Dental crowns, also known as “caps,” preserve the functionality of damaged teeth. A dental crown may be used to protect a cracked tooth, restore functionality of a tooth with excessive decay or replace a pre-existing crown. The purpose of a dental crown is to encase a needy tooth with a custom-designed material.
If tooth decay or damage is so extensive that other treatments aren’t viable treatment options — or if you have undergone root canal therapy — dental crowns may be necessary.
Part of your dental crown consultation may involve taking impressions of your existing tooth (or teeth) as a basis for creating the shape and size of your crown restoration(s). If dental crowns will be used as part of a smile makeover, these impressions are used to make models for designing the new length, shape and alignment of your teeth, so that you can preview your new smile before committing to treatment.
The three predominant choices of restorative materials for the full coverage crowns are:
- All-ceramic (all-porcelain)
The material selected is determined by the clinical demands at hand; esthetic demands, strength requirements, material durability and restorative space available.
During the dental crown procedure, Cornerstone Family & Cosmetic Dentistry prepares the tooth and makes a molded impression of the teeth to send to a dental laboratory. A fitted, temporary crown is created during this visit to temporarily protect the tooth while the final restoration is being made in the dental laboratory. Once completed, the tooth crown is cemented or adhesively bonded at a later visit.
After your permanent crown has been placed, Cornerstone Family & Cosmetic Dentistry will provide you with information about caring for your new restoration. In general, maintain proper oral hygiene habits by brushing twice daily and flossing with dental floss once a day. These practices will help to remove plaque from the area where the crown meets the gum, and help prevent dental decay and gum disease.
Avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects, since this could damage your crown. It also is important to avoid biting your fingernails and grinding your teeth, which could significantly shorten the life-span of your dental crown. If you habitually clench or grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend wearing a night-time mouth guard to help protect your crowns while sleeping.