A dental crown is used to restore the strength, shape as well as the size of a tooth. It is a cap shaped like the tooth. It also improves the appearance of the tooth.
How is your tooth prepared for a crown?
There are various steps involved in the preparation of the tooth for a patient’s tooth. These steps are basically divided into two:
- Examination and preparation of the tooth.
At this stage, the dentist takes a few X-rays. This is mostly done to assess the roots that surround the tooth and also receive the crown. In case, the tooth has some infection or has some decay, a treatment called root canal is done on the patient.
Anesthesia is administered to the gum tissue and around the tooth to relieve any pain before any process of making a crown begins. The tooth structure is then removed to allow room for receiving the crown depending on the crown type to be used.
The tooth is reshaped then some impression made below and above the tooth to ensure that biting of the teeth is not affected by the crown. These impressions are then taken to lab where the desired crowns are made.
The manufacturing process takes approximately three weeks. The patient is usually inserted some temporary crown made of acrylic to offer cover to the prepared tooth for the duration the crowns are being made.
- Placement of the permanent crown.
The dentist replaces the temporary crown with a permanent crown. This involves the assessing the color and checking its fitness. The permanent crown is inserted. Anesthesia is also used.
Care to dental crowns.
There is no special care that should be given to crowns. However, general dental hygiene practices should be observed. Use of antibacterial mouth rise is advisable. Regular brushing of teeth after having a meal is recommended. This should be done particularly at the region where the gum and tooth meet.
What are some of the types of crowns?
There are various types of crowns that can be made from different materials such as ceramic, resin, stainless steel etc.
Ceramic dental crowns: they are suitable to people who have metal allergies. They make good front teeth. They also offer better natural color compared to other crown types.
Metal crowns: they are long-lasting. They rarely break since they are able to withstand chewing and biting forces. They make good out-of-sight molars.
Resin crowns: they are cheaper compared to other types of crowns. They do not last long and are prone to breaking.
Stainless steel crowns: they are mostly used as temporary crowns to offer cover and protection to the tooth.
Situations that necessitate the use of dental crown.
- During the process of cosmetic modification.
- To offer cover and protection to a dental implant.
- Used in positioning of a dental bridge.
- To hold firmly a weak tooth that is about to decay to prevent breakage.
- To cover teeth that have discolored.