A dental crown is a cap or cover that goes over a tooth to restore its structure. Dental crowns are often needed when a tooth has been damaged due to an accident or to protect a weak tooth from further decay.
If you think you may need to know how to fit dental crowns, you probably want to know exactly how they are made and what to expect during and after the procedure. Below, we’ll explore these, and other common questions related to dental crown fittings.
Why Are Dental Crowns Needed?
The enamel on your teeth is extremely hard and durable. Its ability to handle a multitude of mechanical, thermal, and chemical forces makes it the hardest substance in your body. At the same time, certain factors can lead to the deterioration or breakage of your tooth enamel. Over time, with enough stressors, it can decay, crack, chip, or erode. And when this happens, you’ll likely benefit from a crown.
The goal of a dental crown is to restore the structure and durability of a tooth without necessitating the removal of the underlying root and nerves.
How Are Dental Crowns Fitted?
The process of how to properly fit dental crowns is completed in two appointments. At the first appointment, your dentist will reshape your tooth and remove any visible decay. They will also scan your mouth so that a permanent crown can be created for placement at your next appointment. In the meantime, you’ll have a temporary crown placed on the affected tooth.
Most patients won’t experience any pain after this first appointment. Some slight tooth sensitivity and discomfort may be present for the first few days, however.
At your second crown appointment, your dentist will place and fit the permanent crown on the affected tooth. It should fit perfectly and feel comfortable in your mouth.
Types of Dental Crowns
Most dental devices can be made of many different materials. Braces, for example, can be made of metal, ceramic, or even plastic. Dentures and bridges can be made of different materials too.
Likewise, dental crowns can be made of several different materials. Which material your dentist chooses will generally be dependent on how much a patient would like to spend, what materials the dentist has experience using, and what the most durable option is for the patient.
The most common types of dental crowns used today include:
Gold was one of the first widely used materials for dental crowns. You’ll see adults in their 60s and 70s with gold fillings quite often today. However, it’s not commonly used anymore.
The benefits of gold crowns include the fact that it’s very gentle on the opposite teeth and that it can be effective even when it’s very thin. The latter is important because this means you can preserve an abundance of healthy tooth beneath the gold cap.
Traditional porcelain dental crowns are slightly newer than gold crowns. These crowns have a silver colored metal center, but they are covered on top with a thin layer of porcelain. This makes them blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. Plus, the metal core makes them especially durable.
A dental crown that is all porcelain looks especially attractive. The fact that it doesn’t have a silver colored metal center means that it has a slight translucence, just as real teeth do.
Zirconia is actually a type of ceramic, but it’s tooth colored, so it blends in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. Zirconia is especially durable — even more so than porcelain. Its durability is more like metal overall.
How Long Should Properly Fit Dental Crowns Last?
Ideally, your crown will last a lifetime. However, this is contingent on several factors. If you want your crown to last as long as possible, be sure to do the following:
Practice good oral hygiene.
Make sure you are brushing and flossing regularly each night and every morning. Use a new, soft bristled brush and toothpaste with fluoride. Use regular thread floss instead of a flossing stick, if possible. Be sure to take your time when brushing and flossing as this is where the real work gets done in preserving the longevity of your dental crowns and teeth in general.
Wear a night mouthguard (if necessary).
Some people struggle with a condition called bruxism, which is essentially the act of unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth at night. If you struggle with this, ask your dentist about a nighttime mouthguard that can prevent damage from excessive grinding.
Visit your dentist for regular checkups each year.
Lastly, be sure you are seeing your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. A professional cleaning will help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Need a Dental Crown? Contact Dr. Kawveh Nofallah Today!
Often, if a patient needs a crown, they need it right away. Time is of the essence when it comes to dental crowns because further decay or damage could lead to the loss of the entire tooth. Dr. Kawveh Nofallah can assess your teeth and make a recommendation on your possible need for a crown.
Dr. Nofallah is a native to Florida. He graduated from the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida and has been serving residents of the Lakeland, Florida area since 2006. Call Dr. Nofallah’s office today at 863-648-5338 to book an appointment and learn more about your dental crown options.
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