible to damage. Certain foods are not ideal for crowns, such as hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. These foods can affect the long-term health of your crown.
Hard foods like nuts and candies can chip or crack your dental crown. Sticky foods can potentially dislodge your crown, requiring you to visit your dentist. Consider avoiding these foods or eating them in moderation to protect your crown.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Dental crowns are artificial, but they still require good oral hygiene. Treat your dental crown like your natural teeth and protect them from bacteria.
Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily to protect your teeth from tooth decay. Taking care of your teeth can help your crown last longer.
Address Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, causes you to grind or clench your teeth. You may do this unconsciously during the day, or you may grind your teeth while you sleep. Bruxism can lead to potential damage to your teeth due to exerted pressure.
Bruxism can cause you to wear down and potentially crack your dental crown. Speak with your dentist if you frequently clench or grind your teeth. They can address this condition, providing you with a nightguard to prevent complications.
Break Bad Habits
Many people have bad habits involving their teeth. You may bite your nails, chew on things, or use your teeth to open packages. These actions can potentially damage your dental crown.
These habits can be hard to break, but doing so can help protect your teeth from unnecessary damage.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Daily brushing and flossing are great for your oral health, but dental visits are just as important. Your dental team can clean hard-to-reach places and remove plaque and tartar. Your dentist can examine your dental crown to look for any potential problems.
Help Your Dental Crown Last
Your dental crown can last up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are essential for promoting good oral hygiene.Contact your dentist if you’re interested in dental crowns.