Damaged teeth can take a toll on your ability to perform numerous oral functions, such as biting, chewing, or even speaking. At Cooley Smiles, our professionals, Dr. Brandon Cooley and Dr. Aaron Cooley, carry out comprehensive dental exams to determine the root cause of damage and decay before creating a customized treatment plan for you.
Materials Used in Dental Bridges and Crowns
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns serve as caps for your damaged teeth. Their primary purpose is to cover, protect and restore the shape of your teeth if dental fillings haven't been able to solve the problem.
In most cases, a crown in your mouth rarely shows except if you open your mouth widely. Made using porcelain, ceramics, resin, and metals, dental crowns are available in a variety of materials.
Do You Need a Crown?
Whether or not you need a crown depends on the severity of the damage. Your dentist may suggest getting a crown if your cavity is too big for a filling. Furthermore, you may also need a crown if your tooth is weakened, cracked, or seriously worn down.
In some cases, your dentist may also recommend it following a root canal. This is because your tooth might require greater protection after undergoing the procedure. Furthermore, a crown may be required if your tooth is missing and your dentist needs to put in a tooth implant or a dental bridge.
What’s the Difference Between a Dental Crown and a Dental Filling?
Dental fillings are used to deal with minimal damage to your teeth. On the other hand, crowns are utilized for extensive decay. While the former sits inside the tooth, the latter is fitted on a damaged tooth.
For a crown, your dentist will place a prosthetic on your tooth. In case of a cavity, your dentist will most likely scrape away the target area, which is decayed. Following this, they will fill the hole using a special tool.
Regardless, tooth decay should never be taken lightly. To prevent it from getting worse, you must seek your dentist's help immediately. Only once your professional has examined the tooth, they can determine whether you need a filling or a crown.
When Do You Need a Tooth Extraction?
Preserving your natural tooth requires making some tough decisions. Some conditions will also require you to choose between two different treatments.
Choosing between tooth extraction and a dental crown can become tricky. In most cases, it will depend on your tooth condition. If the root that connects your jaw to the tooth is still intact, your dentist may recommend a dental crown.
However, if there is significant damage and your tooth root is cracked, your natural tooth will have to be extracted. Sometimes, tooth extraction becomes necessary when there's a risk of infection spreading. In some cases, it may also seem like a more affordable option than crowns.
If there is a chance of saving your tooth, dental crowns become the ideal course of treatment. This is because it helps restore your damaged tooth's natural function and look without putting too much at risk.
How Long Does it Take to Install a Crown?
Ideally, it shouldn't take more than two visits to install a dental crown. However, the duration will depend on the condition of your tooth and the number of crowns that need to be installed. The first step is to get the shape and impression of your tooth so it can fit over your crown.
Then, based on your impression, the dental lab will create your crown. The second visit is when you will have it placed.
Same-Day Dental Crowns
In some cases, dental crowns can also be made on the same day. Again, it depends on the severity of decay and damage, along with equipment availability.
Your dentist will first remove decay to shape your tooth for the right fit inside the crown. For same-day procedures, digital pictures of the affected tooth are taken to create a 3D model.
Then, the digital design is used to carve the crown's shape out of a ceramic block. This computer-aided procedure helps create a crown quickly so your dentist can cement it.
How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?
The longevity of a dental crown can vary based on the amount of wear and tear you expose it to. However, on average, you can expect a crown to last between five and 15 years.
To maintain longevity, it's imperative that you practice good oral hygiene. You must also avoid habits such as chewing ice, clenching your teeth, and biting your fingernails.
Possible Problems With Dental Crowns
Over time, you might experience a few issues with your dental crown, but only if you haven't maintained it. Sensitivity is among the few problems you might face right after the procedure.
Heat and cold sensitivity can make it hard to chew certain food items. Furthermore, there's always a risk of chipping involved since most crowns are made of porcelain.
Your crown can also become loose if the cement holding it gets washed out. This also exposes your tooth to the risk of bacteria leaking in.
In rare cases, a crown can also fall off. This usually happens due to an improper fit and can be dealt with by re-cementing it.
Some people may be allergic to metal or porcelain. Hence, wearing a crown can induce an allergic reaction. However, it isn't very common and highly unlikely to happen. You must make your dentist aware of any possible allergies you may have beforehand.
Schedule Your Dental Crown Consultation
Tooth decay and damage can hinder your ability to perform several oral functions. From speaking, to chewing and biting, it has a significant impact on your daily life. At Cooley Smiles, we make sure to inform you about every aspect of your condition so you can make an informed decision.
We provide comprehensive dental services, including dental crowns, dental fillings, and tooth extractions, so you can save your teeth while there's still time.