How a Dental Crown Can Save Your Smile
Dental crowns can do a lot to improve the health of a smile. They can help with replacing missing teeth, repairing damaged ones, and even making cosmetic improvements. They’re a great solution that blends in easily with the natural teeth and lasts for decades.
What is a dental crown?
Crowns are dental prosthetics that are fitted to cover a tooth entirely. Also known as a cap, they are crafted to look exactly like a healthy tooth, restoring its appearance and strength.
How are crowns placed?
To place a crown over a tooth, the tooth must first be shaved down a small portion to make room for the crown. An impression and images are then taken of the prepared tooth, which are sent to a dental laboratory where the crown will be fabricated. A temporary crown will be fitted while waiting for the finished crown to come back. During a second appointment, the permanent crown (made from gold alloys or porcelain) will be bonded to the tooth and shaped as needed to feel like a natural tooth.
Crowns can be used in several ways to save a smile.
- Repair a damaged tooth: If a tooth has been broken, chipped, or fractured due to an accident, crowns can be used to cover the tooth and prevent further damage from occurring to the tooth.
- Build up worn down teeth: Over time, teeth can be worn down from grinding or clenching. This can make them look short and even make chewing difficult. Crowns can restore the shape and size to teeth. Once the crowns have been fitted, it might be helpful to use a custom night guard to protect the teeth.
- Anchor a dental bridge: Crowns are often used as abutment teeth, or anchors, that the pontic, or false tooth, is attached to.
- Restore a dental implant: A dental implant is only the metal post that is inserted into the jawbone and cannot be used as a tooth. To restore function to the smile, it must be topped with a crown.
- Make a cosmetic improvement: If a tooth is perfectly healthy but needs some cosmetic improvements, such as to fix discoloration, crowns can be used to conceal imperfections.