Dental crowns, also known as caps, are a type of dental restoration that completely covers a damaged or decayed tooth above the gum line. A crown can help to restore the function and appearance of a tooth that has been severely damaged or decayed. Crowns are made of a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of materials.
Why might you need it.
There are several reasons why you might need a dental crown:
- Tooth decay: When a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, a crown may be needed to restore the tooth’s shape, strength, and function.
- Cracked or fractured teeth: A crown can help to protect a tooth that is cracked or fractured, preventing further damage and potential tooth loss.
- Large fillings: If a tooth has a large filling, it may be weakened and more prone to breaking. A crown can help to protect the tooth and keep it strong.
- Cosmetic reasons: A crown can be used to improve the appearance of a tooth that is discolored, misshapen, or has other cosmetic issues.
- After root canal treatment: After a root canal, a crown is often placed to protect the tooth and restore its function.
- Dental implants: A crown can be used to replace a missing tooth that has been replaced with a dental implant.
Overall, dental crowns are a versatile dental restoration that can help to restore both the function and appearance of a damaged or decayed tooth.
The procedure for getting a dental crown typically involves several steps and may require multiple visits to the dentist. Here is a general overview of the process:
- Consultation: The first step is to schedule a consultation with a dentist to determine if a dental crown is the right solution for you. During the consultation, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums and discuss your treatment options.
- Preparation: Once it is determined that a dental crown is the best solution, the next step is to prepare the tooth for the crown. This may involve removing some of the tooth enamel to make room for the crown.
- Impression: After the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth to create a mold for the dental crown. The mold is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is custom-made to fit your mouth.
- Temporary crown: While the permanent crown is being made, the dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the exposed tooth and gums.
- Fitting: Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and fit the permanent crown in place. The dentist will make sure the crown fits properly and make any necessary adjustments.
- Bonding: Finally, the crown is bonded into place using dental cement. The dentist will check the bite and make sure the crown feels comfortable.
After the procedure, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown, but with proper care, a dental crown can last for many years. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, and to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.