A shaped cap of porcelain or other material that fits over broken, decayed, or weak teeth, a dental crown is a long-lasting restoration that preserves your natural tooth. As well as adding strength to the tooth, a crown restores its shape and appearance. The material used for the crown can be manufactured to match your other natural teeth.
We’re crown specialists at Lee Dental in Frisco, Texas. We design and fit crowns for a wide range of dental procedures, including implants. While crowns are usually long-lasting, you can help to extend the life of your crown when you make a few lifestyle changes to your diet and dental care routine. Along with regular dental checkups, you’re assured of the longest life for your crown.
Why would I need a crown?
Since crowns completely encapsulate a tooth, they add a great deal of strength when the structure of your natural tooth becomes compromised. If you’ve had several fillings because of decay in a molar, for example, a crown prevents further decay or breakage because of the drilling done to the tooth.
Some of the other reasons for which we’d recommend a crown include to:
- Cover chips or cracks
- Support a root canal
- Protect worn down teeth
- Correct the shape of a tooth
- Improve the appearance of a discolored tooth
- Support a dental bridge
- Cover a dental implant
We will generally only place crowns on adult teeth, but there are some rare cases where a child with primary teeth may benefit from crowns.
Fitting your crown
Crowns are usually a two-appointment affair. During the first session, we prepare the existing tooth, altering its shape to accept the new crown. Once this is complete, we’ll take an impression of the area and send it out to a dental laboratory for manufacture. We’ll fit a temporary crown while you wait for your new permanent addition. At the second session, we remove the temporary crown and cement the permanent crown in place.
At-home care tips for temporary crowns
Because they’re meant to cover only a short period, temporary crowns require special care. While you wait for the new crown to arrive, avoid eating crunchy or sticky foods on the side with the temporary crown. Chewing on the opposite side, when possible, is a good idea throughout the time the temporary crown is in place. When you floss, slide the floss out of your tooth rather than using an upward motion that might dislodge the crown.
At-home care tips for permanent crowns
Dental crowns last up to about 15 years. Much depends on the amount of wear-and-tear the crown faces, as well as your oral hygiene routine. People with bruxism (teeth grinding) may expect a shorter lifespan, as can those who have habits like chewing ice or using their teeth as tools.
A permanent crown may benefit from the same tips as a temporary crown, but the most important factor is sticking to a plan of good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, in addition to semi-annual dental check-ups. Your crowned tooth may still be susceptible to decay at the gumline.
Find out more in consultation with one of our dental care professionals at Lee Dental. Book your visit online or by calling our office directly. Schedule your appointment now.