A dental crown is a ‘’cap’’ that is tooth-shaped and placed over an existing tooth. It is designed to cover the original tooth and strengthen a weakened tooth, while maintaining shape, size and a natural appearance.
Crowns are fixed into place using dental cement. When in place they fully encase the whole visible portion of a tooth that lies above the gum line.
WHY ARE DENTAL CROWNS NEEDED?
There are several reasons why a person might need a crown to be fitted:
To add stability to a weakened tooth suffering from decay, or that has cracked.To restore a tooth that has already broken or been worn down.To add support to a tooth with a filling, particularly a tooth that has been reduced in size.To cover a tooth showing discoloring or misshapen top.To aid in cosmetic appearances.
PREPARING A TOOTH FOR A CROWN
If you need a crown fitted you will usually need to visits to your dentist. The first visit will allow your dentist to take some X-rays and check the tooth for stability and strength of its roots. If the tooth has more damage than first thought it may be possible to perform a root canal first.
On the first visit your dentist will make up a temporary crown. This crown is designed to stay on the tooth until a permanent crown can be made up and fitted to the tooth.
On your return visit your dentist will fit the permanent crown to the tooth. After checking the crown for its fit, if it fits perfectly a small amount of local anesthetic will be used to avoid any pain, and the crown will be held in place with some dental cement.
TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT CROWNS
Temporary crowns are usually made by your dentist in their practice. They are made of stainless steel or acrylic and are only designed to last until a permanent crown can be made.
Permanent crowns are built off-site in a dental laboratory, this process can take days or even weeks – your own dentist will be able to advise you of the waiting time. They are constructed from much stronger material however, and are designed to last.
HOW TO CARE FOR TEMPORARY CROWNS
Because temporary crowns are only intended to last a short amount of time until you have the permanent crown fitted, you need to take care not to damage it. There are a few precautions recommended to ensure it does not come off:
Avoid eating sticky or chewy foods, like chewing gum and caramel, they have the potential to pull the temporary crown loose. Do not overuse the side of your mouth that has the crown. Chew on the other side as much as possible. Obviously this is not always easy, but the more you can avoid chewing with the temporary crown the longer it will last.Avoid biting through hard foods such as raw vegetables, the more pressure you use the more chance there is of dislodging the crown.
If you need a crown fitted, or need some work done to an existing crown then Dr. Mher Grigoryan is one of the best dental crown practitioners around. You can be sure to receive professional advice, accurate information and will be in safe hands when it comes to having procedures carried out.