Is your tooth chipped off or damaged? If yes, then to ensure you don’t lose your tooth, it’s best to get a dental crown to restore the shape, appearance and function of your damaged tooth. If you are not sure what dental crowns are, what the procedure is and how will it benefit you, then this blog will be a good read for you. Read further to understand this dental treatment.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crown is also known as ‘dental cap’. It is hollow and artificial tooth that is used to cover and protect the damaged or decayed tooth. Its function is to restore the natural tooth’s shape & size and prevent it from further damage or loss. It strengthens the natural tooth and improves its appearance. A dental crown encases the entire visible portion of a tooth from the top of the tooth to the gum line.
When is it needed?
Here are some reasons where the dentist might recommend you to undergo this dental treatment:
Restoration of a broken tooth
Severely worn down tooth
To hold dental bridge in place
To cover dental implants
Cover discolored tooth
Tooth that has had root canal treatment
To cover damaged tooth
To protect a decayed tooth
Hold together parts of a cracked tooth
To restore broken cusps
What Types of Dental Crowns are Available?
The variety is endless. Today you can find crowns made out of gold and metal alloys, stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic, zirconia and composite resin. Stainless steel crowns are mostly used to cover baby teeth among children. While gold crowns are more durable and used to cover adult teeth. These are long lasting and require very less of the tooth to be removed or shaved down. However, if you are looking to improve the visual appearance of your damaged or chipped tooth, then porcelain would be a suitable choice.
Dental Crown- The Procedure
The dentist first numbs the tooth by giving local anesthesia to the patient. This is done to ensure the patient feels minimal pain during the treatment. Now to make adequate space for the crown the dentist files down the tooth that needs to be restored.
Then impression of the shaved down tooth is taken to custom make the crown. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is designed and made. Restorative materials are used to build the crown based on the impression taken by the dentist. If you are getting a porcelain crown, then the dentist selects the shade of the crown that matches the shade of the neighboring teeth.
Until the final crown is ready to be embedded in your mouth, the dentist places a temporary crown over the tooth that needs restoration. It protects the shaved down tooth. Once the crown is ready, the dentist takes off the temporary crown and places the permanent crown.
On an average, dental crowns last for 5 to 15 years or more depending on your oral hygiene practices and mouth related habits (like teeth grinding or clenching).