All About Crowns

Crowns are synthetic caps that fit over your tooth. They are usually made of a material like porcelain. Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure. For more information about crowns, keep reading.

Reasons to Get a Crown 

There are a number of reasons to get a dental crown. Some patients get dental crowns for aesthetic reasons, while others use them to restore their smile. Many patients choose dental crowns over another common procedure, dental veneers, because crowns fit over the entire tooth, unlike veneers. Aesthetic dental crowns can cover up discolored and stained teeth for a more natural appearance. Additionally, dental crowns are more desirable for some patients because they can lessen the entire tooth’s decay. This is because the whole tooth is covered-up by the dental crown. 

Another reason patients may opt for a dental crown is to restore their smile. Decay, broken or chipped teeth, and root canals are all restorative procedures that may be done before a dental crown is placed. For example, decay in a tooth may become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed. Crowns are often used to cover the entire tooth. For a root canal procedure, the canal of the tooth is cleaned from decay and replaced with a composite resin. Parts of the crown of the tooth have to be removed because of decay. Some parts are also removed to reach the canal of the tooth. To restore the look and function of the tooth, a crown is placed on top of the tooth. 

Crowns can also be used in other restorative procedures. For instance, crowns are used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. If you think you may need a dental crown, call our office. We would be happy to chat with you.

Dental Crown Procedure

A dental crown can be placed in just a few visits to Rider Family Dentistry. During your first visit, Dr. Rider will examine your tooth. She may take digital x-rays and look for damage or decay to the tooth. Before the crown can be placed, she will restore the tooth. This may include removing the decay. Next, Dr. Rider will remove the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth, and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. During your second visit, Dr. Rider will cement the permanent crowns in place once the tooth has arrived. Finally, Dr. Rider can shape and make final touches on the tooth.

Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, a good-quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the crown area to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration. Further, practice good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice a day. Visit Dr. Rider at Rider Family Dentistry every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. 

Here are a few other ways to protect your crown. Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Grinding at night can feel uncontrollable. If you grind your teeth at night, ask Dr. Rider and her team about a nightguard. This can protect your teeth from harsh grinding motions. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice, or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown or even damage the crown.

Alternatives to Traditional Crowns

If parts of your tooth are still strong, then an onlay or ¾ crown may be the right choice. This is a more conservative option because it saves more of your natural tooth. Instead of covering your entire tooth, an onlay or ¾ crown will cover only part of the tooth. For more information about onlays and ¾ crowns, contact Rider Family Dentistry. 

Dental crowns are a great restoration option for broken, cracked, discolored, or damaged teeth. At Rider Family Dentistry, our goal is to help you find the right restoration option for you. For more information about dental crowns, call our office today. We look forward to hearing from you.