If you have a broken, chipped, or otherwise damaged tooth, there’s a good chance that your dentist may recommend a dental crown as an option for treatment. Specifically, a dental crown is a “cap” that is placed over your existing tooth to provide added protection and strength; a dental crown can also improve or correct the appearance of a chipped or cracked tooth.
There are many types of dental crown materials available, including stainless steel and other metals. However, for a natural look, most dentists and their patients these days will opt for a porcelain crown, which most closely resembles the appearance and feel of a real tooth.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
There are many benefits to choosing dental crown treatment over many other treatment options available. For instance, a dental crown can protect a decayed tooth from needing to be extracted. This is common in situations where a large cavity needed to be filled, but the resulting filling has compromised the strength of the tooth itself. Rather than having to extract the tooth and replace it with a dental implant, a dental crown can often be used to strengthen the tooth and protect it from further damage.
Dental crowns can also be used cosmetically to improve the appearance of a chipped or broken tooth without needing any extensive work. In many cases, a dental crown can be an affordable alternative to other cosmetic procedures. It is also not a very invasive treatment, so the risks of complications (and recovery time) are almost non-existent.
What to Expect From a Dental Crown Procedure
If you’re planning on having a dental crown placed in the near future, you may be wondering what to expect from the procedure itself. Generally, the process of getting a dental crown will take place over the course of two visits with your dentist.
During the first visit, your dentist will prepare your existing tooth for the crown itself. This will include having a series of X-rays done to make sure you are a viable candidate for a dental crown treatment. From there, you will likely be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth so that your dentist can file down the tooth that will be receiving the crown. This is an important part of preparing the tooth, as it will ensure proper adhesion of the crown itself.
As the final part of your first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth so that the crown can be created to fit precisely. You may or may not receive a temporary crown during this visit.
At your next visit, your permanent dental crown will be placed using dental cement. Your dentist will then check to ensure a snug fit and make sure that your bite is properly aligned before sending you on your way.
Caring for Your New Dental Crowns
Dental crowns don’t require a great deal of maintenance, but there are some general care tips worth keeping in mind. For starters, try to avoid excessively sticky or chewy foods that could weaken the bond between your crown and tooth. The same goes for very crunchy foods, which as raw vegetables, which could dislodge your crown with enough force.
If you choose to whiten your teeth at any point, keep in mind that your dental crown will not accept any whitening agent because it is made out of porcelain.
Overall, dental crowns can be a great solution for any number of dental issues, including chipped and cracked teeth. By knowing what to expect from the procedure and knowing how to care for your new dental crown, you can enjoy your dental crown for many years to come.
At Commonwealth Prosthodontics, we are experts at crown preparation and placement. We will guide you through the process, making sure you are comfortable the entire time. Contact us for an appointment (804) 346-3366 at our convenient Richmond VA location. We can’t wait to hear from you!