Teeth can be discolored, cracked or weakened by decay over time. There are different ways to address these problems and one of the most common solutions is to get a crown.
A crown appointment may sound disconcerting for some, but it is in fact a very common procedure our dentists at Dr. Michael’s do on a daily basis.
Here are answers to the 7 most common questions patients ask us about crowns.
1. Do I really need a crown?
There are any reasons why dentists recommend a crown. It can be used to fix worn or heavily discolored teeth, to protect teeth that have become highly prone to cracking or splitting through the roots and to restore teeth that are already broken. Crowns are used to attach bridges and are also highly recommended to protect the tooth following a root canal treatment. An “implant crown” covers a dental implant and replace the missing tooth.
2. Will my crown look natural?
Absolutely! You don’t have to worry because even if you just need one or two crowns, they will be made to match the color of your natural teeth.
What about those who wish to restore six or more teeth? This is quite common, and your dentist will work with you and discuss all factors to give you the best and most natural looking smile. Factors may include your age, skin tone, hair color and even the color of the eyes.
3. How many appointments does it take?
Crowns typically require two sessions. The first session is when the dentist prepares the teeth, takes impressions and places a temporary crown. The second one is a “fitting” appointment where the actual crown is cemented.
We have our own dental ceramist and laboratory which makes crown appointments a lot smoother for both our patients and dentists.
4. Does a crown procedure hurt?
The treatment is pain-free, but every patient is different. Some feel no discomfort at all, while others may experience occasional sensitivity to hot and cold. It’s always best to speak to your dentist about your concerns.
5. What are the types of materials used to make crowns?
Crowns are made from different materials including ceramic, porcelain and gold alloys. Your dentist will recommend the material that suits you best.
6. How long will it last?
With proper care, crowns can last a lifetime. However, we do see patients with broken or loose crowns. Common reasons are decay on the underlying natural tooth, damage due to heavy grinding or clenching and deterioration of the cement.
To make your crown last, brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Avoid chewing on hard food that can damage your crown. If you grind your teeth, protect your crown (and natural teeth) from excessive pressure and ask your dentist for a night guard. Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly.
7. Can a crowned tooth get cavity?
Crowns do not decay, but the underlying tooth can. Without proper oral hygiene, a new cavity (decay) may form. When this happens, your crown will no longer fit and may fall off. It’s important that you get your teeth and restorations (crowns, fillings, veneers) regularly checked for any signs of new cavities. With regular checkups and cleanings, you can prevent possible problems that may happen to the tooth underneath your crown.
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