Today, more and more individuals are becoming aware of the importance of oral health, changing their lifestyle to maintain a healthy set of teeth and gums. However, dental procedures may, at times, still be necessary to remedy common dental problems. One of the most common dental treatments you may encounter is dental crowns.
If you’ve been told you need a dental crown, or think you might, and are looking to know more about it before proceeding, you’re in the right place. This article will tell you all about dental crowns—what they are, how they’re used, and more!
1. What are dental crowns?
When you think about the word “crown,” chances are, you think of the ornament that a king will place on his head. A dental crown is similar to that, albeit less jewelry and more porcelain or another material. The crown is placed over the surface of a patient’s tooth to cover it up for various reasons, which we will answer in the next question.
2. Why are dental crowns used?
There are many reasons an individual may need a dental crown placed on a tooth. Most commonly, a patient has signifcant decay or cracks in a tooth that is too extensive to fill with standard fillings, so the decay is removed and a crown is placed over the tooth to build the tooth structure back up to normal. Patients who’ve had root canal therapy to remove infection from teeth roots also often require dental crowns placed over the root canal. Some people may be unhappy with the appearance of their teeth, and they’re receiving dental crowns as a cosmetic improvement to cover misshapen or discolored teeth, restoring their appearance and improving their smile. Filling open spaces left by missing teeth is another reason dental crowns are used.
Overall, the dental crown’s main use is to restore a tooth’s appearance, utility, and strength. In other words, it can be categorized as both cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry as it can achieve various goals.
3. When is a dental crown required?
A dentist will diagnose the need for a crown based on his or her assessment of the affected tooth. Persons interested in using dental crowns for cosmetic dental reasons may bring that to the dentist’s attention. For instance, if you are dealing with discolored or damaged teeth, you can improve their appearance with a dental crown.
Another example of the need for a crown would be that you have just undergone dental implants, where a dental crown is required to replace the missing teeth to restore the mouth’s full function.
Another common reason would be that a tooth has cracked and is at risk of further damage. A dentist will use a dental crown to restore the tooth’s strength, allowing it to carry out regular activity.
4. Are there different types of dental crowns?
Yes, there are many different types of dental crowns available. While they aim to achieve the same or similar goals, the crowns can be made from different materials.
As mentioned earlier, porcelain (or ceramic) dental crowns can be used when undergoing a dental crown procedure. This is one of the most commonly used materials since the material’s color matches real teeth. Add the fact that porcelain is quite durable and strong and does not incite metallic allergies, it is one of the best materials to be used. The only possible downside to this kind of crown is that it may not be as strong as metal crowns. However, with proper maintenance, they will continue to last for many years to come.
Other than porcelain and ceramic, there are other materials such as resin, zirconia, stainless steel, and even a mix of porcelain and metal. All of these materials have their upsides and downsides but are still used for specific reasons.
For example, metal-infused porcelain is generally used for the back teeth as the metal’s added strength is needed to maintain shape and utility. However, over time, subtle metal color can start to appear as the porcelain begins to degrade.
Another example would be with resin crowns, where people who do not have much money can still get the dental crown they need for a lower cost. The apparent disadvantage of resin crowns is that they are not as durable longterm and are prone to fracturing and cracking, compared to other long-lasting options like porcelain.
When talking with your dentist, they will most likely give you various options regarding dental crowns. Be sure to discuss with them thoroughly to see which options satisfy your needs the best!
5. How long does a dental crown last?
Typically, dental crowns can last anywhere between 5-15 years or more. The number will depend on a few factors, such as the crown’s material and the stress it is generally put under. Proper maintenance can also extend the time that the crown can last, and being proactive in avoiding activities that can damage the crown will also do the same.
6. How can I extend the life of my dental crown?
Since dental crowns are quite an investment, knowing how to make them last longer is something you would like to do. However, it is crucial to remember that crowns do not last forever, so do not expect them to last you a lifetime. With that in mind, if you are going to get dental crowns, here are a few habits you can start picking up.
The first thing you should always do is maintain good oral health. Maintaining a dental crown is as easy as that, and if you nail down good oral hygiene, your crowns will last. This includes flossing daily, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and visiting your dentist at least every six months, or as prescribed by the dentist.
The second thing you should do is avoid or limit eating hard and sticky foods like hard candy, nuts, and chewy or sticky treats. This will reduce the chances of chips and cracks from occurring, keeping your crowns safe and sound.
Finally, visiting the dentist periodically will also allow them to identify the crown’s condition, giving the care required to help it last and being proactive when the crown needs restoring.
We hope you have learned important information about dental crowns. We also hope that we have cleared out some of the questions you may have had, and that you now feel comfortable discussing dental crowns with your dentist and undergoing necessary dental crown treatment.
That said, if you are unsure as to whether or not you need dental crowns, we highly recommend visiting the dentist for an accurate diagnosis. They will identify any problems you may have with your oral health and advise on what possible actions you can take to improve it. Do not forget to bring up dental crowns in the conversation if you are interested in discussing how they can be used to satisfy your needs, whether for aesthetic or restorative purposes!
Anderson Dental Care is a family dental office offering various dental services such as bridges, implants, crowns, and more. If you require dental crowns in Cincinnati, schedule a visit to our dental clinic today!