A dental crown is a cap shaped like your original tooth that is placed over a problematic tooth to restore its shape and size in the mouth. A crown completely covers the affected tooth and is cemented in place, restoring the look of troublesome teeth. If you suspect you may need a crown, then it’s important to learn more about how and when dentists recommend crowns for their patients as well as the different types of crowns and how to maintain a crown once it’s placed.
When You May Need a Crown
A crown is a great solution for many dental issues, but it may not be the right fix for your situation. Here are five common reasons why people need a dental crown.
- After a Root Canal
After a root canal, a hollowed-out part is left inside of the tooth, making that tooth prone to cracking. Placing a crown over a tooth after a root canal protects it from fracturing and becoming unsightly or painful.
- When You Need a Large Filling
If you have a large cavity that takes up at least half the tooth, then it should be covered with a crown after filling. As with a root canal, taking out the cavity leaves a large hollow in the tooth, making it unstable and prone to cracking. Covering it with a crown offers stability.
- Excessive Tooth Wear
People who are prone to grinding their teeth put a lot of wear and tear on their pearly whites over time. Wear can also come from acid reflux, an acidic diet, and drinking soda. Excess wear strips the enamel, leaving shorter, softer teeth. A crown can protect teeth from further wear and restore your smile.
- Correct Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Cracked tooth syndrome is painful and results from fractures inside one or more teeth. Chewing can hurt because it puts pressure on the tooth fracture. Placing a crown over the affected tooth can eliminate pain by preventing ongoing stress on the fracture.
- Cover Implants
If you’re getting a dental implant, then crowns are commonly placed over the implant to fill in spaces left by missing teeth. Crowns can also be used cosmetically and for extensive repair. Dentists may opt for veneers on front teeth, but on back teeth, crowns are more effective for restoring an attractive smile.
Types of Crowns
You can get a permanent or temporary crown, depending on your dentist’s recommendation. There are four main types of materials used to make permanent crowns.
- Ceramic: Porcelain-based material recommended for front teeth
- Porcelain with metal: More stable than a purely ceramic crown
- Gold: Resistant to wear, and won’t wear on nearby teeth
- Base metal: Strong and corrosive-resistant, such as nickel or chromium
How to Care for a Crown
A crowned tooth is protected from decay except at the gum line. If you’re at high risk for cavities, then your dentist may recommend high-fluoride toothpaste. Brush twice a day, and floss daily to maintain your crown.
Porcelain crowns can chip, so you may want to avoid crunching hard candy and other tough foods. A well-placed crown shouldn’t cause any problems, but if it ever feels loose or comes out, don’t try to replace it yourself. Go see your dentist as soon as possible.
The caring professionals at Klement Family Dental in St. Petersburg can answer any questions you may have about dental crowns. Call 727-498-1959 to make an appointment or visit stpetedentist.com to learn more.