As you age, so do your teeth. Tooth decay, trauma, fillings or even the way you chew can make your teeth wear down as well. As a dentist, my endeavor is for you to have your natural teeth for as long as you can. Thankfully, we have restorative dentistry procedures that deal with the preservation and maintenance of natural teeth.
Here are some signs of dental trouble that you should watch out for before the problem escalates into a more severe condition and your natural tooth is not salvageable.
- Toothache because of cavity; broken, cracked, impacted, an abscessed tooth; and gum disease.
- Sensitive Teeth
- Broken, Cracked, Chipped, Lost, or Impacted Tooth
- Stained Teeth
The aim of this article is to educate you about crowns, one of the popular teeth restorations that help in preserving your natural teeth.
What Are Crowns And Its Benefits?
Your tooth can be cracked, broken, or fractured because of an injury or accident. It could be caused by eating a hard substance like a popcorn kernel or breaking open a bottle lid with your mouth. Damaged teeth cause sensitivity, discomfort, and toothache.
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap, made of ceramic, porcelain, or cement, that covers your damaged tooth entirely above the gum line.
Crowns improve your teeth structure, functionality, and appearance. Usually, a crown is used to:
- Provide attachment to bridges
- Cover stained, odd-shaped teeth and implants
- Fix a damaged tooth, cavity and chipped or worn out fillings
- Reconstruct weakened, fractured and broken teeth to prevent them from falling apart
- Cover a weakened tooth that requires a large filling but there aren’t many portions of the natural tooth to hold the filling in place
Placing a crown over a weakened tooth can help the tooth from breaking or wearing down even more. Crowns are also used to restore stained or misshapen teeth, as well as to shelter a tooth that has had a root canal.
However, as beneficial as crowns are, they should be used minimally for aesthetic purposes and more for restoring severe tooth damage purposes only. This is because crowns remove much of the natural enamel, leaving behind only the already damaged portion of the tooth. You should discuss with your dentist any queries about crowns so that you can preserve and maintain your natural teeth for as long as possible.
What Is The Procedure for Dental Crowns?
If you are in need of a dental crown in Palo Alto, you will need a couple of visits at your dentist’s office to complete this treatment. For your first visit, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth to help with any discomfort. They will use a dental instrument to form and prep the tooth, so the crown will fit properly.
Sometimes an additional procedure may need to be completed to ensure a good fit for the crown. This procedure is generally what’s called a Core Build up and the purpose is to help support the crown. Next, a mold of your tooth will be taken and the temporary crown is placed to guard the prep tooth. The mold is sent to a dental laboratory where a customized crown is made just for you.
Once the dental office receives your crown from the lab, you will get an appointment time for your next visit. If you are satisfied with the shape, color and fit, then the crown will be permanently cemented on your second visit.
What You Need To Watch Out For After Your Crown Procedure
Sometimes, the crown received from the laboratory may not fit as well as the doctor, and you would like it to. To achieve optimum results, another mold will be taken and sent to the lab for another crown to ensure a proper fit.
Once the numbness has worn off and the crown is permanently placed, you may experience some soreness. There may also be slight pain when you bite down, or the change in temperatures may cause sensitivity for three to four days.
If you are having any discomfort you may take over-the-counter pain medication, as directed by your dentist. If, after a few days, you’re still experiencing discomfort and sensitivity, please call the office to make an appointment.
Sometimes the crown may feel too high when you bite down, please make an appointment to get your crown adjusted. This can also cause you to become sore. You would think that you could just get a filling. Unfortunately, when a tooth is in need of a crown, the tooth is not strong enough to support a filling. If your dentist places a filling instead of a crown, you could do more harm to that tooth in the long run and your dentist may not be able to salvage it.
A crown is meant to last a lifetime with proper care. However, just like real teeth, it is prone to injury, accidents, and damage because of poor oral care. Sometimes, the dental cement may loosen and wash out.
Remember, a crown may not last forever. It may need to be replaced if it has become faulty or worn down.
The lifespan of your crown is determined by the following factors:
- How well you maintain your oral hygiene and how you properly floss and brush your teeth
- The food and drinks you consume
- Not biting into cold or hard substances with your teeth
- The condition of the surrounding teeth and gums
Dentist Check Ups Are Important To Save Your Natural Teeth
Most times, damaged teeth, filling, and crown cause sensitivity, discomfort, and toothache. But sometimes, you may not even know you’ve got a crack in your tooth because it’s not visible to the naked eye. You might go to the dentist too late when your natural tooth cannot be saved.
Sometimes, your crown can become loose, making your tooth prone to bacteria and causing an infection and toothache.
The more regularly you visit your dentist, the better it is for your oral and overall health as waiting too long can lead to more serious health conditions.