What are Dental Crowns?
Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges
Both dental crowns in chapel hill north carolina and most bridges are considered to be fixed prosthetic devices. The devices are permanently cemented to existing teeth or implants and can only be removed by a dentist.
A crown is used to cover or cap a tooth that is damaged. In addition to adding strength to a damaged tooth, a crown can help improve the appearance, shape or alignment of the tooth as well. In addition, a crown can be placed on top of an implant in order to give it a tooth-like shape and structure. Both porcelain and ceramic crowns can be easily matched to existing tooth color. Other materials that can be used for crowns include gold or metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. Alloys are generally stronger compared to porcelain and may be used for the back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is commonly used as it is both strong and aesthetically pleasing.
A crown may be recommend for the following reasons:
- To replace a large filling if there is not enough remaining tooth
- Used to protect a weak tooth from breaking
- Restoring a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover the top of a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or misshaped tooth
- Cover a tooth after a root canal
A bridge may also be recommended for patients who are missing one or more teeth. Gaps which remain due to missing teeth, can eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces. This can ultimately result in a bad bite. The imbalance which is caused by missing teeth can also result in gum disease or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Prior to making a crown or a bridge, the tooth must be smaller in size in order for the crown or bridge to properly fit. Following the reduction of the tooth, the dentist will obtain an impression to provide an exact mold for the final crown or bridge. If the dentist is using porcelain, they will determine the correct shade to match the color of the existing teeth.
With the impression, a dental lab will then make the crown in the specified material. A temporary crown will be placed to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made. Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is then removed. The new crown is then cemented over the prepared tooth.
Crowns and bridges can last for a lifetime. However, they can come loose or even fall out. Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important step you can take to ensure your crown or bridge lasts as long as possible. Dental disease can cause a bridge to lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged. It is critical to keep your teeth and gums healthy with twice daily brushing using a fluoride toothpaste, in addition to daily flossing. It is also important to schedule regular visits to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings. Most patients schedule these regular visits every 6-12 months.
It is also important to avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects in order to prevent damage to the crown or bridge.
More information on Dental Crowns : How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
High-Quality Dental Care
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.