If you're looking to improve the appearance of, or have suffered trauma to, one or more of your teeth, dental crowns provide a great way to regain the strength and natural beauty of your teeth.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a cap placed over a tooth. Full crowns cover all visible portions of the tooth, right down to the gum line, and are the most often used. There are variations—onlays and ¾ crowns—that cover less of the tooth but still provide support. Crowns are commonly crafted with porcelain, resin, metal, and/or gold.
Why would I need dental crowns?
Dental crowns provide a way to restore the integrity of teeth that are cracked or decayed, and in cases where a filling is so large that not much of the original tooth structure remains. They're also used cosmetically to improve the appearance of teeth that are severely discolored or misshapen.
How long do crowns last?
The life span of your dental crowns is greatly affected by your oral habits. Activities such as biting your nails, eating ice, grinding your teeth, and using your teeth to open food packaging increase the wear and tear, and have a definite negative impact on your crowns. Practicing good dental hygiene is also very important. In general, you can expect them to last anywhere from five to fifteen years.
What is involved in placing dental crowns?
The actual procedure will vary somewhat depending upon the reason for the crown, and the type of crown used. Dr. Godfrey will perform a full workup to assess your overall oral health, and determine if dental crowns will be your ideal solution. He will likely order x-rays as well and test the integrity of the tooth structure to determine if other procedures are necessary before the crown can be placed.
Next, the tooth will either be filed down or built up, depending on the problem at hand. Your tooth will be filed down to create room for the crown to fit around it. If the tooth is decayed or otherwise damaged to the point where there isn't much left to work with, Dr. Godfrey will build up the tooth with filling material to create a base for the crown.
Once the reshaping is complete, impressions will be made and sent to a lab to be used in the creation of your crown(s). Finally, the crown will be placed and cemented.
Is the process painful?
No. Local anesthesia is used during the resurfacing session to alleviate any pain.
Do crowns require any special care?
No, just continue to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice daily, and floss at least once daily. When flossing, pay close attention to the crowned tooth, making certain to floss at the base where the crown meets the gum.