My Tooth Needs A Crown, Now What?
More than simply functional, dental crowns can also enhance the appearance of the teeth they protect. Dental crowns, also referred to as caps, help restore both the appearance and the function of teeth that have suffered serve damage or decay. Made from a variety of materials, crowns can be designed to suit any smile.
Choosing a Dental Crown
Crowns are made from materials such as pure ceramic, metal or zirconia as well as blends of porcelain with metal or zirconia. This variety allows for the selection of a crown that best suits the desired and required features of a given crown. For example, a crown on a front tooth may be made from ceramic or a porcelain blend as these can be made to perfectly match the appearance of a natural tooth. As the strongest and most enduring of the crown materials, metal is often used for crowns on the back teeth as these undergo the greatest wear-and-tear.
The Process of Crown Placement
The underlying condition for which a dental crown is indicated will largely determine the process of crown placement. Custom-made crowns may involve a few visits, each of which last around 30 minutes to one hour. The process may be integrated into part of a root canal procedure or, if prefabricated, dental crowns may be placed in a single procedure.
The crown preparation process begins by taking “impressions” or molds. These show the shape of the tooth that will be crowned, as well as the surrounding teeth, in order to ensure the new crown will fit nicely into the existing bite. The dentist may then place a temporary crown until the permanent crown is created. This helps to alleviate some of the discomfort that may be associated with the tooth while also making the damage less apparent when smiling and talking. When the final crown is ready, it will be affixed to the damaged tooth with a special permanent adhesive.
There is no “down time” after placement of a dental crown. It may, however, take time to become accustomed to the feel of the new tooth in the mouth. Also, crowned teeth with intact nerves may initially be sensitive to cold and heat but this diminishes with time.
The Life Span of a Dental Crown
Dental crowns are designed to be durable, but just as with natural teeth, they can become damaged over time. With proper routine oral hygiene, crowns often last for decades. Sometimes, however, crowns will need additional attention. This makes the selection of local dental practice you can trust an important part of tooth crowning.
Trust Alabama Family Dentistry for all your dental care, including crown placement and maintenance. Alabama Family Dentistry has four locations in the Birmingham area; Warrior Family Dentistry, Acton Road Family Dentistry, Gardendale Family Dentistry and Sumitron Family Dentistry. At Alabama Family Dentistry, we make your new crown something to smile about.