A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth and is used to cover your original tooth. The function of a dental crown is to protect a weak tooth from breaking or decay as well as being used cover and support a tooth with a large filling. Another important function of a dental crown is to hold a bridge in place or to cover a dental implant. A crown is also used for cosmetic purposes and can help your smile and appearance.
The two types of dental crowns can be temporary and permanent. A temporary dental crown is made of acrylic or stainless steel in the dentists’ office and can be used until a permanent crown is put in. A permanent crown is made from metal or porcelain.
The process of the placement of a dental crown requires two visits to the dentist. The first visit involves the dentist taking X-rays to check the overall health of your teeth as well as the surrounding bone. The dentist will numb the surrounding area before installing a crown. For those who fear the dentist, novocain or anesthesia will be your best friend. The tooth will be filed down so the crown will have enough room and the dentist will use paste to make a mold of the tooth receiving the crown. The dentist will fit you with a temporary crown and will send out the mold to a lab in order to produce an accurate fit.
Even though you should already be maintaining your teeth, caring for a dental crown requires a bit of responsibility. Dentists suggest a few precautions so the temporary crown does not loosen. Avoid sticky or chewy foods as they are capable of pulling the crown off your tooth and minimize the use of the side of the mouth holding the temporary crown. Hard foods can break a crown so it is best to avoid using the tooth altogether. Always remember to practice good oral hygiene and go for regular check-up’s with your dentist.