Dental crowns or “caps” are fixed prosthetic devices used to strengthen and protect teeth that are damaged or decayed. Crowns can also be placed on the top of a dental implant post to replace the entire tooth structure.
Like other cosmetic and restorative dental solutions, you have a choice in the materials that are used to construct your restoration. While older crowns were made from materials like gold or metal alloys, most of the crowns used today are made from porcelain or ceramic colors that match the surrounding teeth. These materials are not only attractive but also durable so they can last a very long time.
If you need a dental crown, Dr. Lance Porter of Porter Dental Health Clinic will work with you to determine the type of crown that best suits your needs. His ultimate goal is to restore your tooth to normal form and function and help you enjoy a complete, healthy smile for life.
When Are Dental Crowns Recommended?
Crowns are used to do the following:
- Protect a badly cracked or damaged tooth from fracturing
- Protect a badly decayed tooth with too much decay for a filling
- Cover a tooth after root canal therapy
- Cover a dental implant post
- Anchor a dental bridge
- Camouflage an abnormally shaped or discolored tooth
Crowns can actually save a tooth from needing to be extracted. Prior to dental crowns becoming popular, seriously damaged or diseased teeth often were extracted, leaving a noticeable gap in between the teeth and contributing to other oral health problems. Luckily, crowns provide the strength, structure and protection that weakened or injured teeth need to avoid extraction.
Placing the Dental Crown
It usually takes about two dental visits to plan out and place a dental crown.
During the first visit, Dr. Porter examines the affected tooth and removes damaged or diseased tooth structure. An impression of the affected tooth is taken to send to the dental laboratory that creates the crown. Dr. Porter places a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth. Wearing a temporary crown for a few weeks while you wait for your permanent restoration is helpful, as it allows you time to get used to the crown and provide any feedback that can help refine your permanent restoration.
Once the dental laboratory has created the crown, the second visit takes place. The provisional crown is removed and your permanent crown fitted in place. If you are happy with the way it looks and feels, and Dr. Porter is happy with how it supports your bite, he will bond it in place with a strong dental cement.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
As long as you properly care for your dental crown, it should last a long time. Crowns can last seven to 10 years or longer with the right maintenance. You should brush and floss your crown like a normal tooth, and visit Dr. Porter at least twice a year to have it checked.
Learn More about Dental Crowns
If you have a badly damaged or decayed tooth that may necessitate a crown, Dr. Porter can help. Schedule a consultation with him at our practice to discuss your treatment options and find the solution that works best for you.