Most patients have probably heard about dental crowns, and have a basic idea of what they are, but they may not fully understand how these little porcelain caps that cover the entire tooth can not only make their teeth look better, but can help them to work better as well. The fact is, dental crowns have a lot of advantages. One of the most important benefits of dental crowns is that they can relieve many uncomfortable conditions. For instance, if you’ve had an infection, an injury to your tooth (like a break or fracture), or if your tooth has become significantly decayed, you may feel pain. With an infection, your pain may be relieved by means of a root canal. With cracking or breaking of a tooth, the injury can be sealed using a tooth-colored bonding material. In some instances, the remaining, untreated part of the tooth could be vulnerable to discomfort or even additional damage. A crown can protect your tooth from more damage, and also prevent discomfort.
A lot of people think that getting dental crowns is a complex procedure, but it actually is not. To prepare your tooth to receive a crown, your dentist cleans the enamel, and then shapes to tooth to be sure that it will hold a crown. Then, an impression is taken of the tooth, and sent to a lab where the dental crown is manufactured. Finally, it’s placed on your tooth by means of a special bonding cement. A crown not only restores functionality to your tooth, it also improves its appearance. Crowns can be perfectly matched to your adjacent teeth, and once installed, they can correct any defects in the shape of the tooth as well as any discoloration or staining. In fact, because crowns are indistinguishable from real, healthy teeth, some patients elect to have crowns placed on all their teeth, as a purely cosmetic procedure.
Because dental crowns are so strong, they don’t really require anything in the way of special care. If you take care of them (in other words, brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings), your dental crowns could last for decades. The only thing that could harm your crowns would be trauma to the mouth, so if you’re athletic, make sure to use a mouth guard!