Crowns are caps that fit over the tops of your teeth, and they can be used for many reasons. Crowns are an easy way for dentists to fix teeth that are broken, chipped, or cracked, or to strengthen teeth that have been weakened by large cavities or root canal procedures. They can even be used to hide misshapen or stained teeth. Here's what you need to know about them.
Are there different types of crowns?
Crowns can be made from a wide variety of materials: ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys, and base metals. All of these materials have their own set of pros and cons that you will have to discuss with your dentist.
How do you choose which type to get?
Ceramic or porcelain fused to metal crowns can be matched to the color of your teeth, which makes the crown look more natural. These materials look good, but they're brittle, and can be broken or chipped by your bite force. If you need a crown on one of your front teeth, you should consider these materials.
Gold alloys and base metals can't be matched to the color of your teeth, so it will be obvious to anyone who looks closely enough that you have a crown. However, these materials are very strong, and can't be worn down or broken as easily as the tooth-colored materials can be. If you need a crown on one of your molars, choose one of these materials so that your crown can withstand the force of your chewing.
How do dentists put on crowns?
First, your dentist will prepare your tooth for the crown. Your tooth needs to be filed down to make room for the crown, otherwise, the crown will make your tooth too big, which will be uncomfortable. If your tooth is weak due to decay or a root canal, the dentist may need to create a foundation (in the form of a post) to support the tooth.
Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take a mold of your tooth, and then use that mold to build you a custom crown. While you're waiting for your custom crown, you'll have to wear a temporary crown to protect your tooth.
Finally, it will be time to place the crown. The dentist will apply dental cement to your tooth, and then attach the crown. He or she will make any final adjustments that are necessary, and then you'll be sent home with your brand new crown.
Does getting a crown hurt?
Your dentist will give you local anesthesia during the procedure, so you won't feel your tooth being filed away. You may have some sensitivity in the area afterwards, but that discomfort won't last long
Do crowns last forever?
It's possible for a crown to last you the rest of your life, if you're really careful with it, but chances are, you'll need it replaced in the future. Your crown needs to withstand a lot of force from biting and chewing, and over the years, the crown will wear down and maybe even break. Even crowns that don't break will start to look old and worn out from years of chewing and brushing, and you'll probably want to replace it with something a little better looking.
The average crown will need to be replaced after five and fifteen years, depending on the type of material it's made of and how you care for it.
Crowns are a great way for dentists to fix a variety of dental problems. If your dentist thinks you need a crown, click here or make an appointment to get the procedure done right away.