Your teeth are the strongest thing in your body, even stronger than your bones. Even when they are properly cared for, they are not invincible. Even the healthiest teeth can still face harm, including cracks, chips, and decay. When a tooth is damaged, it can be placed at risk for suffering further damage. Not only that, it can seriously affect the beauty of your smile, as well as your confidence. At Crossroads Family Dental, we can help to restore the health of a damaged tooth, and the appearance of your smile, with crowns.
What is a dental crown?
Damage to a tooth can place the interior at risk for bacterial invasion and infection. A crown is a dental restoration that encases the entire surface of a damaged tooth, providing it with strength, protecting it from further harm, and preventing infection. Crowns allow your natural tooth to stay put within its socket, preventing the need for an extraction and replacement.
Is there more than one type?
There are several different types of crowns:
• Metal crowns. Metal crowns are the strongest type of crown. Metal is practically indestructible, making it an ideal material for teeth that face a large amount of chewing pressure (the teeth at the back of the mouth). However, despite their strength, metal crowns are not very aesthetically pleasing. They are typically gold or silver in color, making them stand out from the rest of your natural teeth.
• Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns. PFM crowns are designed to provide the strength and protection of a metal crown while also providing better aesthetics. A metal base surrounds the damaged tooth while a porcelain coating mimics the appearance of your natural teeth. While more aesthetically appealing, a thin metal line may sometimes show through at the base of the crown.
• Ceramic crowns. Crowns made entirely of ceramic are the best aesthetic choice. Ceramic mimics many of the properties of your natural enamel, including the color of your teeth and the way in which the material reflects light. The biggest drawback to ceramic is that they are not as strong as metal, but they are still fairly strong, able to withstand normal daily use.
How are crowns placed?
Getting a crown is a two-step process that requires two separate office visits. At your first appointment, we prepare your tooth for the crown. We trim, or remove, a portion of your damaged tooth's enamel under a local anesthetic. By doing this, we create space so that your restoration can fit in both naturally and comfortably. After the tooth is prepared, we take an impression. The impression is sent to our lab, where your crown is designed and created. It typically takes up to two weeks for your final restoration to be completed, so a temporary crown is placed during this time. When the crown is ready, you return for your second visit. During this visit, we make sure that the crown fits properly, and cement it into place.
What are the benefits of crowns?
Crowns offer numerous benefits:
• Weakened teeth are provided with strength.
• Your teeth are protected from further harm and infection.
• There is no need for an extraction.
• Ceramic crowns restore the appearance of your smile as well as the strength of your tooth.
• Crowns can also be used to protect a tooth that has a large filling, anchor a dental bridge, and cover the screws on Dental Implants.
If your teeth are damaged, it is important to have them addressed right away. For more information on crowns, and if they are right for you, contact Crossroads Family Dental today at 219-865-4095!