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Dental Crowns: Types, Procedure & Care

Dental Crowns (2) (1)

A crown, also known as a cap, is a tooth-shaped restoration that fits over a damaged or weakened tooth. Crowns are a versatile dental treatment that addresses various concerns, restoring your smile’s function and aesthetics.

Dental Crowns (3)

This comprehensive guide dives deep into everything you need to know about dental crowns, including:

  • Different types of crown materials
  • The dental crown procedure step-by-step
  • Proper care for your dental crown
  • When a dental crown might be recommended

Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns come in various materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

  • Metal Crowns: Traditionally made of gold alloys, these crowns offer exceptional durability and longevity. However, their metallic color makes them less aesthetically pleasing for front teeth. 
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns: These popular crowns combine the strength of a metal substructure with a tooth-colored porcelain outer layer. They provide a good balance of durability and aesthetics but may appear slightly opaque compared to natural teeth. 
  • All-Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns: These crowns are known for their natural-looking aesthetics, making them ideal for front teeth. However, they may not be as strong as metal-based crowns, especially for teeth subjected to high biting forces. 
  • Zirconia Crowns: A type of all-ceramic crown, zirconia crowns offer superior strength and a natural appearance. They are popular for front and back teeth due to their durability and aesthetics. 
  • Same-Day Crowns: Technological advancements have created crowns milled in the office using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology. While convenient, these crowns may not be as durable as traditional lab-fabricated crowns.

The Dental Crown Procedure: What to Expect

Getting a dental crown typically involves multiple appointments. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  • Consultation: During your initial consultation, your dentist will discuss your concerns and examine the tooth requiring treatment. X-rays may be taken to assess the tooth’s root and surrounding bone health. 
  • Tooth Preparation: In preparation for the crown, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth and remove a small amount of enamel to create space for the crown and ensure a proper fit. 
  • Impressions: Once the tooth is prepped, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using a mold or a digital scanner. These impressions are sent to a dental lab to create your custom crown. 
  • Temporary Crown: While your permanent crown is being crafted (usually taking two to three weeks), a temporary crown will be placed on the prepared tooth to protect it and maintain function. 
  • Crown Placement: Upon receiving your permanent crown, your dentist will check its fit and color. Once everything looks good, they will permanently cement the crown onto your tooth. Minor adjustments might be made to ensure a comfortable bite.

Caring for Your Dental Crown

With proper care, dental crowns can last for many years. Here are some tips for maintaining your crown:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent gum disease, which can affect the longevity of your crown. 
  • Mind what you eat: Avoid chewing on hard foods or objects like ice, nuts, or candy, which can damage the crown. 
  • Regular dental checkups: Schedule regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups. Your dentist can monitor your crown and address any potential issues early on.

When Are Dental Crowns Recommended?

Dental crowns offer a solution for various dental concerns. Here are some common reasons why a dentist might recommend a crown:

  • Severely Cracked or Broken Tooth: A crown can restore the strength and functionality of a tooth that is badly cracked or fractured. 
  • Large Cavities: When a cavity is extensive, a filling may not be sufficient to restore the tooth structure. A crown can provide the necessary support and prevent further damage. 
  • Root Canal Treatment: A tooth becomes brittle after undergoing root canal treatment. A crown protects the weakened tooth and prevents future breakage. 
  • Cosmetic Enhancement: Crowns can improve the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth. 
  • Dental Bridge Support: Crowns can anchor dental bridges, which replace missing teeth.

Conclusion

Dental crowns are a valuable tool in restorative dentistry, offering both functional and aesthetic benefits. By understanding the different types of crowns available, the procedure involved, and proper care practices, you can make informed decisions about your dental health and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for years. If you have questions or concerns about dental crowns, consult your Dentist, Sandy UT, at Fort Union Family Dental. They can assess your needs and recommend the most suitable treatment option.

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