When we’re young, we often dream of having a crown. A thick gold one embedded with jewels that everyone stares at in awe.
Unfortunately, as adults, the only crown we’re likely to receive is a dental crown.
Dental crowns are less celebrated than those worn by royalty, but one could argue that they are no less important. They shield a fragile tooth from further harm and prevent the agony of tooth decay.
Below, we’ll explain how the dental crown process works so that you know what to expect when your crown is fitted.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a protective cap placed on top of a damaged tooth. Molded to look like a normal tooth, it protects the weakened tooth underneath.
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, the most common being porcelain, resin, ceramic, or gold.
Your dentist may recommend a crown if your tooth is cracked, badly worn down, or after a root canal.
The Dental Crown-Making Process
Depending on the technology used, crown fittings can take 1-2 visits to complete.
First, detailed imaging is done of your mouth. This helps the dentist confirm the condition of your damaged tooth and examine the surrounding affected area.
Then, a mold is made of the problem tooth to determine the desired shape and size of the crown. If your tooth is badly damaged or misshapen, a mold may be taken of a neighboring tooth instead.
Your dentist then numbs your mouth and prepares the affected tooth for the crown. Your dentist will shave down and shape the damaged tooth to provide a stable foundation for your crown to sit on.
The Crown Fitting Procedure
Some dentists are able to cast and create crowns in-house. Others may fit you with a temporary crown while the mold is made elsewhere.
A temporary crown is easily removed. It is not glued down tightly and is weaker than a permanent fixture. Avoid sticky foods like toffees, and be gentle when flossing.
When your crown is ready, your dentist will confirm that it fits comfortably and is the right shape and color. The crown is then secured in place using dental cement.
Depending on the materials used, a permanent crown will last anywhere from 5-15 years.
Care and Maintenance
Your dental crown will wear and deteriorate in a similar way to your normal teeth. Crowns made from different materials have varying strengths and weaknesses.
Porcelain crowns are prone to chipping, while ceramic and resin crowns can be worn down by acidity. Be sure to brush diligently. When flossing, be careful not to catch the floss under the crown and pull it off.
Gold and Zirconia crowns last the longest and are the least likely to get damaged. They are more expensive than other crowns, so be sure to chat with your dentist about the right option for your circumstances.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dental Crown Process
Now that we’ve explained the dental crown process, you can see that it’s a fairly simple procedure. Dental crowns help prevent further damage, so don’t delay in having yours fitted.
Check out our other health and well-being articles for more helpful information like this.
Image Credits: Alex