What Are Dental Crowns And What Are They Used For?

What Are Dental Crowns And What Are They Used For?

Jun 01, 2021

Your teeth can get damaged at any time and can happen for a myriad of reasons, like tooth decay, trauma, cancer, etc. The teeth can also lose their shape, size, or even alignment and require surgery.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth used to cover the tooth and to restore its shape, size, strength, and also improve its appearance. This article would cover the reasons why a dental crown is needed, the different types available, dental crown procedures, and their maintenance.

Why Is A Dental Crown Needed?

You may require a dental crown in the following situations:

Protecting a weak tooth which could be from decay, or from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.

Restoring an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.

Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling.

Holding a dental bridge in place.

Covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth.

Covering a dental implant.

Types Of Dental Crowns.

In terms of time, there are three types viz temporary, one day, and on-lay or ¾ crown.

Hence, when selecting the material for your crown, your dentist will consider factors such as:

  • Location of your teeth
  • How much of the tooth will show when you smile
  • The position of your gum tissue
  • The function of the tooth that needs the crown
  • Amount of natural tooth remaining
  • The color of the surrounding teeth.

However, in terms of materials, there are several kinds of materials that can be used in crowns including:

  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Zirconia
  • Metal
  • Composite resin
  • Or a combination of materials

For example, you could have a porcelain crown that’s fused to metal, as opposed to an all-porcelain crown.

Temporary crown

A temporary crown is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a crown that’ll only remain in your mouth for a short time.

Your dentist will place it over your tooth with an adhesive that’s easily removed, so it won’t be as strong as a permanent crown. It is usually done on your initial visit to the dentist while waiting for a permanent crown to be made. The permanent crown will be placed on your tooth at a second appointment.

One-day crown

You can get a crown in a single appointment. Everything is done in one visit.

Onlay or 3/4 crown

Here, some crowns only cover a portion of the tooth. It depends on both patient preference and the recommendations of the dentist.

What Happens During A Dental Crown Procedure?

Getting a dental crown usually requires two visits to the dentist with the first step involving both examining and preparing the tooth, and the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.

First visit: Examining and preparing the tooth.

During this first visit in preparation for a crown, it involves the dentist taking a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth to receive the crown and the surrounding bone too. If the tooth is discovered to have extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist typically will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. The impressions or scans are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office in two to three weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth.

Second visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

Dental Crown Maintenance.

Once the crown is in, it’s important to take good care of it and maintain regular porcelain teeth care. This involves the regular and proper practice of careful brushing and using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth if your crown or the teeth around it are sensitive to heat or cold. Flossing daily can help keep all your teeth in tip-top shape. Also, avoid hard foods.

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