What is the dental crown and why would my tooth need it?
If you are reading this page the chances are that you already had a dental examination and were told by your dentist that your tooth or teeth need a crown coverage. The crown is a custom made non-removable appliance that covers your tooth from all the sides like a cap, looks like a tooth and acts like a tooth.
Your tooth may need a crown if you have a large cavity in it that leaves very thin remaining tooth walls. Even if such cavity has been successfully filled in the past and the tooth is not sensitive, the risk of the tooth fracture still exists until the tooth structure is not supported from outside of the tooth. It is common to cover the teeth with crowns after the root canal treatment because such tooth would become weaker without a blood supply and would require an extra support. Your teeth may need crowns if they show abnormally high wear rate due to weakened tooth structure, if your teeth are severely discolored, misshaped or you are replacing the missing teeth with a bridge. The crowns are also used to restore the tooth on the top of the placed dental implant.
How is the crown done and what material is the crown made off? The crowns are made of the porcelain so the final crown resemble the tooth structure very closely. Those porcelains however can be very different. Zirconia oxide based porcelains are extremelly tough and resistant to wear and have highst shear strength out of all porcelains. They lack translucency and because of that they would not look nice in the front of your mouth area, so their application is the crowns for the back teeth. In the areas where our primary concern is the appearance we use different porcelains such as lithium oxide based porcelains that allow us to mimic your natural tooth structure to the finest details. There are also porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, metal crowns, resin crowns.
In order to make a crown your dentist needs to shape the tooth and take an impression or captures a digital scan. The dental lab then fabricates the crown and your dentist cements it on the tooth with the cement. After the tooth has been shaped and the record was taken, you dentist will make you a provisional crown.
"How long will the crown last me?" The crowns do not have any expiration dates, they should not be replaced over time unless they show signs of the defects or the supporting tooth structure developed a problem. This is why your remaining tooth structure still requires carefull maintenance from your side.
"What foods should I avoid eating on the tooth with a dental crown?". It usually is required to avoid eating for 2 hours after the crown has been placed. You may eat any food other then those hard candies and chewey caramels that can break and dislodge the crown from the strongest cement.
Still have questions? Call Your Family Dentist at (703)417-9622 to schedule your visit for a consultation.