Dental crowns are a cap that surrounds the tooth's visible part, creating a natural appearance. If there’s significant damage or decay on a tooth, the crown will protect the remaining healthy structure while restoring its strength and function. Crowns are made from durable materials like porcelain, ceramic, or metal alloys, which provide strength and longevity. They can withstand the forces of biting and chewing, ensuring the restored tooth can function appropriately for an extended period. Dental crowns restore the function of a damaged or decayed tooth. Once the crown is placed, the tooth can resume normal biting, chewing, and speaking abilities. This is particularly important for molars and premolars, which endure significant chewing forces.
When Do You Need Dental Crowns?
- Dental crowns restore teeth with significant decay or damage that cannot be repaired with a dental filling alone. The crown covers the tooth, protecting it and restoring its function.
- Dental crowns can be used for cosmetic purposes to improve teeth' shape, alignment, and appearance. They can help address issues like enamel erosion, worn-down teeth, or gaps between teeth, resulting in an enhanced smile.
- Teeth that are fractured, cracked, or severely weakened due to trauma or extensive damage can be restored with dental crowns. The crown provides stability, support, and protection to the tooth, preventing further damage.
- A tooth becomes more fragile and prone to fracture after root canal therapy. Placing a dental crown over the treated tooth helps to strengthen it, prevent reinfection, and restore its natural appearance.
- Dental crowns can improve the appearance of misshapen, discolored, or poorly positioned teeth. They can help create a more aesthetically pleasing smile by covering imperfections and enhancing the teeth' shape, size, and color.
The Dental Crown Procedure
To place a dental crown, the dentist will first take x-rays of the patient’s mouth to determine the extent of damage. If the roots of the tooth have become infected, it may be necessary to perform a root canal before placing the crown. The dentist will then use local anesthetics to numb the tooth and surrounding gums. Next, the tooth is shaped so that the crown can be placed over it, and an impression of the remaining portion of the tooth is made to provide an exact mold of the shape of the patient’s bite. This impression is sent to a lab where the permanent crown will be created. In the meantime, the dentist will place a temporary crown on the tooth to protect it until the permanent one is ready. When the permanent crown is ready, the temporary one is replaced with the new one, and the patient can enjoy their new smile!
With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dental crowns can last for many years. They provide a durable, reliable solution for restoring and preserving damaged or compromised teeth. To learn more about dental crowns, visit Ivan K. Salmons DDS at 1855 Indian Hills Drive, Sioux City, IA 51104, or call (712) 239-5900.