Dental crowns are artificial restorations that fit over the remaining portion of a tooth that is prepared to make it strong and give it a natural appearance. Crowns are also known as caps and are beneficial for correcting many dental issues.
It would be natural for you to wonder why you may have been recommended a dental crown by your dentist. However, you must understand these are ideal to repair teeth weakened by a large dental filling or tooth decay. Crowns may be recommended for many reasons including:
Crowns are fabricated from different materials which are porcelain, ceramic, zirconia, composite resin, metal, and a combination of materials. When choosing dental crowns for you the dentist you are having the treatment from will consider the location of your tooth, how much of the tooth will be visible when smiling, the positioning of your gum tissue, the function of the tooth needing the crown, the color of the surrounding teeth, and how much of the natural tooth is remaining. You can also express your personal preferences with the dentist.
The dentist will be preparing the tooth for the ideal shape of the dental crown. This will require removing a layer of enamel from the outer surface. The amount of enamel removed will be similar to the thickness of the crown. After your tooth has been shaped the dental team will take a mold of the prepared tooth and the opposite jaw to determine if the bite line appearance is proper. The impressions will be forwarded to the dental laboratory with information about the shade chosen and any other information they need for developing your crown.
You can choose to have a multi-day procedure with a temporary crown or even a same-day procedure for placing a permanent crown to replace the damaged tooth in your mouth. If you choose a multi-day procedure the dentist will examine and prepare the tooth for the crown. X-rays of the tooth may be taken along with impressions of your teeth before and after preparing the tooth. After the impression is sent to the dental laboratory for making the crown you may have to wait several weeks to have the placement but in the meanwhile, you can have a temporary crown placed by the dentist. The permanent crown will be bonded in place after it is developed by the dental laboratory when you must return for a second visit to the dentists’ office.
If you prefer the same-day procedure the step with the temporary crown can be skipped. The dentist will take digital pictures of your mouth and using the digital scan will create the dental crown in the dental office. You must wait for a couple of hours until the crown is ready for placement. When the crown is ready the dentist will bond it in place using dental cement. The entire procedure will require 2 to 4 hours and will allow you to head back to work after the crown is placed.
The technology for developing same-day crowns is unavailable with many dentists. Therefore you must inquire beforehand and understand its costs especially if you are not covered by dental insurance.
After having a crown placed it is important to take good care of it to prolong its life. Some helpful tips that can be used are the following:
Lifespans of dental crowns can vary between 10 to 15 years with some crowns lasting longer because they are stronger than the others.
Your specific needs will determine the type of crown you prefer to have on your teeth. You must discuss with your dentist about the best option for you and your dental requirements.