Are you struggling with chipped, cracked, decayed or discolored teeth?
A dental crown is a long-lasting solution that can give you back your smile. Contact us at Chandler Dental Partners in Franklin Springs, Georgia and find out if this effective tooth restoration service is right for you.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown, sometimes called a dental cap or tooth cap, is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that covers a weak or damaged tooth. The crown is permanently bonded in place and is made to look, feel and function just like a natural tooth — but, unlike a natural tooth, it will never get a cavity.
Why Would I Need a Dental Crown?
A tooth can lose its shape, size or strength due to many causes, like injury, decay, or simple wear and tear. When a filling isn’t enough to repair the tooth because there isn’t enough natural tooth structure left, a crown can usually restore and protect it. Crowns are often the treatment of choice for problems like:
- Misshapen teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Stained teeth
- Weakened teeth
Crowns can also support a dental bridge that replaces missing teeth.
Dental Crowns vs. Dental Fillings
If the patient has never had a crown before and has been treated successfully in the past with fillings, they can often ask, “Can’t you just fix it with a filling?”… and, this is a great question.
The choice between a filling and a crown is determined by the amount of natural tooth structure that remains after the tooth breaks or decay is removed. To understand this better, begin by thinking about the job of your tooth. The job is to tear food using the front teeth and grind/pulverize the food with the back teeth. That’s a tough job when tackling an apple, carrot, hard crusted roll, or steak and requires the strength of 150 psi – 500 psi, with the greater poundage required on the back teeth.
There is no harder surface in the body than enamel and enamel was God’s perfect design to take on the big job of chewing. Even God’s awesome design couldn’t withstand the assault of bacteria fueled by processed sugar or unfortunate accidents. However, our powerful Father inspired some awesome dental forefathers to design the amazing dental solution called a “crown.”
When decay or a break occurs and the majority of the remaining tooth is composed of more healthy enamel and natural tooth structure, a dentist can typically place a filling. When a filing is the best choice to repair a tooth, twisting, tearing and grinding leverage placed on the tooth when chewing will withstand well against these forces. However, depending on where the enamel and natural tooth are missing and the extent of the damage, the best value, longest lasting solution and sometimes “only” solution is a porcelain, “full tooth cover” restoration that is called a “crown.”
Types of Dental Crowns
After examining your teeth and discussing your concerns, Dr. Chandler will recommend the type of dental crown that’s best for you. Some types of crowns that are available are:
- Metal crowns
- Ceramic/porcelain crowns
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns
- Stainless-steel crowns
- Resin crowns
Metal crowns are the strongest choice, whereas ceramic crowns are the most natural-looking option. Ceramic is also the best choice for patients with metal allergies.
What Is the Dental Crown Procedure?
The dental crown process usually takes between one and two appointments to complete, depending on the type of crown you’re getting.
A two-part process is fairly typical. At the first appointment, after examining the tooth and determining the best solution for your needs, your dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown. This can involve filing the tooth down as needed or performing other recommended procedures. The dentist then makes an impression of the tooth using a special paste. That impression is sent to a lab and used to create your custom crown. While you wait for the crown to be made, you’ll receive a temporary crown to wear in the meantime.
At the second appointment, the permanent crown is put in place. Your dentist inspects your new crown for proper fit, shape and color and then cements it in place with a permanent fixative.
Many patients wonder if it hurts to get a crown. Getting a dental crown shouldn’t hurt because an anesthetic is used as needed to numb the area. You might feel some discomfort or sensitivity a day or two after the procedure, but many patients feel no discomfort at all.
Your new crown might feel a little strange at first because it might have a slightly different shape than your old tooth, but you should adjust to it completely in a few days.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
Dental crowns are designed to last for many years. Caring for a tooth crown is easy — just treat it like your natural teeth, making sure to brush and floss to keep your gums healthy.
While crowns don’t require any special care, you can make sure your crowns last as long as possible by limiting unnecessary wear and tear on them — talk to your dentist if you suspect you grind or clench your teeth, and avoid activities that put your crown and natural teeth at risk. For example, don’t chew ice, bite your fingernails,or use your teeth to tear open packaging.
Dental Crowns in Franklin Springs
Do you think you might need a dental crown? Contact Chandler Dental Partners today and come in for a check-up! We look forward to helping you and your family maintain healthy, beautiful smiles for life.