USING DENTAL CROWNS TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND APPEARANCE OF YOUR SMILE
Your adult smile should have 32 teeth (or 28 if you had your wisdom teeth removed). While a problem with a single tooth may not seem like a big deal, it actually can be. One infected tooth that isn't treated can impact all your other teeth and gums. A chipped or cracked front tooth can ruin the appearance of your smile. And just one missing tooth can affect the alignment of all your other teeth. Board-certified dentists in Austin, TX typically use dental crowns to heal, protect, or replace a single tooth. At Meadows Dental Care, we offer custom-made crowns that look and feel natural. Read on to learn about how dental crowns can be used, different types of crowns, and what to expect when you get a crown:
REASONS TO GET A DENTAL CROWN
There are numerous reasons why your dentist may recommend a dental crown. A crown can offer strength or protection if a tooth is chipped, cracked, or has a large cavity. A custom-made crown can also replace a missing tooth or cover discoloration to improve the appearance of your smile.
- AFTER A ROOT CANAL
Root canal therapy removes the infected pulp from inside the tooth and replaces it with a special filling material. However, in most cases, a dentist will still put a crown over the tooth for added strength and protection.
- CHIPPED TOOTH
While a chip in your tooth may not seem like a big deal, it can weaken the tooth and make it more susceptible to cavities and infection. A crown can not only improve the appearance of a chipped tooth, but also, it offers protection.
- A LARGE CAVITY
If a cavity is too large to be treated with a tooth-colored filling, your dentist may recommend a crown to cover and protect your tooth once the decayed area has been removed.
- COSMETIC IMPROVEMENTS
To improve the shape, color, and overall appearance of your smile, you may get custom crowns to cover misshapen or discolored teeth. Commonly known as getting your teeth "capped," custom crowns can be part of a smile makeover.
- CRACKED TOOTH
A cracked tooth can be held together and protected from further damage with a dental crown. Once your dentist has checked for an infection and carefully cleaned the crack, a custom-made crown can be placed over the tooth.
- A MISSING TOOTH
Whether your tooth is lost from an accident, decay, or another reason, you should get it replaced with a dental crown. If one of your front teeth are missing, it can impact the appearance of your smile, but there are other reasons to replace a lost tooth. A missing tooth will allow your other teeth to shift into misalignment, which can cause bigger problems, like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
TYPES OF DENTAL CROWNS
If you need a crown, your dentist will talk to you about what type of crown is best for your specific needs and goals. Depending on which tooth is receiving the crown and how you want your smile to look, a ceramic or metal crown may be recommended. If you are replacing a lost tooth, you may also select an implant-supported crown.
An implant-supported crown is used to replace a missing tooth. After the metal post has been surgically implanted in the jawbone, a crown in your choice of materials can be attached.
An all-ceramic crown is typically used for the front teeth. Shaded and contoured to match your natural teeth, a ceramic crown gives you a seamless result.
- PORCELAIN OVER METAL
If you want both strength and a natural-looking appearance, a crown made of porcelain over metal is a good choice. Great for back teeth, this crown has the strength of metal combined with the enamel-like appearance of porcelain.
Many patients like the strength and appearance of a gold crown. Typically, a mixture of gold, copper, and other metals, a gold crown can be used on the back or front teeth to add a little bling to your smile.
One of the most durable options, a metal crown is wonderful for the molars and pre-molars. A combination of corrosion-resistant metals, a metal crown offers a lot of protection.
After you and your dentist have decided on what type of crown you will get; your appointment will be scheduled. In most cases, your dentist will need to file down some of your existing tooth to make room for the crown. This will allow it to fit snugly over your tooth without leaving too much or not enough room for the neighboring teeth. After your tooth is prepped, your dentist will take digital x-rays and impressions, which will be used design your custom crown. Some Austin, TX dentists offer same-day ceramic crowns, which are custom designed and made in their office using state-of-the-art dental 3-D printers. Depending on your dentist and the type of crown you are getting, a one-day restoration may not be available. If your crown is being made in a dental laboratory, your dentist may place a temporary crown over your tooth to protect it while your custom crown is crafted by professionals. An implant-supported restoration will also require more time, since it takes about 3 – 6 months for the metal post to integrate with your bone and gums so it is strong enough to hold the crown. Your dentist will talk to you about what to expect and outline your custom treatment plan during your consultation.
GETTING YOUR CROWN
Whether your crown is made the same day at your dentist's office or at a dental laboratory, once it is ready, your dentist can finish your treatment. If a temporary crown was used, it will be carefully removed. The tooth will be cleaned and disinfected before the crown is adhered over it. Once the crown is in place, your dentist may make small adjustments to improve the fit and appearance. Before you leave, your dentist will go over care instructions to help your crown last a long time.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR DENTAL CROWN
After your crown is in place, you'll want to make sure it stays strong and healthy. Depending on the material of your crown, your dentist may recommend special care, like specific cleaning products or additional appointments. In general, you should care for your crown like your natural teeth with twice daily brushing and flossing. While they are more resistant to stains compared to your natural enamel, porcelain or ceramic crowns can develop stains, so you need to brush your teeth as soon as possible after using tobacco products or eating and drinking things like coffee, tea, and berries. It's best to avoid hard or sticky foods (for example, ice or caramel) to avoid breaking or pulling off your crown. If your crown does come out or gets damaged, contact your dentist to schedule an urgent appointment and ask for advice on storing your crown until you get there. You should also schedule appointments at your dentist in Austin, TX twice a year for an exam and professional cleanings. This will give your dentist the opportunity to adjust your crown, if needed, or let you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced. With proper care, your crown can last for a long time.
SMILE MORE WITH YOUR CUSTOM CROWN
If you have a weak, damaged, or missing tooth, ask your dentist in Austin, TX about getting a custom dental crown. At Meadows Dental Care, we offer several crown materials as well as implant-supported crowns to match your needs and goals. Schedule an appointment at our office in Austin, TX to learn more about your options and how a crown can improve the health and appearance of your smile.