A dental crown is a porcelain cap that is placed on top of the tooth. This cap not only protects the tooth but also improves its appearance. The crown is bonded to the tooth, making it a permanent restoration.
Why do I need a dental crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap,” usually made from gold or porcelain, that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. There are a variety of reasons why you might need a dental crown, such as if you have a cracked or chipped tooth, a tooth that is stained or discolored, a tooth that is worn down, or a tooth that is misshaped or out of alignment. Dental crowns can also be used to replace missing teeth as well.
How is a dental crown placed?
Dental crowns are typically placed over the course of two dental appointments. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown by filing it down. Next, impressions of your teeth are taken and sent to a dental lab. The impression allows our team to build the crown to the exact specifications our dentist provided. When your crown is ready, you will come back to have it placed.
Dental crowns are attached to the teeth with dental cement and the procedure is straightforward, not causing pain or discomfort. Most patients report feeling little to no discomfort during their procedure. If you experience any discomfort, the dentist can administer a numbing agent.
Types of dental crowns
When teeth are damaged or badly decayed, dental crowns are a popular solution. Crowns are commonly used to protect teeth while also restoring them to their natural shape and size.
The three main types of dental crowns are as follows:
Tooth-colored crowns offer a natural look. They are made from porcelain and can be customized to match the color of your teeth.
Metal crowns are made from either gold, silver, stainless steel, or amalgam. They are known to have excellent strength and durability but are quite visible.
These crowns are a combination of ceramic and metal, making them the strongest and most durable option. However, they offer an opaque look.
How long do dental crowns last?
Dental crowns last an average of 10 years but can last much longer if taken care of properly. If the crown is exposed to a significant amount of force, it is more likely to break. Teeth grinding can also be a factor in dental crowns breaking prematurely.
Caring for your dental crown is the same as caring for your natural teeth. Brush at least twice a day and floss every day, as well. Be sure to use toothpaste with fluoride to promote good oral health. Crowns will not decay, but the tooth underneath the crown is still susceptible to decay.
To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentists, Dr. Alicia Abeyta and Dr. Laura Snyder, call (505)-293-7611 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.