1) What is a dental crown?
It is a prosthetic device in the form of a cap that is fixed over a tooth to restore it to its original appearance, shape and size. A dental crown can also be placed on top of an implant to prove tooth like shape. Its function is to provide strength to the damaged teeth and keep it intact in its original place.
2) Who needs a dental crown?
Dental crowns are usually put over a tooth in case of a damage caused due to cavity or decay, to cover misshaped or discoloured tooth, to restore an already broken tooth, to hold a dental bridge in place, to cover a dental implant or to do some modifications in the structure of the tooth. Children who are at a high risk of dental cavity or decay or have a damaged set of teeth are usually advised to put dental crowns.
3) How is a tooth prepared for a crown?
The process of installing crown on your affected tooth requires a minimum of two visits to your dentist. On the first visit, the dentist will thoroughly examine your tooth to make sure it can hold the crown. Also, if he spots that the tooth is broken or damage, he will first get the filling done before moving on to the next step of capping. An impression of the tooth is then taken and sent to the lab for making a crown of the exact size and shape that can fit seamlessly over the existing tooth. Meanwhile a temporary crown is put and once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is replaced with it.
4) What are crowns made of?
Dental crowns can be made of a variety of material. Right from porcelain to stainless steel to gold to all resin, depending on your choice of material and budget you can opt for anyone of these. While gold alloy or other metal based crowns can be slightly expensive on the pocket, all resin dental crowns are less expensive compared to others. However they wear off easily and are also prone to damage and breakage. An all ceramic or porcelain dental crown provide a better natural colour match to your original teeth and so are widely preferred among people.
5) Will my dental crown be noticeable?
Depending on the material of the dental crown it may become visible or not visible on your tooth. Metal crowns that are made of gold alloy, nickel or chromium are even though long lasting in nature and rarely break; the metallic colour of the dental crown can be easily noticed. The crowns that are made of ceramic or porcelain fall more in the made to order category as they match the colour and size of your teeth perfectly thus making them appear as real as the original tooth. They are more popular among users for their look and feel.
6) How long do dental crowns last?
On an average dental crowns last anywhere between 5 to 15 years. The life of the dental crowns also depends a lot on the amount of wear and tear they face on a daily basis. Maintenance of dental crowns goes a long way in increasing their life span. Therefore, one must diligently follow the routine of brushing and flossing to make sure no food particle is left around the area to give rise to bacteria formation. Personal mouth habits like not biting nails, grinding and clenching teeth are some of the things to keep in mind for to keep dental crowns intact in the long run. Also, keeping the area around the crown clean is very important to increase the lifespan of the prosthesis and to keep all dental problems away.