What is a Dental Crown?
A crown is a tooth-shaped helmet that is glued over a tooth. It is used to help save and strengthen a broken-down tooth.
A crown is needed when your tooth has been extensively filled or it is cracked or broken, or when there is not enough tooth structure left for a traditional filling or an inlay or onlay. Crowns and bridges are cosmetic techniques to restore the appearance and function of your teeth, where the original tooth or teeth are badly damaged – or even missing.
Dental crowns specifically made and moulded to your individual tooth, act as protective caps for fragile teeth. Strengthening the external tooth surface, crowns can be made from different materials, varying in durability and appearance. Designed to last a long time, they are a reliable solution for weak, decaying or discoloured teeth.
Preparation for crown
- Upper and lower teeth shape will be recorded. This is done using a putty-like material in trays. Your dentist may refer to this as “taking impressions”
- You will be numbed up with a local anesthetic. This is to ensure you do not experience any discomfort while the tooth is reshaped using a drill. The tooth will only be shaved back by a few millimeters, possibly less.
- Another impression is taken of the newly prepped tooth.
- A temporary crown is created in order to protect the tooth while the crown is being made. This temporary crown is also useful if any gum modification is required. It allows the gum to heal around the temporary crown before placing the final crown. Remember, temporary crowns are not as strong as permanent crowns. It is best to avoid sticky and hard foods and to chew on the opposite side of your mouth temporarily.
- When the crown is ready to cement in the mouth, the temporary crown is removed. The new crown is fitted and the appearance is checked with you. Then, it is glued directly to the tooth.
- Adjustments can be made if needed and floss is used to check the contact of the crowned tooth with the teeth next door.
Hygiene and care
- With excellent care and hygiene, crowns and bridges can last a long time. Most important to the longevity of these treatments is regular flossing. This is because the gum around crowns and bridges must stay healthy in order to support these new surfaces in your mouth.
- Regular dental checkups are great for maintaining oral hygiene and so your dentist can show you any areas that require improvement.
- Superfloss is excellent for cleaning under bridges. Piksters and floss holders are great around crowns. Stay tuned as more products become available.
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