Dental Crowns, otherwise known as caps, are used to completely cover a damaged tooth. They strengthens your tooth and can improve its appearance or even shape. They are used on teeth that cannot be restored through fillings or other types of restorations. There are several types of dental crowns, but porcelain is most frequently used because it matches the size, color and shape of your natural teeth. They are very durable and will likely last many years, but may still at some point need to be replaced.
Some instances in which dental crowns might be used include:
- Fractured or broken teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Tooth decay
- Fractured or large fillings
- Affected tooth has a root canal
- Protect a tooth from fracturing
- Cover a dental implant
Generally, placing a dental crown will require two appointments. During your first visit, Dr. Mattison will remove any decay and shape the surface to properly fit the crown. If there is not much of your tooth remaining, she may have to build up a foundation in order to support it. This may be required if extreme decay is present, or the tooth is damaged or missing. Molds will be taken that will be used for your custom crown. A temporary one will be placed to cover and protect your tooth while the permanent one is being prepared. This will remain on your tooth for about two weeks until the new dental crown is created from the lab. During the second visit, your temporary one will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned and the new crown will be placed by cementing over your prepared tooth. The dentist will then check to ensure that the spacing and bite are accurate.
Typically, you will not feel much discomfort once a crown is placed. If your tooth has not had a root canal, a nerve may still cause temporary sensitivity to cold. If you notice sensitivity or pain when you bite down, call our office. We will see you as soon as possible and make sure that adjustments are made as needed.
Dental Crowns can actually last a lifetime, but at times do come loose or even fall out. Your most important priority to ensure its longevity is to practice excellent oral hygiene. Your home care and regular visits and professional cleanings with Dr. Mattison and her team will go a long way in maintaining your crown’s integrity. You might also consider eliminating hard foods or candy, or chewing on ice from your diet to prevent damage to your new dental crown.