A dental crown is a cap that is shaped like a tooth and fitted over a tooth to cover it and restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. They fully encase the visible portion of a tooth from the gum line to the top. Onlays are a type of crown that does not fully cover the tooth.
Who needs a dental crown?
Only a dentist can determine whether you would need a crown, but anyone with one of the following dental problems may need a porcelain crown.
- To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to holding parts of a cracked tooth together
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of the tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
How does it work?
Usually, you would need two visits to the dentist if you need a crown. In the first visit, the dentist will examine and prepare the tooth. In the second visit, the crown will be placed onto the tooth.
First, your dentist will take an X-ray to evaluate the roots of the tooth and the surrounding bone. If the tooth is very badly decayed or if there is a risk of infection, a root canal treatment may be necessary. When the dentist continues to make the crown, your dentist will anesthetize the tooth and gum tissue. The tooth is filed down to the chewing surface. In the case of a badly decayed tooth, the dentist will build up the tooth to support the crown.
Next, the dentist will use a paste to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. The impression can also be made with a digital scanner. Impressions will also be made of the tooth above and below the tooth in question to ensure that your bite is not affected. The dentist will check the color of your teeth to select the porcelain that best matches the rest of your teeth. You will get a temporary crown to protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being made.
At the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and fit the new crown.
How long do dental crowns and inlays last?
It varies from person to person, but a crown can last for anything between five and 15 years. It depends on your oral hygiene habits and whether you grind or clench your teeth or use your teeth to chew ice, bite your fingernails or open packaging. All of these factors will determine how much wear and tear your crown will sustain and how long it will last. Porcelain crowns do not require any special care, but you still need to practice good oral hygiene practices to prevent decay and gum disease.
Talk to a qualified dentist at Smiles of New York about your options regarding porcelain crowns.