All You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a cap shaped like a tooth that is placed over a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. When cemented in place, the crown covers the entire visible part of the tooth above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

A dental crown by cosmetic dentist Woodbridge might be necessary in several situations, including:

Protecting a weak tooth: This is typically done to prevent the tooth from breaking due to decay or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth

Restoring a broken or worn-down tooth: A crown can restore the tooth’s structure and function

Supporting a tooth with a large filling: Crowns can help strengthen and support a tooth that has a significant filling and not much natural tooth left

Holding a dental bridge in place: Crowns can be used as anchors for dental bridges

Covering misshapen or discolored teeth: Crowns can improve the appearance of teeth that are misaligned, misshapen, or severely discolored.

Covering a dental implant: Crowns are placed on top of dental implants to replace missing teeth

Cosmetic modifications: Crowns can be used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of teeth.

For children’s teeth: Crowns can be used on primary (baby) teeth to:

Save a tooth that is severely damaged by decay and cannot support a filling.

Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when daily oral hygiene is challenging.

Reduce the need for general anesthesia for children who are unable to cooperate with proper dental care due to age, behavior, or medical history.

In such cases, a pediatric dentist Woodbridge may recommend a stainless steel crown.

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

Permanent crowns can be crafted from various materials including stainless steel, all metal (like gold or other alloys), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

Stainless steel crowns are pre-made and are primarily used as a temporary solution for permanent teeth. They protect the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is being made. These crowns are commonly used for children to cover primary teeth that have been prepared to fit them. The crown covers the entire tooth, protecting it from further decay. When the primary tooth falls out to make way for the permanent tooth, the crown naturally comes out with it. Stainless steel crowns are favored for children’s teeth because they do not require multiple dental visits and are more cost-effective than custom-made crowns.

Contact Admire Dental Care for dental Woodbridge.

Metal crowns can be made from alloys with high gold or platinum content, or base-metal alloys like cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium. They are durable, withstanding biting and chewing forces well, and are highly resistant to chipping or breaking. However, their metallic color and higher cost are drawbacks. Metal crowns are often used for molars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be matched to the color of adjacent teeth, unlike metallic crowns. However, they may cause more wear on opposing teeth and the porcelain portion can chip or break. These crowns look more natural than metal crowns but may show a dark line at the gum line if the gums recede.

All-resin crowns are cheaper but wear down over time and are more prone to fractures compared to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns offer the best natural color match and are suitable for those with metal allergies. They can be used for both front and back teeth.

Temporary crowns can be made in the dentist’s office, while permanent crowns are usually made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are typically made of acrylic-based material or stainless steel and are used as a temporary restoration until the permanent crown is ready.

Preparing a tooth for a crown typically involves two visits to the dentist. The first step is examining and preparing the tooth, while the second visit involves placing the permanent crown.

What Steps Are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Crown?

First visit: Examining and preparing the tooth

  • X-rays may be taken to check the roots of the tooth and surrounding bone.
  • If there is extensive decay or risk of infection, a root canal may be performed first.
  • The tooth and surrounding gum tissue are numbed.
  • The tooth receiving the crown is reshaped to make room for the crown, which may involve removing some of the tooth’s structure.
  • If necessary, filling material is used to build up the tooth.
  • An impression of the prepared tooth is made using paste, putty, or a digital scanner.
  • Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth are also made to ensure proper bite alignment.
  • The impressions or scans are sent to a dental lab where the crown is manufactured.
  • A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being made.

Second visit: Receiving the permanent crown

  • The temporary crown is removed, and the fit and color of the permanent crown are checked.
  • If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic is used to numb the tooth.
  • The permanent crown is cemented in place.
  • Preparing a tooth for a crown is a detailed process that ensures the crown fits properly and restores the tooth’s function and appearance.

Dental crowns typically last between five and 15 years on average. The durability of a crown hinges on factors such as the level of wear and tear it withstands, your adherence to good oral hygiene practices, and your personal habits related to your mouth. Avoiding habits like teeth grinding or clenching, chewing on ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packages can help prolong the life of your crown.

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