Dental caps play an essential role in ensuring you maintain the perfect smile while preventing damage to your teeth. After all, it’s the first thing that others notice about you. To maintain the functionality and aesthetics of your teeth, your dentist will recommend a tooth cap or dental crown.
Crowns are a type of restorative procedure where a tooth or a dental implant is completely covered to protect it from further damage. Generally, when crowns are cemented into place, they cover the entire visible section of your damaged tooth until the gum line.
Why you should get dental caps
There are numerous situations where a crown may be necessary for adults. Some of the cases when dentists recommend crowns include:
- Restore the appearance, function, and form of fractured, worn out and broken tooth.
- Maintain the structure and stability of a tooth from excessive wear and fractures, especially for those with a habit of grinding their teeth.
- Stop teeth with large filling from cracking or fracturing.
- Prevent the remaining tooth after a root canal from cracking or fracturing.
- Protect a weak tooth from further decay, injury, or infection.
- Fix the spaces left by missing teeth in implant procedures.
- Keep a dental bridge in place.
4 reasons why crowns are the key to your confidence
When compared with other alternatives, crowns are a beneficial treatment procedure that restores damaged teeth. Typically, they provide a wide range of solutions to several dental issues. Check out some of the advantages of tooth crowns.
- Restores your teeth. Crowns are custom-made. Because of this, the technician can evaluate and mirror various aspects of your jaw, bite, and other factors to ensure the shape and alignment are perfect. However, in comparison to dental fillings visualizing, evaluating, and mirroring these aspects may be slightly tricky due to the direct fabrication of the procedure. Crowns can restore the precise shape, and appearance of your teeth.
- Improves the appearance. Ever wondered why most movie stars have a perfect smile? Well, the answer is crowns. Since they are designed to blend in with your natural teeth, it’s hard to distinguish them from the rest of your bites. Caps can significantly improve the general appearance of your teeth and give you a Hollywood smile.
- Provides long-term solution. Tooth caps are durable and can last for up to 15 years, which ensures you’ll be satisfied with the treatment. Moreover, compared to other restorative procedures, crowns provide a higher success rate.
- Strengthens teeth. Typically, crowns are placed on a tooth that is severely destroyed or damaged by tooth decay, breaking, or have undergone a root canal treatment. In comparison to fillings, besides restoring the tooth’s shape, crowns can also reinforce and strengthen them.
What you should expect during and after a dental crown procedure
Tooth cap procedures usually require two visits to the dentist. The first visit involves examining and preparing the tooth while the second visit involves placement of the crown.
- During your first visit, your dentist may take a few X-rays to examine the roots and surrounding bone of the tooth receiving a crown.
- If the tooth is affected by decay or poses a risk of infection or injury to the pulp, a root canal may be performed.
- Before making your crowns, the dentists apply a local anesthesia to numb the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, they reshape your tooth to make room for the crown.
- Afterward, a paste is applied on your prepared tooth to make an impression of it. Additionally, your dentist will choose the shade that most closely blends with your neighbouring teeth, if the crown is made of porcelain or ceramic material. These impressions are then used to custom-make your caps. The crown is ready in two-three weeks.
- As you wait for your crowns to be ready, your dentist will cover and protect your reshaped tooth with a temporary crown made from acrylic.
- After two or three weeks, during your second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary cap and check the fit and colour of the permanent crowns. If the caps fit perfectly, they will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area and permanently cement the new crown into place.
After the procedure, it’s essential to practice proper oral hygiene and commit yourself to routine dental checkups for optimum oral health.
Which is the best type of crown
There are several types of crowns that are made from different materials. Generally, tooth caps may be made from metal alloys, porcelain bonded to metal, ceramic, or resin materials. To determine the best type of material to use on your crown, your dentist considers various factors such as:
- Tooth’s function and location
- Your preference
- Position of gum tissue
- The number of visible front teeth when you smile
- Shade and colour of the tooth
Afterward, your dentist will decide the best material to use to ensure the tooth caps look like your natural tooth and fits comfortably in your mouth. Below is a list of the available crown materials used:
- Metals. Most metal caps are made from nickel, gold, chromium, and palladium. These types of caps rarely chip or break and require only a small amount of tooth to be removed. Because of the durability, metallic colour, and ability to withstand biting and chewing forces, they are usually used for out-of-sight molars.
- Porcelain fused to metal. These crowns can match the natural colour of the teeth surrounding them. Nonetheless, it’s common for the metal underneath the porcelain to be visible and appear as a dark line. Moreover, porcelain-fused-to-metal caps are more likely to chip, break-off or cause teeth on the opposite side to wear out. However, with proper oral care, these crowns can last longer.
- All resin. All resin crowns break or wear out after some time. However, compared to other crown types, all resin caps are the least expensive.
- All-porcelain or all-ceramic. Porcelain or ceramic caps naturally match your teeth. They are an excellent choice for people with allergies to metal. However, these are not durable compared to others and may wear teeth, on the opposing side, out. Nonetheless, ceramic crowns are an excellent choice for front and back teeth.
How to properly care for your teeth
Although your crown restores your teeth, your teeth are still susceptible to gum disease or tooth decay due to poor oral hygiene. To protect your teeth from cavities or damage:
- Brush at least twice every day.
- Floss regularly
- Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice or using your teeth to open objects.
- While wearing the temporary caps, refrain from sticky or chewy foods that have the potential of grabbing or pulling the crown off.
Moreover, without proper care, you may experience some problems associated with crowns such as:
- Sensitivity: It’s common to feel some sensitivity or discomfort immediately after the procedure. However, you can brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. But if you experience some pain or sensitivity when biting, consult your nearest London dentist.
- Chipped crown: Apart from metallic caps, those made with other materials usually chip or crack. If the chip is minor, your dentist can fix it easily while it is still in your mouth. Otherwise, you may need to get your tooth caps replaced.
- Loose crown: In some cases, the cement washes out from beneath the crown, causing it to become loose. This allows bacteria to leak into the tooth and cause decay. It’s essential to contact your dentist if your crown feels a bit loose. Additionally, if your crown falls off clean it along with your tooth and use temporary tooth cement that is available over-the-counter to fix it. Be sure to contact your dentist for evaluation and proper instructions to protect your tooth structure from breaking or chipping.