There are few people who actually want to hear their dentist suggest they need a dental crown. After all, they can be quite expensive, and dental insurance doesn’t always cover the procedure. Wondering if you actually need one? This quick guide can help.
What is a Crown?
First, it’s important to understand exactly what a crown is. They’re a kind of cap that is shaped like a tooth. They’re cemented onto your actual teeth for a variety of different reasons. They completely encase your tooth, sitting right above the gum line.
Who Needs a Crown?
There are a number of different reasons your dentist may recommend having a crown put in your mouth. One of the most common is to help protect a weak tooth. Teeth can be weakened by decay or injury, and when they need to be held together or kept from further breakage, a crown can help. Teeth that are already broken or well-worn may also need a cap. Supporting teeth after a root canal or a large filling often require caps as well. Other reasons to have a crown include the need to help a dental bridge stay in place, covering discolored or misshapen teeth, covering implants, or making other cosmetic modifications.
While crowns are fairly frequently used on adults, children may also need them, particularly when they’re at high risk of dental decay or to save a tooth that has been badly damaged by decay.
Types of Crowns
There are many different kinds of crowns available. Stainless steel are fairly common, but they’re usually a temporary fix. They can be placed in a single visit, and they don’t have to be custom made to fit in your mouth. Children’s crowns are almost always made from stainless steel. There are a number of different metals used in crowns, too. Gold alloy is one of the most common, and it can be a really good choice because more of the structure of the tooth can be kept in place. They tend to hold up better over time too. Because they’re metallic, though, they don’t always look good or enhance your smile. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can solve that problem, but they tend to chip a bit. You can also opt for an all-resin crown, but they are fairly prone to breakage as well. All ceramic crowns are also an option, but they, too, tend to break. Your dentist will help you choose the right crown material to meet your needs and your budget.
Before you ever have a dental crown placed, your dentist will carefully evaluate your mouth. You may need to have a root canal if there is a risk of decay after the crown is placed. The tooth will be reshaped, then the dentist will make an impression of the teeth to help prepare your crown. Once it’s made, it can be cemented into place. Your dentist will probably ask you to avoid sticky foods and to minimize the use of that side of your mouth when you have a crown in place. Careful flossing should be considered too.
Crowns can be a great way to protect your teeth, but learning as much as possible about them before you have one put in your mouth is an absolute must. To learn more, talk to the premier Bastrop dentist, Chad Byler, DDS.
Chad Byler, DDS, PA
201 Hunters Crossing Blvd. #16
Bastrop, Texas 78602
My temp crown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/goblinbox/7551352574/) / CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)