Dental crowns

07 Mar 2015

A crown or a cap is a special cover used to protect a tooth that is damaged, chipped or affected by deep caries. There are many reasons that your dentist might suggest for you to have a crown placed over a tooth. Among the most common reasons we find a tooth deeply decayed that cannot be protected by a simple filling; a chipped or broken tooth where the crown acts as an external glue keeping the different parts of the tooth together; as part of a bridge to substitute missing teeth; for cosmetic restoration of a tooth misshaped or discolored. As for the materials, crowns can be made of porcelain, ceramic or metal. The metal crowns are usually employed to cap back teeth as their appearance (metal) may not be desired on front teeth. On the other hand, porcelain and ceramic crowns are indicated to be placed on front teeth since these resemble perfectly the color of natural teeth. As for their duration in time, crowns can last from 10 years up to 40 years, depending on individual cases and their purpose.

So how does the procedure of placing a crown work exactly? If the reason you need a crown is a decayed tooth, you probably will undergo a root canal treatment. Even if you do not need such a treatment, if large parts of the tooth are damaged or missing, a post and core foundation will be places as a base for the crown. Another necessary step before having your crown placed is filing your tooth to make sure the crown adheres perfectly to it. Once your tooth has been filed, your dentist will place a temporary crown until your permanent crown is build to match the impression of your tooth taken before filing it down.

Once your crown is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and substitute it with the permanent one. The latter is glued with cement to your tooth and polished for perfect alignement with your other teeth.

Once placed, you shouldn't feel any discomfort when chewing or biting. Sometimes it can happen that you suffer from slight tooth sensitivity following a crown placement treatment, but the symptoms should disappear within a few days. In case you feel that something just doesn't feel right, do consult your dentist as soon as possible.

Bear in mind that crowns need to be taken care for and you are expected to maintain good dental hygiene on a daily basis. In case your crown gets chipped or loosens up, do not attempt to fix the problem by yourself as you may cause more damage than good; only your dentist will know the best way to fix it limiting possible complications.