Getting Dental Crowns From Dentists in College StationPublished by Cashion Dental on October 4, 2015
One common reason to see a dentist is to have one or more teeth capped with a dental crown. In general, crowns serve to restore the shape of a damaged or shaved down tooth, to increase the strength of such teeth, and to improve them aesthetically as well.
Below, we will look at some basic information about crowns that can assist you in knowing whether you need one and which kind to opt for.
When Is a Crown Necessary?
You should always consult with your dentist to decide if a crown is the right choice. Some of the most common situations in which dental crowns are used include:
- To keep a weakened tooth from cracking or to prevent a cracked, worn-down, or decayed tooth from falling completely apart
- To cover and strengthen a severely deteriorated tooth that has a large filling
- To cap off a dental implant
- To keep a dental bridge from moving out of position
- To cosmetically modify a badly shaped tooth or to hide a permanently stained tooth
What Kinds of Crowns Are There?
Traditional crowns cover the whole visible part of the tooth, while on-lays and three-quarter crowns cover only a part of it. Either way, the crown must be held in place with dental cement. Four of the most common kinds of crowns are as follows:
- Metal Alloy Crowns: Predominantly gold, but also alloys of nickel or chromium, are a very inexpensive type of crown. They do well at withstanding bite force and wear down slowly, and they very rarely chip. However, the highly visible metal color makes them more popular for back-of-the-mouth molars.
- Porcelain or Ceramic: Porcelain and ceramic are more costly, but they match well the natural color of your teeth, making them popular for front teeth. Additionally, some people are allergic to metals and cannot, therefore, go the metal alloy route.
- Porcelain-on-Metal: Some crowns use a metal foundation for strength but have porcelain plating fused onto the metal to match tooth color. A dark line will usually appear near the gums where the metal is located, but many find this tolerable.
- Zirconia Crowns: Some dentists have the software and high-tech equipment needed for the digital construction of zirconia crowns. This type of crown can be produced same-day with no temporary crown and no physical tooth impression process.
How Are Crowns Installed?
Except with same-day crowns, which make the whole process fast and easy, the crown installation process runs generally as follows:
During the first visit, the dentist takes some X-rays to ensure the root of any tooth to be capped with a crown is healthy. If there is decay or infection, a root canal may be needed before a crown can safely be placed. Next, if all is well, the the gums and other teeth near the tooth to be crowned will be numbed with anesthesia. The crown tooth is then filed to make room for the crown on top. If the tooth is badly decayed, a filling might be needed before a crown.
Now that the tooth is shaped so a crown will fit on it, dental putty will be used to receive an impression showing the exact contours of the crown tooth. An impression must also be made of teeth just above/below the crown tooth to ensure you can still bite properly. The dental lab will used this information to make your crown(s) withing 2-3 weeks, and a temporary, removable crown will be made for you to use until the permanents are ready. Temporary crowns are normally made of acrylic, but of stainless steel with children, and are held on with temporary dental cement.
On the second visit, the temporary crowns will be taken off, and your teeth will be carefully measured again to ensure the now-finished permanent crowns are a perfect fit. If they are of porcelain, the exact shade can also be double-checked against your natural tooth color. If all is well, your tooth will be numbed and the crown attached with permanent dental cement.
How Can I Protect My Temporary Crowns?
To protect your temporary crown and the underlying tooth from damage while waiting for your permanents, you should do all of the following:
- Refrain from eating sticky food that could tear your crown off or out of position, and especially avoid gum.
- Also avoid very hard food since it might damage the crown.
- Try not to chew with that part of your mouth that has the crown.
- When removing a strand of floss, do not lift it up and out but slide it forward and through.
How Can I Protect My Permanent Crowns?
Crowns should last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, but the rate at which they wear will depend on how you treat them. The following practices may help extend the life of your crown:
- Brush and floss the crown tooth regularly and avoid excessive amounts of sweets.
- Do not grind/clench your teeth.
- Do not bite your fingernails, chew on ice cubes, or use your teeth to bite off fishing lines or open packages.
- Get a dental check-up at least twice a year.
What If I Have Problems With My Finished Crown?
Despite the marvels of modern dentistry, there are still inherent risks to getting a crown, including:
- Tooth pain right after the anesthetic wears off. Using a dentist-recommended sensitive teeth toothpaste will help.
- A chip in the crown. If, as sometimes happens, you get a chip in your crown, your dentist can fill it in with a special composite resin.
- A loosened crown. If the dental cement gets washed away from underneath the crown, it will likely loosen up somewhat. This can also let in germs that will create a cavity, so you should waste no time in contacting your dentist.
Cashion Dental, an award winner among dentists in College Station, is well-equipped to handle the most advanced dental crowns, including porcelain and same-day crowns. Cashion Dental is widely respected in the College Station area and has recently been voted the community’s favorite dental practice.