Understanding crowns-capping the tooth for a better smile…
Each of your teeth depend on the others to help you eat and speak. So, when one or more is damaged the health of the others may be threatened. It may become hard for you to chew, or the appearance of your smile may change.
If you are having problems with one or more of your teeth, a crown can help restore your mouth to its normal function.
A crown, mostly called “a cap”, is an artificial cover that is placed on an individual tooth to restore a decayed or damaged tooth to its normal shape and size. This procedure is often necessary when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling, or there is a large filling on the tooth to prevent breaking it. It is also useful for protecting teeth that are cracked or broken.
Also, a tooth that have been previously with root canal(s) therapy needs to be crowned/capped to prevent breaking it.
A crown can also be used to change the shape of a tooth, to correct a bite or cosmetic problem or to replace existing broken or poor-fitting crowns.
A crown may be made of gold, other metals or porcelain which makes them durable and strong,so replacements are needed less often.
Due to its strength and resistance to chewing stress, a crown is functionally superior to other esthetic procedures.
There are several types of esthetic crowns. The type of crown you and your dentist choose will depend on a number of factors, such as the location of the tooth or teeth being crowned, the type and severity of the discolouration and the overall health of the surrounding gums.
Porcelain Fused on Metal (PFM) Crown
Advantages include: strongest type of esthetic crown,doesn’t fracture or chip as easily as alternative esthetic type crown,and is usually the most economical.
Disadvantages include: metal may be visible if tissue shrinks or is thin ,metal may affect the colour of the porcelain ,and there is a possible bluish tint of gum if gum tissue is thin and metal shows through.
Full Gold Crown
Advantages include: kind to tissues and gums, strong, nothing chips or breaks off like with porcelain crowns.
Disadvantages include: not as esthetic as other crowns.
Advantages include: most esthetic throughout crown life, and no metal shows.
Disadvantages include: not as strong as ceramo-metal crown, limited mostly to anterior teeth for aesthetic purposes.
Fitting a crown is a two-step procedure. During your first visit, your dentist prepares and reshapes your tooth to allow room for the crown. You will be given anesthesia before hand. Then an impression of the prepared tooth and of the surrounding and opposing teeth is taken. Before you leave the office, your dentist makes and applies a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth between visits.
Expect to wait one week between visits while your crown is being made. Meanwhile,take care of your temporary crown by avoiding hard or sticky foods.In the event the crown comes loose,call your dentist so the prepared tooth won’t be damaged.
At your second visit, your dentist removes the temporary crown and fits the permanent crown onto your tooth making sure it restores your tooth to its proper shape, look, and comfort level. If necessary, your dentist may have to adjust the crown by modifying the shape. Once the fit is the way you want, permanent cement is applied and the crown is positioned securely onto your tooth.
LIVING WITH YOUR CROWN
Crowns are designed to look and feel like real teeth. With good hygiene, your crown will last longer.
It is recommended that you:
- brush and floss around your crowned tooth thoroughly to remove decay-causing germs
- see your dentist regularly to help prolong the life of your crown
- ask your dentist about special cleaning aids
You should know:
- Crowns can fracture.
- The procedure requires anesthesia.
- Tooth may become sensitive for a while or might neeed a root canal therapy in the future
- Crowns are not permanent / lifetime. They may need to be replaced after several years.
- If tissue shrinkage occurs, it can expose the junction between the tooth and crown, allowing for the possibility of an unsightly line.
The great thing about crowns are:
- Dentist can repair chipped or fractured tooth.
- Teeth can be lightened to any shade.
- Some realignment or straightening of the teeth is possible.
- Crowns can be shaped to esthetically fill gaps.
- Longest life of any restoration.