What Are Dental Crowns ?
Dental crowns are a discreet way of restoring your smile if you are suffering from damaged, broken or weakened teeth. Not only do they repair damages, they also strengthen your teeth, preventing any further damage. Crowns for teeth are made from a variety of materials, although our STM dentists recommend porcelain crowns over metal as they are the most natural looking and will blend in with the rest of your teeth.
Generally, ceramic crowns are used for the front of the mouth, while teeth further back may be gold, but more recently manufactured ceramic crowns are strong enough for use anywhere in the mouth and are more natural looking.
Tooth crowns are caps that are each individually crafted to fit perfectly over your existing teeth, for protection, strength and a healthy, natural appearance. Crowns are ideal for damages that do not require a whole replacement, such as cracked teeth or tooth decay and can be fitted on to strengthen and protect it, as well as improve its general appearance. Damaged teeth can be sensitive and painful, and may present a risk of tooth decay, so they need to be fixed as soon as possible.
Why are they needed
Dental crown may be needed to
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
The tooth might have to be root-filled first – this is sometimes called ‘removing the nerve’. The crown is sometimes held in place by a peg in the root canal if a lot of the tooth is missing.
We use a soft mouldable material to make an exact impression of the tooth that is to be crowned and the nearby teeth. Our dental technician uses the impressions to make the crown the exact size needed.
A temporary crown made of plastic or metal is put over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. You can chew on a temporary crown but it won’t be as strong as the finished one. When the crown is ready, the temporary one is removed and the permanent one put it its place. We will make small adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well your oral hygiene is and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging).
Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?
While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day — especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Antibacterial mouth rinse can also help.