Dental crowns are necessary to cover a damaged tooth and hide cosmetic issues. Your dentist can help you decide when and if a crown is needed. The use and care of dental crowns are often confusing for patients. Here are a few FAQs that can help you better understand them.
What Is a Dental Crown?
Crowns are made of either porcelain or gold. They are made to fit onto a tooth to prevent the exposure of the inside of a tooth. Generally, crowns cover the entire tooth, but they are options for three-quarter crowns and onlays. These don't cover the entire tooth but still conceal and protect a portion of the tooth.
Why Are Crowns Needed?
Crowns are tooth caps, so they are often used for a variety of dental issues. You may need a crown if you have:
The crown protects a tooth from future breakage. They also help with chewing and biting food.
How Are Crowns Placed?
You'll have two dental visits to get a crown placed. However, some dentists offer same-day fitting if there is an in-house manufacturer for the crown. The first visit is to perform a root canal or filling. During the initial visit, the dentist also makes an impression of the tooth once it's reshaped to ensure a good fit. The impression is made using paste or putty. If you would like, the dentist can provide a temporary crown until your permanent one is ready. This usually takes a couple of weeks.
During the second visit, the dentist places the permanent crown. The dentist may numb the area for the crown if necessary, to make the procedure more comfortable. The procedure causes very little pain or discomfort during the visit or later at home.
How Do You Care For Crowns?
Crowns require regular brushing and flossing to prevent bacteria and encourage a good oral microbiome. This means that you need good oral hygiene habits to maintain a balanced environment in your mouth. In addition to brushing and flossing, good oral habits include:
The crown is there for protection, so you must keep the bacteria from getting into the space between the crown and the tooth. If bacteria get inside, it can break down the tooth.
What If the Crown Falls Off?
If a crown comes off, don't ignore it. Contact your dentist right away. While you wait for your appointment, buy dental cement and reattach the crown. Don't use anything but dental cement to reattach the crown.
Crowns can transform your smile and is often a good solution for most patients. You and your dentist can decide whether a dental crown is right for you.