Crowns & Bridges
What are dental crowns?
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. They are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
Dental Crowns have many benefits and necessities for both restorative and aesthetic purposes. The reasons why one could benefit from a dental crown include the following:
- Crowns are able to attach bridges
- Cover dental implants
- Prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse
- Used if an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated
- Discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance
Dental Crown Procedure
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.
Porcelain Crown before and after Photo
How long is a crown supposed to last?
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.