A dental crown is an incredibly useful tool for preserving the integrity and strength of a tooth. It serves both a cosmetic and medical purpose, because without it, a damaged tooth might eventually need to be extracted. This is one of the many dental treatments we offer at Vero Beach Elite Dentistry in Vero Beach, Florida.
Reasons Why You May Need a Dental Crown
Crowns are a versatile tool for a number of different reasons. A dental crown is actually a sort of “cap” that is cemented on top of another tooth. With the cap in place, it will look and feel like a normal, healthy tooth. Here are some of the situations in which dental crowns might be recommended:
- Restoring a broken tooth or a tooth that is worn down
- Holding a dental bridge in place
- Preventing a weakened tooth from cracking
- Holding together parts of a cracked tooth
- Covering a dental implant
- Covering a large filling when there’s not much of an intact tooth remaining
Crowns can also be used on children. For example, if a tooth has been damaged by decay or a cavity, but is not yet large enough to hold a filling.
The Dental Crown Process
Receiving a dental crown is a multi-stage process. The first stage involves an exam and X-rays. Additionally, your tooth receiving the crown will be examined as well as the surrounding bone structure.
Sometimes preparatory treatment may be required before a tooth can have a crown placed on it. If a patient has gum disease or if the tooth in question is decayed, you wouldn’t want to have a crown placed on it just yet. Clearing up underlying issues, which can sometimes be as involved as a root canal therapy, is important before a crown can be installed.
Once any underlying issues are cleared up, the process of crowning the tooth is ready to begin. The tooth and surrounding gums will be numbed, and your receiving tooth will be “shaped.” Material may need to be removed from the tooth to make room for the crown. If the tooth has sustained a lot of decay, some filling material may need to be added.
The point of this work is to get the tooth ready to create the crown. Crowns can be fashioned from a putty mold or, more commonly these days, using a digital scanner. The dental crown that is fashioned will be the natural shape and color of the original tooth. If the crown has to be fashioned in an off-site lab, a temporary crown might be placed over the tooth to protect it in the meantime.
At a follow-up appointment, the temporary crown will then be removed and the color and shape of the crown will be assessed. If everything is satisfactory, the dental crown will be cemented into place to “permanently” protect the integrity of that tooth.
Caring for Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are actually semi-permanent. There is always a risk that a crown can be damaged or develop some other problem that requires a followup visit to repair or replace it. Here are some of the potential issues that would require this:
- Discomfort, Pain or Sensitivity: A tooth with a crown may be a bit sensitive initially, as you adjust to it. If the sensitivity remains over time, you may need to use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain is another matter. If it hurts when you bite down on something with the crown, it means it needs a slight adjustment. Call us for a quick follow-up to correct the problem.
- Loose Crown: Sometimes the cement holding a crown in place can erode over time. You’ll want to get this corrected, because it can cause bacteria to build up underneath the crown. Call us at Vero Elite Dentistry to re-cement the crown.
- Crown Falls Off: Sometimes a crown can be reattached if it falls off due to cement erosion or if the tooth underneath has decayed. In other cases, it may require a new crown.
- Chipped or Cracked Crown: Porcelain-based crowns can develop chips or cracks, because they’re not as durable as natural teeth. This problem can sometimes be fixed with a dental resin, otherwise a new crown is needed.
Contact Us about getting a Dental Crown procedure and More!
Vero Elite Dentistry is here to serve our patients in Vero Beach, Florida. Whether you need a dental crown, a filling, cleaning, or any other service, contact us to schedule an appointment today.