We are here today to talk about crowns and why your dentist may recommend that you have a single crown or multiple crowns placed. According to the American Dental Association most adults will need to have their first crown placed when they are middle-aged, but many people need crowns at a younger age and sometimes children may need crowns. A crown, also called a “cap” for a tooth, completely covers the tooth and wraps around it to provide protection and strength. While many adults have crowns, most do not realize why they have these crowns or why they needed them in the first place. At Matthew Nawrocki General and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to patient education and one way that we continually update our patients is with out blog entries. Our goal is to help our patients to understand the treatments that they are undergoing and the reasons that they need those treatments. If you would like to learn more about the crown treatments that we provide, please visit the services section of our website. If you have any unanswered questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at any time electronically or call (904)602-8396.
What Are Some Reasons That I May Need or Want a Crown?
There are many reasons that your dentist may recommend that you get one or more crowns placed on your teeth.
Large cavity or decay: Sometimes, a tooth may have a large amount of decay that causes breakdown of most of the natural tooth. Once your dentist removes all of that decay, there may be little healthy tooth structure that remains. In order to for this tooth to remain strong and functional, your dentist may have to put a crown over the tooth.
Large filling: If your tooth has a very large filling in it, it is at an increased risk for breaking or fracturing. Sometimes, if the tooth fractures, it may have to be extracted. In order to prevent your tooth from breaking, a crown may be placed to cover it.
Root canal-treated tooth: Often times, if a tooth has had a root canal, it needs to have a crown placed over it to protect the nerve of the tooth from being re-infected. To learn more about root canals please this blog post.
Replace old crown: Old crowns can get decay under them. When this happens, the old crown needs to be taken off so that the decay can be removed and a new crown needs to be placed on the tooth.
Esthetics: If your teeth are deeply stained or if you are unhappy with the shape or size of your teeth, your dentist may use crowns or veneers to make them look more appealing or brighter and whiter.
Attach a bridge: Crowns can be used on either side of a missing tooth, or next to the “hole” made by a missing tooth, to anchor a prosthetic tooth to the spot.
Implant: An implant is a screw that is placed inside of the bone in place of a missing tooth. A crown is attached to that implant with an abutment so that it looks like a tooth.
What Are Crowns Made Out Of?
Crowns can be made out of metal, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal. The metal is usually gold or silver and is sometimes used on the back teeth or teeth that cannot be seen when smiling. Porcelain and porcelain fused to metal crowns can be made to look very similar to missing teeth and can be stained to match your existing tooth color. Your dentist will be happy to talk to you about the best material to use in making your crowns.
How Long Will A Crown Last?
The life-span of a crown depends on many different factors. A crown will last longer if you brush and floss around it very well and visit the dentist often for regular cleanings and exams. Sometimes, crowns may break from grinding or clenching. If you think that you may grind or clench, speak to your dentist about ways to preserve the health of your teeth and dental work. Crowns will last much longer if they are maintained and kept clean.
What Are The Steps Involved in Putting on a Crown?
In order to put a crown on, your dentist will usually make your tooth numb first. The dentist will remove all of the decay in the tooth if there is any. Depending on the amount of decay that is in the tooth, that tooth may have to have a “build-up” put on it. A build-up is made out of filling material and serves as a scaffold to hold the crown on better. The dentist will then remove the correct amount of tooth structure from around the tooth and then take an impression of the tooth that will have the crown put on it. After taking an impression, your dentist will put a temporary crown on the tooth and send you home for the day. Your dentist will send the impression to a laboratory who will custom make your final crown based on the dentist specifications. At the next appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement the final crown on the tooth. The final crown will feel very natural because it is custom made. Please watch the following video for more information on how crowns are made