Teeth are durable, but they’re not indestructible. Everyday wear and tear can damage them over time, to the point where they might need protection. They might also get hurt due to accidents, or even from super crunchy food. Dental crowns are a great way to protect your teeth and make them strong again. They can also cover discolored or misshapen teeth to make your smile look good as new. Your dentist can tell you everything you need to know about dental crowns in Flagstaff.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over a tooth to restore its size, shape, color or appearance. They are often made of porcelain or metal fused with porcelain. These materials are durable and mimic the look and feel of a natural tooth.
If you take proper care of them, they can last from 10 to 15 years. Brush and floss them like a regular tooth.
What Are Dental Crowns Used For?
Dental crowns can be used to fix a variety of dental imperfections, such as:
- Root canal. After root canal therapy, there is typically a hole in the tooth. If left exposed, bacteria can more easily get inside the tooth and cause infection. This is why it is best to cap the hole with a crown.
- Large cavity. Cavities occur when plaque and acid eat away at the tooth’s enamel, leaving a permanent hole. Usually these can be fixed with a filling, but sometimes the cavity is so large that a filling alone can’t heal it. This is because the natural tooth has become so weak that it is more likely to fracture. In this case, your dentist will likely fill your cavity with resin and slip a crown over the tooth to protect it.
- Cracked teeth. If you have cracked teeth, there could be fractures in the interior of your tooth that can cause pain when biting down. Placing a crown over the tooth can prevent more fractures.
- Cosmetic problems. If a tooth is discolored or misshapen, a porcelain crown can cover up those imperfections so your tooth looks good as new. They can also be used to conceal dental implants to make them look and feel more like natural teeth.
How Does the Dental Crown Process Work?
Getting a crown usually takes two appointments. On the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth to send to a lab. Permanent crowns may take days or weeks to create, so your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown from the office to last you until then.
Typically made from acrylic or stainless steel, temporary crowns are best cared for by side flossing, avoiding sticky or chewy food and refraining from chewing on that side of your mouth.
A couple weeks later, your permanent crown will arrive at the office. Then your dentist will remove your temporary and install your permanent. It should feel, look, and function like a natural tooth. If you think a dental crown could be a good fit for you, contact your dentist in Flagstaff today!
About the Author
Dr. John Bacon has owned Flagstaff Downtown Dental in Flagstaff, AZ, since 1987. His dental office is prevention-oriented. His primary concern is addressing your current dental health to minimize future needs. One way he does that is by placing dental crowns when necessary. For more information on his practice, visit his website or give him a call at (928)-774-1168.