Dental crowns (aka ‘caps”) play an essential and versatile role in the health of teeth. Crowns often are used to protect teeth damaged by cracks or decay. Crowns also are used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of your smile. Read on to learn how McDonogh Dental uses dental crowns to keep your teeth healthy and looking great.
When Are Dental Crowns Used for Damaged Teeth?Teeth become damaged through decay, injury, or gum disease. When they are so badly damaged that they can’t be repaired with a filling or other method, a dentist might recommend a dental crown. A crown is a hard-shelled cap that a dentist places over a damaged tooth to protect it and restore the strength, size, and shape of the tooth. Dental crowns commonly are used to:
- Keeping a cracked tooth together and protected from more damage
- Restoring the size and strength of a worn-down tooth
- Supporting a tooth that has a large filling and has lost much of the tooth structure
- Covering a tooth that’s undergone a root canal procedure
- Stabilizing a dental bridge
- Restoring a dental implant
What’s Involved in a Dental Crown Procedure?In most cases, a dentist will recommend a dental crown if the crown can protect and restore a damaged tooth. If not protected, the tooth will continue to deteriorate until a dentist can no longer save it. A crown may often save the patient from having a tooth extraction, an abscess, or another painful condition. Typically, it takes two dental visits to complete a crown treatment. On the first visit, the dentist will reshape and prepare the tooth. An impression or digital scan of the tooth is captured and sent to the dental lab to fabricate the crown, The dentist will then make a temporary crown which will be worn while the crown is being made. It usually takes approximately two weeks for the permanent crown to be made at the dental lab. Once the crown is returned from the lab, the dentist will remove the temporary crown, ensure that the crown fits properly, and then cement the crown over the damaged tooth.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?Dental crowns can last up to 30 years. However, their life spans depend on how well people take care of their teeth and how much wear and tear the crowns experience. Your dentist will examine your crown during regular checkups.
When Are Dental Crowns Used for Cosmetic Treatments?Dental crowns also help improve cosmetic dental imperfections. In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are used to:
- Alter tooth color
- Eliminate gaps between teeth
- Straighten teeth