A dental crown is a permanent tooth-shaped covering that encases a small existing portion of the natural tooth to restore its original strength, shape, color, and size. It can also be used with a dental implant to replace a lost tooth. Dental crowns can be used for a number of reasons, such as following root canal therapy, to protect the remaining tooth and provide function, to replace old, broken fillings if the tooth structure has weakened, or to restore teeth that are cracked, discolored, chipped, or poorly shaped.
A dental crown can be a great long-term solution if you have a broken, weak, or damaged tooth. It is used to restore the tooth back to its original appearance. Although a dental crown is a great way to repair a damaged tooth, if not looked after properly, it can become vulnerable to a number of complications that may require further dental treatment.
Crowns can be made of different materials, such as metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramic, depending on the desired appearance and strength requirement. They can not only give the appearance of a natural tooth but also help to protect the tooth against further decay. With proper care, a new crown can last for many years, but occasionally, they can be vulnerable to problems, particularly if good oral hygiene is not practiced or if crowns are not looked after properly.
Crowns themselves cannot decay, and they can help to protect the damaged tooth underneath from decaying. However, if good oral hygiene is not practiced, plaque can accumulate at the point where the crown and tooth meet. Brushing and flossing twice a day and avoiding sugary, plaque-causing foods and drinks can help to prevent plaque from building up around the gum line and getting under the dental crown. If decay does start to develop under the crown, it will require treatment. Your dentist will need to take off the dental crown in order to remove the decayed material and depending on the level of decay, a new dental crown may be required to fit the newly shaped tooth.
To install a dental crown, your dentist needs to trim the tooth enamel from the existing tooth. This can expose the sensitive layer of tissue underneath the enamel, known as dentin. Dentin is the layer that surrounds the pulp at the center of the tooth. It contains many microscopic tubes that connect with the nerves at the center of the tooth. If they become exposed, it can cause pain and sensitivity. Sometimes a dental crown may not completely cover the tooth as it should, which can expose the dentin to certain factors associated with tooth sensitivity. To remedy this, your dentist may be able to apply a solution to the crowned tooth to protect the exposed dentin. Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can also help to provide relief from temperature changes. In severe cases of tooth sensitivity or nerve problems, a root canal procedure may be necessary before replacing the crown.
A Loose Crown
Tooth decay or eating certain foods, such as sticky, hard, or very chewy foods, can cause a dental crown to become loose or even come out. If this happens, it requires prompt dental treatment to repair the crown. The layer of dentin on the existing tooth is exposed when the enamel is trimmed, which is much softer than enamel, making it much more vulnerable to damage from acids and bacteria.
Chipped or Broken Crown
Certain types of dental crowns, such as porcelain, look very natural but are not as strong as natural teeth. This means that they can occasionally get chipped or damaged, much the same as a natural tooth can. Small chips may be able to be repaired using a composite resin, but for larger chips or cracks, a replacement crown may be necessary.
Restorative Dental Care in St. Paul, MN
If you would like to find out more about dental crowns or other restorative dental treatments, call expert dentist Dr. Steven Hagerman at Hagerman Dental Care to find out more. At Hagerman Dental Care, we offer comprehensive dental health services using advanced technology to deliver the most effective treatment for all your dental care needs.
To learn more about our restorative dental procedures or any of our other services, call our office in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota today, and schedule your appointment. You can reach us at (651) 646-2392 or use our online appointment request form.