It is safe to say that most of us have heard of dental crowns. However, do we really know what they are and why we need them? A dental crown is a cap that covers the tooth, resulting in restoration of the tooth’s shape, size, strength, and appearance. Dental crowns become essential when teeth become weak. For instance, if a tooth is decaying, dental crowns protect the tooth from breaking into pieces. Furthermore, if a tooth has already broken, crowns hold the parts together, and revive the tooth from its fragmented state. Crowns can also be used for other various dental procedures. These include holding a dental bridge in place, covering a dental implant, or when dealing with cosmetic surgery. If a tooth is badly misshaped or discolored a crown may be used as well.
What are They?
So we now know when we need crowns, but what about the procedure? Receiving crown treatment typically takes two visits to the dentist. The first visit is where the tooth will be examined and primed for the following visit. Dentists will usually take x-rays initially to understand the tooth and the roots surrounding it. From here the dentist will decide if a crown is needed or another dental procedure would better fit the problem. If a crown is needed, the dentist will typically numb the tooth and gum tissue near the tooth. Next, the tooth is either filed down to make room for the crown to be placed in, or built up if the tooth is decayed and broken. The dentist will then use paste or putty to make an impression of both above and below the tooth. This impression will allow the crown to be made to fit your mouth perfectly, not causing problems to your bite. The crown takes two to three weeks to be created, and during this time dentists will usually put in a temporary crown in order to protect the tooth.
The second trip to Dr. Meden’s office is when the permanent crown is placed. He will numb your tooth and gum, remove the temporary crown, and insert the permanent crown. These crowns are cemented in place so that they don’t move, become lose, or cause pain or trouble. Crowns last between 5 and 15 years depending on wear and tear, chewing ice, grinding teeth, etc. Remember that crowns will last longer when you take good care of your teeth, so avoid bad habits that cause damage to not only teeth but also crowns.