Dental trauma, tooth decay, bruxism, and natural aging are the key factors behind tooth damage. Whether your tooth is decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored, or broken, dental treatment is essential to repair the damage and save your tooth. If not treated promptly, the damage will likely progress, eventually leading to tooth loss and other long-term consequences.
A dental crown may be your best remedy if your tooth has sustained significant damage. Unlike alternative treatments, a dental crown covers the entire visible structure, making it extremely versatile for correcting an array of dental flaws.
A crown is a cap-shaped dental restoration that mimics a natural tooth’s shape, size, and color (sometimes). The crown is cemented over a damaged tooth, significantly improving its shape, size, strength, and appearance.
To place a dental crown, our Somerset dentist will begin by shaving a part of the tooth’s enamel. Next, impressions of the shaved tooth and other teeth are taken and sent to a dental lab where they make the custom crown. In the meantime, you’ll use a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth.
Once the custom-made crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the customized one. If the crown is a perfect fit, the dentist will permanently install it over the damaged tooth. For Same-day CEREC crowns, the crown is made and installed on the same appointment.
Below are essential tips for preserving your crown.
While the dental crown won’t develop decay like a natural tooth, the tooth underneath it can still get infected. Therefore, good daily oral hygiene practices are essential to prevent bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup. These deposits can cause decay on the underlying tooth and other teeth.
Brushing and flossing are essential to protect the natural tooth under the crown and the surrounding teeth, gums, and bone from infections. Avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes and abrasive oral products, as they can cause the crown to wear out much faster.
While crowns are strong and durable, they aren’t exempt from damage. Chewing on sticky, hard food items like ice can cause the crown to chip, crack, break, wear out, or dislodge. These damages will cause the need to replace the crown earlier than expected.
Chewy or sticky food items can also get trapped between teeth and around the crown, encouraging bacterial plaque, which can cause decay and cavities in the tooth under the crown.
Another key benefit of a dental crown is that it resists stains better than your natural teeth. Due to its non-porous nature, a crown will preserve its bright appearance for many years.
However, its non-porous nature also means it won’t respond to teeth whitening like your natural teeth. That said, avoid or limit staining food items like coffee, tea, red wine, tomato sauces, and dark candies. Also, be sure to avoid tobacco products.
Bad oral habits that can damage your natural tooth can also damage your crown. To care for your crown, refrain from damaging habits such as chewing pens or using your teeth to open cans or cut nails.
Limiting sugary items is good for your crowned tooth, natural teeth, gums, and overall health. Sugary and starchy foods and beverages encourage the harmful bacteria in the mouth to grow and multiply, increasing the risk of decay in the crowned tooth and other teeth. If you must take these items, rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth to wash away any leftover particles.
Sports accidents and bruxism are common causes of dental damage. To protect your crown and remaining teeth, consult your dentist about a customized mouth guard for contact sports and tooth bruxism.
Regular dental assessments will help eliminate bacterial plaque and tartar, reducing the risk of decay under the crown. The dentist also gets a chance to check your crown for damage or problems. A damaged or ill-fitting crown exposes the crowned tooth to bacteria that cause decay.
For more information about dental crowns and cosmetic dentistry in Somerset, contact KK Dental – Somerset to begin your treatment today.