Crowns: Everything You Need to Know
Crowns, also known as caps, are a common dental restoration used to improve the appearance and function of a tooth that is damaged, decayed, or misshapen. They are designed to fit over the entire tooth, providing both structural support and a natural-looking appearance.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about dental crowns, including why they are used, the different types of crowns available, the procedure for getting a crown, and how to care for your crown once it is in place.
Why Are Crowns Used?
Crowns are used for a variety of reasons, including:
- To protect a weak tooth: If a tooth has been weakened by decay or trauma, a crown can be placed over it to protect it from further damage.
- To restore a broken or cracked tooth: If a tooth is broken or cracked, a crown can be placed over it to restore its shape and function.
- To support a tooth with a large filling: If a tooth has a large filling, a crown can be placed over it to provide additional support and prevent further damage.
- To improve the appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth: If a tooth is misshapen or discolored, a crown can be placed over it to improve its appearance.
- To cover a dental implant: If a patient has a missing tooth and has opted for a dental implant, a crown can be placed over the implant to complete the restoration.
Types of Crowns
El Dorado Dental uses CEREC technology. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics and is a modern dental technology that allows dentists to design and create dental restorations, including crowns, in a single visit.
Crowns made with CEREC are created using computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology.
The process involves taking a digital impression of the tooth that needs a crown and using the CEREC software to design a customized restoration that fits perfectly with the surrounding teeth. The design is then sent to a milling machine, which creates the crown out of a block of high-quality dental ceramic.
The entire process typically takes just a few hours, allowing patients to receive their crown in a single visit, rather than needing to return for multiple appointments. CEREC crowns are known for their durability, longevity, and natural-looking appearance, making them a popular choice for patients who need dental crowns.
There are several other types of dental crowns, including:
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns: These crowns are made of a metal base with a porcelain coating. They are durable and can be color-matched to the surrounding teeth, but may show a dark line at the gumline over time.
- Ceramic or porcelain crowns: These crowns are made entirely of porcelain or ceramic. They are very natural-looking and do not show a dark line at the gumline, but may be less durable than PFM crowns.
- Gold or metal alloy crowns: These crowns are made of a metal alloy, such as gold, and are very durable. However, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of crowns and are typically only used on back teeth.
- Resin crowns: These crowns are made of a type of dental resin material. They are less expensive than other types of crowns but may not be as durable or long-lasting.
Procedure for Getting a Crown
The process of getting a dental crown typically takes two or three visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay or damage and shaping it to accommodate the crown. They will then take an impression of the tooth and send it to a dental laboratory to have the crown custom-made.
In the meantime, the patient will be fitted with a temporary crown to protect the tooth. When the custom crown is ready, the patient will return to the dentist for the final fitting. The dentist will cement the crown in place, making any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit.
Caring for Your Crown
Once the crown is in place, it is important to take good care of it to ensure its longevity. This includes:
Brush and floss regularly: Just like with natural teeth, it is important to brush and floss around the crown to remove any plaque or food particles that can cause decay or gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Use dental floss or an interdental brush to clean between your teeth and around the crown at least once a day.
Use a non-abrasive toothpaste: Abrasive toothpaste can damage the surface of the crown, causing it to become rough and prone to staining. Use a non-abrasive toothpaste recommended by your dentist to keep your crown clean and shiny.
Avoid hard or sticky foods: Chewing on hard or sticky foods can cause the crown to crack or become dislodged. Avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, popcorn kernels, and other hard or sticky foods. Instead, opt for softer foods that are easier to chew.
Wear a mouthguard: If you participate in sports or other physical activities, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and dental crown from trauma.
Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth: Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause the crown to become loose or damaged. If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a custom-made mouthguard to wear at night.
Attend regular dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are important to maintain the health of your dental crown and natural teeth. During these appointments, your dentist will check the crown for signs of damage, decay, or gum disease and clean your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar buildup.
Taking care of your dental crown is essential to maintaining optimal oral health and ensuring its longevity. If you have any questions or concerns about how to take care of your dental crown, talk to your dentist. They can provide you with personalized advice based on your specific needs and oral health history.
Getting Crowns At El Dorado Dental
The team at El Dorado Dental is committed to providing exceptional care to their patients and ensuring their comfort and satisfaction throughout the entire process.
Here are some ways that El Dorado Dental takes care of patients:
- Comprehensive dental exams: Before recommending a dental crown, the team at El Dorado Dental performs a comprehensive dental exam to evaluate the condition of the tooth and surrounding tissues. We use state-of-the-art dental technology, including digital X-rays and intraoral cameras, to assess the extent of damage or decay and determine the best course of treatment.
- Customized treatment plans: Every patient at El Dorado Dental is unique, and the team creates customized treatment plans that address their specific needs and goals. Whether a patient needs a single crown or multiple crowns, the team works closely with them to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets their needs.
- High-quality materials: El Dorado Dental uses only the highest quality materials for their dental crowns, including porcelain, ceramic, and zirconia. These materials are durable, long-lasting, and provide a natural-looking appearance that blends seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.
- Advanced technology: El Dorado Dental utilizes advanced dental technology, such as CEREC CAD/CAM technology, to design and create dental crowns in-house. This technology enables patients to receive their crowns in a single visit, without the need for multiple appointments or temporary crowns.
- Pain management: The team at El Dorado Dental understands that some patients may experience anxiety or discomfort during dental procedures. They use the latest pain management techniques, including local anesthesia and sedation dentistry, to ensure that patients are comfortable and relaxed throughout the entire process of getting a crown.
- Follow-up care: After a patient receives a dental crown at El Dorado Dental, the team provides thorough follow-up care to ensure that the crown is functioning properly and to address any concerns or issues that may arise. They also provide advice on how to care for the crown and maintain optimal oral health.
Overall, El Dorado Dental is committed to providing exceptional care to all of their patients. With their comprehensive dental exams, customized treatment plans, high-quality materials, advanced technology, pain management techniques, and follow-up care, patients can trust that they are in good hands at El Dorado Dental.
Get Started Today
Don’t wait too long to get started on your oral health journey. You can take action right away simply by requesting an appointment with us online, or giving our office a call at (505) 466-0999.