If you have a tooth that has been cracked, chipped, or damaged from decay, you’ll need to consider repair options. The best option to meet your needs will depend on the severity of the damage. If the damage is minor, a dental veneer or even dental bonding may be enough to resolve the issue. If the damage is more comprehensive, though, you may need to have a dental crown placed.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns (also known as “dental caps”) are dental prosthetics that are used to replace the crown of a tooth after damage has occurred. The crown of a tooth is the portion that appears above the gumline. Unlike dental bonding or veneers, dental crowns are used for severe damage that requires the entirety of the crown of a tooth to be replaced. Your dentist will try to save as much of your tooth as possible, but a dental crown may be the only option if your tooth has decayed or been damaged to the point where minor cosmetic repairs aren’t enough.
Dental crowns are made with a few different materials. You will have a chance to discuss which material is best for you. With that said, the most common are ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, metal alloy, and gold. Each of these different crowns has their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, ceramic crowns can closely resemble the appearance of a natural tooth, so they don’t stand out. Gold crowns, on the other hand, will be a lot more visible and are sometimes chosen for this reason.
Speak with your dentist about the options that are available to you, and which is right for your needs and your budget.
The Benefits of a Dental Crown
If you have a cavity and you allow it to get bad enough, it will eventually eat away at your tooth until the damage to the crown is irreparable. When this is the case, you’ll need a dental crown placed to save the tooth and prevent further damage. You also may need a dental crown to repair a fracture, chip, or crack. One of the benefits of a dental crown is how well they are able to repair these problems.
You’ll notice that your dental crown is sturdy, and you’ll be able to continue to eat your favorite foods. With that said, some materials will be sturdier than others. Still, you’ll have similar functionality to a natural crown.
One of the biggest complaints from patients that have a damaged tooth is the appearance. This is especially so if the tooth becomes discolored. A dental crown can restore the natural appearance of your tooth, allowing you to smile with confidence.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort due to having a damaged tooth, repairing the tooth and placing a dental crown will help to alleviate this pain and/or discomfort. You won’t have to worry about hurting yourself or discomfort due to temperature when eating.
The Dental Crown Placement Process
If you have a tooth that is cracked, chipped, or fractured, visit the dentist as soon as you can. The sooner you get the tooth repaired, the less damage there will be to repair. If you have a tooth that is severely decayed, you’ll also want to see your dentist to get the tooth repaired. Once you’ve set an appointment, your dentist will take a look and see what the best repair methods are for fixing the tooth. If the tooth is bad enough, they’ll decide on the placement of a dental crown.
The first step of the placement of a dental crown is your dentist making an impression of the tooth. They will then send the impression to a lab to have the false crown created. You may get a temporary crown while you are waiting, as the process may take a few weeks.
Once the replacement crown has arrived, your dentist will shape your tooth to fit the crown properly. They will provide you with a local anesthetic, so you don’t experience pain. When they are happy with the fit, they will cement the crown in place.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
It’s important to understand that—while a dental crown is an excellent repair option—it won’t last forever. How well you take care of your crown after it is placed will affect its longevity but, with that said, you should expect your crown to last around 15 years. Some patients that take particularly good care of their crown find it lasts as long as 25 and even 30 years!
Once you start to notice damage to your dental crown, set an appointment with your dentist. They will take a look and see if it’s time to replace the dental crown.
While your dental crown is strong and long-lasting, it’s not invincible. Beyond the crown itself, you still have natural gums and a natural tooth underneath to take care of. You should treat your dental crown like it is any other tooth. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day, every day. If you don’t take proper care, the tooth underneath can get infected. If the root gets infected and the infection gets bad enough, an extraction may need to be performed. If you aren’t flossing and brushing the gums around the dental crown, you risk gum disease.
Keep in mind that—like natural teeth—your dental crown can stain. To prevent this, avoid soda, tea, coffee, red wine, and other food and drinks that are known to stain teeth. If you have any questions about aftercare, let your dentist know. They will be able to answer any of your questions.
Reach Out to Kelly Road Dental Today!
If your tooth is decayed, cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged, reach out to Kelly Road Dental. We’ll set an appointment for a top dentist to take a look and determine the best method of repair.
We look forward to meeting you and helping you with your damaged tooth.