Understanding Dental Crowns
If may have not taken the best care of your teeth, they could start to breakdown. You may be wondering how this happens and how to fix it. Dental crowns are often used to protect these teeth. If you’re looking for a comprehensive understanding of dental crowns, here is what you need to know.
A dental crown is a type of restoration that is placed when there is a significant amount of tooth structure that is lost due to previous decay and fillings, fracture of a tooth, or the completion of a root canal. It is highly recommended that a dental crown be placed over the tooth once one of these issues has occurred because the tooth becomes weakened with time, and adding the crown prevents further breakdown.
Dental crowns are analogous to wearing helmets. Just as we wear helmets on our heads for protection from potential biking-related injuries, dental crowns protect the teeth from infection. The only difference between the two is that the tooth needs to be reduced in size before a crown can be installed. Otherwise, closing the teeth will result in hitting the crown prematurely, and this can reduce the durability of the crown.
Types of Crowns
In the past, the primary type of crown in use was the full-cast crown, which was made entirely of metal such as gold, a gold alloy, or a base metal. Today, we have many other types of crowns available. There are porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, in which a metal coping is made that fits over the tooth, and porcelain is then fired to the surface to match the shade of the adjacent teeth. There are also all-ceramic crowns, and there is no metal used at all in the fabrication of these crowns. This makes the crown look much more lifelike and real; the metal underneath the ceramic otherwise tends to give the crown a dead, dull look, even when the ceramic is tooth-colored.
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Preparing a Tooth for a Crown
A crown fits over the tooth and encases the remaining tooth structure. In order to fabricate the crown properly, the tooth needs to be reduced in height and on the sides. The tooth then resembles a cone with the top cut off. Then, the crown is made based on the impression of the filed-down tooth. The crown is placed in the mouth, adjusted, and bonded or cemented into place.
A CEREC crown is a type of crown that is created in the office on the same day that the tooth is prepared. Instead of having a dental impression done, a camera captures the image of the prepared tooth in the mouth. The image is then sent to the computer, and the computer and the operator design the crown while the patients wait. The image and the subsequent design of the crown are sent to a milling unit that chisels the crown out of a ceramic block. The crown is tried in the mouth and adjusted where it touches the adjacent teeth. The CEREC crown is then polished and finally bonded into the tooth—all in the same visit.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
The average shelf life of a dental crown is a decade, but crowns can last for as long as 30 years. This all depends on the patient and her or his oral habits and hygiene, how well the crown is maintained, and the frequency of dental visits.
Do you want excellent care and experienced doctors? Contact Teach Dental Group today.