Crowns are synthetic caps, placed on the top of a tooth. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that a large portion of the tooth must be removed, crowns are recommended to restore the tooth. Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal.
Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or when an existing filling is very large and requires replacement. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use to improve the appearance of a tooth, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
How is it done?
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is then made from the existing tooth to create a custom-designed crown. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns may be fabricated with different materials including porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials. Your dentist will help select the most appropriate option for your personal dental needs including the location of the tooth in your mouth.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas, usually just the front surface of the tooth and the edges.
Caring For Your Crowns
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration. It is possible to get a cavity around the edge of the crown if it is not well-cleaned.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.
For more information, please call our office in Santa Cruz to schedule an appointment today.
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