A dental crown is a synthetic cap, usually made of porcelain, that is placed on the top of a tooth to restore its function and appearance. A crown is often used after a restorative procedure, such as a root canal, or when tooth decay has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed.
When there are two healthy teeth on either side of a missing tooth, a bridge can be used. This is when a crown is placed over each abutment tooth, and a dental implant is used to fill the gap where the missing tooth once was. Custom-made bridges are barely noticeable, and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between your upper and lower teeth.
How are Dental Crowns Made?
If your Lenoir dentist determines that you need a crown, your tooth will first be reduced inside to accommodate the crown. Then, an impression will be made of the existing crown, and a crown will be designed either in a dental lab or in the dental office. At Lower Creek Family Dentistry, our state-of-the-art CEREC machine enables us to mill a new crown right here in the office. This means that we can apply the new crown almost as soon as it is made. If you choose a different provider, you will need to wear a temporary crown for 1-2 weeks while the permanent crown is made.
Caring for Your Dental Crowns
With proper care, a quality dental crown can last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss around and beneath the crown, to avoid plaque and tartar buildup.
Certain behaviors, such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding), can significantly shorten the life of a crown. If you suffer from one of these behaviors, it is important to control them in order to preserve the health of all your teeth, including those with crowns.
Chewing on popcorn seeds, ice, hard candy, or hard foods like peanut brittle can all cause a crown to come loose, or even damage it. To preserve your crowns, it is best to avoid these foods.
Think you might need a dental crown? We can help you feel better! Click here to request an appointment at our Lenoir dentist office.