When you need to restore decayed or damaged teeth, crowns are one of the most common treatments. Dental crowns, also called caps or dental caps, are typically used to restore damaged or decayed teeth or to protect weak or brittle teeth from further damage. Learn more about dental crowns, their use, how long they last, and more.
What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are a type of restoration that protects and strengthens tooth structure by covering it using a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth to fill in spaces lost due to decay or injury. It's made of porcelain (a ceramic material) or metal alloys like gold or silver and can be either fixed or removable depending on the severity of damage incurred by your tooth. Crowns are most commonly used to restore teeth with large fillings or where multiple teeth need to be replaced.
What Are Dental Crowns Used For?
While dental crowns may be used for one or more purposes, their primary purpose is to restore a tooth that has been chipped, fractured, or worn down so that it can once again function as intended. They are also often used to cover a tooth that has had root canal therapy to protect the tooth from further damage. In some cases, dental crowns are used to attach bridges and other types of restorations onto existing teeth.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
The doctor first prepares the tooth by removing any decay and shaping it to the size of the crown. The dentist then takes an impression of your teeth and sends it to a lab that makes dental crowns. From here, the lab molds your tooth with acrylic, porcelain, or metal, depending on what is needed. The dentist will then place a temporary filling material over the exposed area, which can take up to three weeks before it hardens enough for a permanent restoration.
What Are the Risks of Dental Crowns?
A common concern is that there may be sensitivity around the tooth after a new dental crown is placed. You should discuss this issue with your dentist if you experience any discomfort before, during, or after the placement of your new crown. A temporary remedy for any sensitivity may involve applying an ice pack over it for 20 minutes every few hours.
Caring for a Dental Crown
Treatment and upkeep for a dental crown typically consists of:
- Brushing and flossing teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
- Rinsing the mouth out after eating or drinking.
- Having regular dental checkups to see if the crown needs to be replaced.
- Taking prescribed medications as directed by your dentist.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
The length of time that a dental crown lasts varies from person to person and depends on their oral habits as well as the type of crown used. In general, dental crowns usually last between 10 and 15 years.
Questions About Dental Crowns?
Dental Associates, LLP provides a range of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry procedures to patients throughout Farmington, CT, and the surrounding areas. If you have questions about a dental crown or if you would like to book an appointment, contact us at 860-677-8666.