At Fairmount Dental Center, we offer several restorative services to improve your oral health and fix esthetics. One of the most common restorations we offer is known as a dental crown. In dentistry a crown is a cap or covering that is permanently placed on a tooth to protect it. At Fairmount Dental Center, we typically place crowns because a tooth becomes damaged by decay or physical trauma. We can create very strong and aesthetically pleasing crowns that will last you decades and will look just like your natural teeth.
The Purpose of Dental Crowns
Everyone usually does their best to keep their teeth nice and healthy for as long as they can. Brushing and flossing can go a long way in the fight against decay. Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports can help to protect your teeth from traumatic injury. That being said, accidents happen and something you will get a cavity or break a tooth. In circumstances where the damage is so excessive that the crown (biting portion) of the tooth cannot continue to perform its duty, we will sometimes opt to place a crown over it to protect it.
Crowns restore the teeth’s ability to function properly, allowing you to eat and speak as you would normally.
Why You May Need a Dental Crown
You may need a dental crown to:
Protect a weak tooth from breaking or hold together a cracked tooth
Cover a tooth with a large filling or a tooth that has lost a large filling
Cover a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy
Support a dental bridge
Restore a tooth that had been severely worn down
Make a cosmetic alteration
Having a Crown Placed
The procedure for a dental crown is usually split into two appointments. During the first trip, we will ensure your comfort an apply a local anesthetic to your mouth to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Once the numbing agent has taken effect, we will take an impression of the area and send it to the dental laboratory. There, they will fabricate your final crown. This process can take up to two weeks or even longer.
Once the impression has been taken, we can begin the process of preparing your tooth to receive the crown. This is done by the dentist shaving off some of the enamel (the outer layer) of your tooth. This is done so the crown can sit over the top of the tooth without any impedance. The crown has to be the same exact size and shape of your tooth, which would be impossible to accomplish if your full sized, natural tooth were still there. Once the tooth has been prepped to receive the crown, we will place a temporary crown on top of it and set it in place using a temporary bonding agent.
Once the permanent crown has been crafted and sent back to our office, it will be time for the second appointment. This is a fairly quick dentist appointment because all we have to do is remove the temporary crown and place the permanent one. In some cases, we may need to make some final adjustments before we place the crown. We want to ensure there are no problems with your bite or adjacent teeth. We ensure that the crown fits into your bite perfectly and then you are free to use it exactly as you would your normal teeth.
Caring for Your Dental Crown
Once the crown had been placed, you should not feel any discomfort or pain. If your tooth still contains the nerve, you may experience some sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. If you notice any pain when you bite down, please contact us immediately. A crown can last you at least a decade but could last you a very long time with proper care. There isn’t anything special you need to do to take care of your crown, simply treat it the way we suggest you treat all your teeth. Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure not to use your teeth as tools to open packaging. Always stay up-to-date with your bi-annual visits to our office, that way if a problem arises we can deal with it while it’s still in the beginning stages.
A tooth with a crown is protected from decay, except at the gumline. Crowns also do not protect against gum disease. We may prescribe a high-concentration fluoride gel to protect against decay and gum disease.
Crowns, especially if they are made from esthetically-pleasing materials like porcelain, can chip. Sometimes, we will be able to repair a chipped crown while it is still in your mouth. If the damage is significant, we may have to fabricate a new one. Crowns may also fall out from time to time. If this happens, be sure to contact us immediately. Never try to put the crown back in place yourself. Most of the time a new crown must be made, while your old one can be used as a temporary.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you think you may be in need of a crown, call (503) 967-0877, and schedule your appointment today!