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Regardless of how well you care for your smile, teeth can still become damaged over time due to injuries, dietary or hygiene habits, and genetics. When this occurs, crowns are often the best solution to restore the health, function, and appearance of a damaged tooth. At Dentistry On Monroe, Dr. Turner and his experienced team are committed to making your crown procedure as comfortable and convenient as possible. Here is everything you should know about the benefits of receiving a crown before calling us to schedule your free consultation.
What is a Dental Crown?
A crown, also known as a “cap”, is a procedure that covers and reinforces a damaged tooth with a strong material, often porcelain or tooth-colored ceramic. It essentially acts as a hard hat for a tooth. Crowns are an excellent treatment option in many different cases. If a tooth has extensive decay that has weakened much of its structure, or if the decay is in a place that is too difficult to repair responsibly with filling material, a crown is often recommended. A tooth that has a large filling in it, that has been undermined by decay, or if the tooth around the filling is cracking, reinforcement with a crown should be considered. Teeth that have had pieces broken off, or have been worn significantly due to grinding, clenching, or acid reflux, can often be restored with crowns as well. Finally, teeth that have had root canal treatment often require crowns to keep them strong for years to come.
What Are the Types of Dental Crowns?
There are several different materials used to make crowns, but they can be broken down into 3 general categories:
- Ceramic: This type is made of a hard, tooth-colored porcelain-like substance. These are the most common type of crown Dr. Turner offers his patients and can be used for front teeth (when a very beautiful and natural look is needed), or back teeth (when strength is needed while still looking natural.
- Metal: This type of crown is the strongest and requires the least amount of “tooth shaving”, as metal is much stronger than anything else when the crown has to be thin. This is usually a last resort crown material for back teeth that are extremely short and cannot be reduced in size very much without hurting the nerve of the tooth.
- Hybrids: These crowns are built from two different materials that are fused together. The most common has been “porcelain fused to metal”, or “PFM”. Your dentist may choose a hybrid type of crown if the underlying tooth is highly discolored.
Each type of crown has its advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Turner can help you decide which type is best for your tooth.
What Are the Benefits of a Dental Crown?
When done properly, dental crowns can reinforce and maintain the strength of a tooth for several decades. They look like your natural tooth, allow you to chew and smile with confidence, and can often prevent the tooth from becoming much more extensively damaged in the future.
What’s Involved in the Dental Crown Procedure?
A crown is a simple and routine procedure that usually involves two appointments spaced out about two weeks apart. The first appointment involves getting the tooth very numb, then removing a thin layer of tooth structure from the sides and top to make room for the crown material. The resulting smaller tooth is then either scanned digitally, or a mold is made of it, to send to a dental lab for them to make a custom crown that fits the tooth perfectly. During the first visit, a temporary crown will be made to cover and protect the tooth while the lab makes the permanent crown. The second visit is usually much shorter, involving removal of the temporary crown, trying on the permanent crown, and cementing it. It is important to note that not all teeth that need to get crowns need to have a root canal treatment. The vast majority of the time, teeth can be reinforced by a dental crown without ever needing to have root canal therapy.
How Do I Need to Care for My Crown?
Brushing the tooth with a crown on it is very important, but flossing a tooth with a crown is even more crucial. The areas where a crowned tooth can be attacked by decay are often down by the gum line. Tooth decay can spread quickly in these areas, so it is essential that crowned teeth be kept very clean to avoid this.
Is It Painful to Get a Dental Crown?
Getting a crown should not be painful at all. Dr. Turner and his team at Dentistry On Monroe will ensure that the tooth and gums are very numb during the procedure. In some cases, there may be mild soreness or sensitivity to cold temperatures for a day or two after the first visit, but these should not be significant or long-lasting.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
A well-made crown that is properly taken care of with good oral hygiene at home can last several decades.
Crowns are a fast, affordable, convenient option to restore the health and beauty of your mouth. Contact Dentistry On Monroe today to learn more about how a crown could benefit you.
How Do You Start Improving Your Smile?
By scheduling an appointment at Dentistry on Monroe. We are a modern dental practice in Charlotte, North Carolina with a focus on your individual needs. Our goal is to make you healthier and happier.