Protecting your unique teeth for a lifetime.
Did you know that teeth are so distinctive and so specialized for their individual jobs that scientists have identified entire extinct species based on a single fossilized tooth? Your teeth are just as specialized and unique, carrying out a wide range of jobs like biting, cutting, and chewing food, as well as playing a role in the continued health of your jaw bone. Teeth even play a role in our social lives and our ability to communicate—even across language barriers! To help ensure that your teeth can continue fulfilling their jobs for your entire lifetime, they’re covered in a protective layer of enamel, which is the hardest biological material known to science.
Losing a tooth is never ideal, but the good news is that it can often be avoided. Modern dentistry has a range of treatments that help save teeth, even when they’ve suffered extensive damage from injury or tooth decay. Dental crowns are a common and effective method of saving damaged teeth and keeping them healthy so that they can continue fulfilling their purpose. But how exactly do they accomplish this?
What is a dental crown and what is getting one like?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that are custom-made for you and placed over your natural tooth, extending all the way down to your gum line. Nowadays, dental crowns are most often made from porcelain, which is a durable, stain-resistant, and biocompatible material that can be tinted to match the gloss and color of your natural teeth so well that no one will realize you have a crown.
The process of getting a crown generally takes two appointments over the course of several weeks. During the first appointment of your dental crown procedure, your dentist will address any decay or damage to your tooth and prepare it for the crown. This often involves shaving the sides and top of your tooth down so that the crown will fit, but can also involve building a support structure for the crown if your tooth is severely damaged. Your dentist will then take impressions of your tooth to send to the outside lab that will make your permanent crown. Then they’ll place a temporary crown on your prepared tooth to protect it and restore its function until your next appointment.
Once your permanent crown arrives at our office, you’ll be able to come in for your second appointment. This will simply involve your dentist replacing your temporary crown with your permanent one, checking your bite to make sure it fits perfectly, and making adjustments if necessary. Then you can go home with your new, healthier smile!
Think a dental crown might be right for you? Here are 5 ways dental crowns can restore your teeth.
1. Dental crowns restore teeth that have suffered decay.
When one of your teeth suffers extensive decay, a dental filling simply may not be enough to restore your tooth. In these cases, a dental crown is an ideal solution! Dental crowns cover your entire tooth, forming a seal that keeps bacteria out and prevents future decay. Additionally, teeth are often weakened after severe decay, especially if they’ve undergone a root canal, because they tend to lose a significant amount of their natural tooth structure. Placing a crown over your tooth protects it from injury and restores its strength, allowing you to keep chewing just like you always have. The durable porcelain feels natural and can stand up to the same daily wear and tear as your natural teeth, so you won’t have to give your tooth a second thought!
2. They ease tooth sensitivity.
Over time, issues like enamel erosion can lead to tooth sensitivity, which often causes sharp pains in your teeth in response to hot and cold temperatures or pressure from chewing. Thinning enamel as we age also means that there’s less of a protective layer on your teeth, making them more vulnerable to decay. Thankfully, there are several options that you and your dentist can discuss to remedy this! Dental crowns are one of these options and have proven effective at resolving tooth sensitivity. Dental crowns form a barrier over the sensitive surface of your tooth, protecting it from bacteria and preventing tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can also be a symptom of a cavity, so treating the cavity and restoring your tooth with a crown can also erase your sensitivity. Once your crown is in place, you’ll have the freedom to simply enjoy your food and drinks, no matter what temperature they are!
3. Dental crowns repair chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth.
Teeth are strong and durable enough to withstand a lifetime of biting into and chewing food, but they’re also brittle; it’s not uncommon to accidentally chip, crack, or break a tooth. These injuries, especially when they’re severe, can easily be treated using a dental crown. Crowns relieve the pain caused by the injury and protect it from future damage by covering the weakened tooth with strong, durable porcelain. This also seals the tooth off from bacteria, preventing cavities. The porcelain dental crown also restores the function and appearance of your crown so well that it’ll feel and look like your tooth was never injured!
4. They repair severely worn teeth.
Clenching or grinding your teeth, which you can do awake or asleep without fully realizing it, can wear your teeth down significantly over time. Severely worn teeth often suffer from tooth sensitivity and may even begin to look shorter. Placing dental crowns over these teeth will relieve your tooth sensitivity, protect your natural teeth from future wear and tear, and restore the appearance of your smile. As a result, your teeth will look and feel renewed!
5. Dental crowns restore misshapen teeth.
Crowns are sometimes placed on misshapen teeth to completely transform the way they look, improving the overall appearance of your smile. This is possible because of the level of customization and artistry that goes into dental crowns. You’ll be able to choose the size, shape, and shade of your new crown, working with your dentist to design your crown with your other natural teeth in mind. Doing this ensures not only that your crown looks great, but that it will fit in seamlessly with your natural teeth. Your new smile will look so natural that it will seem like your tooth has always looked that way! Renewing misshapen teeth is often largely a cosmetic change, but it can actually improve your oral health too. Teeth that are straight and uniform are easier to brush and floss properly, so you’ll be able to decrease your chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they just need a little extra help to get there. Dental crowns provide that help, saving teeth and protecting them to make sure that they remain healthy, functional, and beautiful throughout your lifetime. If you’d like to learn more about how this versatile treatment can restore and protect your teeth, feel free to call and schedule an appointment at any time.