If you have a damaged tooth that can’t be filled or a tooth that isn’t responding to teeth whitening, a dental crown procedure can be carried out to use the structure of your natural tooth. A crown is fitted over your natural tooth, encasing it, and does a good job at preserving your tooth while addressing any aesthetic concerns you may have. Let’s take a closer look at how crowns work and when they may be required.
What Is A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are also known as caps as they are fitted over your existing tooth. Usually created out of porcelain, dental crowns are used to cover up teeth that are damaged, decayed or misshapen and can improve the size, shape and colour of your teeth.
As well as addressing cosmetic concerns, a dental cap can strengthen and reinforce a damaged or broken tooth. Dental caps are used often when there is too much decay or damage for a filling. They are effective at preventing a damaged tooth from breaking down further.
Porcelain crowns are the most commonly requested material because they reflect the light very similarly to your natural teeth. Composite resin can also be used, and it is a more cost-effective material.
What Can You Expect During A Dental Crown Procedure?
Your dental crown procedure is likely to be completed over two sessions if you are having a porcelain crown. During your first session your dentist will inspect your mouth and make sure that your tooth can support a dental crown.
Then your dentist will need to remove a layer from your tooth, in order to accommodate the new crown. The layer will be the same thickness as the new crown. Your dentist will then take an impression of the tooth, and send it away to a dental laboratory for crafting. It will need to be matched so it is the same colour as the other teeth in your mouth.
Because it could take a week or two for your new crown to be made, your dentist will need to affix a temporary crown to the tooth. This is usually made from composite resin and will be done at the end of the first session. Your natural tooth will need to be shaped and filed down. This process may be started in your first session and completed when you return for the fitting of your permanent crown.
Once your permanent crown is ready you will return to your dentist for it to be fitted. Your dentist will roughen the surface of your natural tooth and attach the crown with dental cement.
How Do You Care For Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns should be cared for in the same way as your other teeth – with twice-daily brushing and flossing however, if dental decay caused you to need the crown, your dental hygiene may need some improvement. While the crown is not subject to dental decay, the edge of your natural tooth, that it sits on top of, can decay.
It is important that you still visit your dentist twice a year for check ups and professional cleaning. Your dentist will inspect your dental crowns and make sure they are not loose. If they are well cared for, dental crowns can last for the rest of your lifetime, but it is possible for them to get loose or fall out after years of use.
Ultimately your dental crown should look, feel and work exactly the same as the other teeth in your mouth. You should be able to use the same degree of force when biting and chewing.
While every effort will be made to match your crown to your other teeth, if it is in the front four to eight teeth, it may be worth considering having crowns made for the other teeth so they look identical. If the damaged tooth is close to the front of your mouth, a porcelain crown will look the most natural.
Are There Any Other Options?
If you are considering dental crowns because of tooth discolouration that doesn’t respond to whitening, dental veneers could be an alternative for you. If you are looking at a dental crown because of damage, your dentist may be able to rebuild part of your tooth using other materials such as composite resin.
If you still have questions about how does the dental crown procedure work or if it is a viable option for you, it’s best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment as soon as possible: (03) 8737 9359.