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Dental Crowns: How Do They Help Your Bite and Smile?

Dental Crowns: How Do They Help Your Bite and Smile?

Despite their strength, your teeth can still get damaged over time. This can be caused by bacteria, trauma, or just plain wear and tear. For this reason, people undergo dental restoration procedures—like dental crowns.

Dental crowns are basically “caps” placed over your teeth. The crown helps restore the tooth’s shape and size, increase its strength, and improve overall appearance. In a typical procedure, the crown is cemented into place covering the visible portion of the tooth. Read on to know more about dental crowns should you need one.

Advantages of Dental Crowns

Apart from restoring damaged teeth, dental crowns also provide solutions to other dental problems such as:

  • Cracked or weak teeth
  • Large cavities that can’t be filled
  • Misshapen or severely discolored teeth
  • Coverage for dental implants
  • Holding a dental bridge in place
  • Coverage after a root canal

In pediatric dentistry, dental crowns are used when the baby’s teeth have been damaged by decay.

Types of Dental Crowns

Permanent dental crowns are made from different materials, including:

  • Metal. This includes gold and platinum. Metal crowns are long-lasting, resistant to breakage, and can withstand pressure from constant chewing and biting.
  • Stainless steel. Often used on children, these are typically temporary and will be extracted together with the baby tooth it is cemented on when it is time for the permanent tooth to erupt.
  • Porcelain-fused-metal. This type is made to match the color of the surrounding teeth, popular among those who get crowns for cosmetic reasons.
  • Resin. Resin crowns, while cost-effective, doesn’t last long.
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain. Commonly chosen by those with metal allergies, this type is also close to your teeth’s natural color.

Procedure

Typically, dental crown procedures require multi-day visits (at least two times), depending on what your dentist will recommend.

On your first visit, x-rays are taken to examine the tooth that’s going to receive the crown, as well as the surrounding teeth. If you have major tooth decay or damage, it’s likely that you will be required to undergo additional dental procedures like a root canal treatment, bridge (multiple crowns connected to each other), or deep cleaning.

After, part of the tooth’s outer layer will be removed and filed down. This is to make space for the crown itself. An impression will be made out of the trimmed tooth and will be sent to the dental lab to make the crown. Until then, your dentist will have to place a temporary crown over your teeth.

At the second visit, the permanent crown will be cemented in place.

Sometimes, anesthesia will be used on the first visit during the preparation/filing of the teeth because it is sensitive. On the second visit, rarely is there a need for anesthesia because it is only a cementation procedure.

Remember, no dental crown procedure is the same for everyone. Before deciding on which type of crown to put, your dentist will consider first the following:

  • Location of tooth
  • Position of gum tissue
  • How much of the tooth is visible when you smile (Onlays or ¾ crowns are sometimes preferred if you don’t want the crown to cover your entire tooth)
  • The function of the tooth
  • How much of the natural tooth remains
  • Tooth color

You can also opt for a same-day crown which lasts for only one to two hours. This is usually made of plastic or acrylic.

Risks and Complications

Just like any dental procedure, dental crowns can also cause problems:

  • Discomfort or tooth sensitivity
  • A loose or chipped crown
  • Allergic reaction

If you experience any of these, call your dentist immediately to resolve them.

It’s also important to note that dental crowns are expected to last for at least five to 15 years, depending on the material used, and how you care for them after the procedure.

Aftercare Tips

Just like you would your natural teeth, your dental crown also needs appropriate care and maintenance. Here are some of them:

  • Brushing or flossing after every meal or at least twice a day
  • Regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleaning
  • Avoid food that can trigger sensitivity

Key Takeaways

Whether you’re in need of major tooth restoration or just want a healthier-looking smile, dental crowns might just be what you need. Your dental crown is tailor-fit to what your teeth need. Make sure to have it properly examined by a dentist to determine what type of crown should be used, and how long the procedure will take. Sometimes, you will have to undergo other procedures first before your crown appointment.

Learn more about Cosmetic Dentistry here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Dental crowns, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/10923-dental-crowns Accessed March 20, 2021

Crowns, https://www.mayodentalclinic.com/services/restorative/crowns/#:~:text=Crowns. Accessed March 20, 2021

Tuning up your teeth, https://www.health.harvard.edu/oral-health/tuning-up-your-teeth Accessed March 20, 2021

Dental crowns, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/surgery/dental-crowns Accessed March 20, 2021

Dental treatments, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/dental-treatments/ Accessed March 20, 2021

 

 

 

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Written by Honey Buenaventura on Apr 06
Medically reviewed by Dr. Grazielle Millo-Paredes
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