A dental crown is a treatment used to restore a tooth that has been damaged. It is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth so the tooth is covered and it will be restored to its former shape, size and strength and in the process, improving the tooth’s appearance. Dental crowns will be cemented into place fully encasing the visible portion of the tooth that lies above the gum lines.
Reasons a dental crown is needed
Dental crowns will completely cover a tooth. It is needed when:
- The tooth is weak. Dental crowns can provide protection against a weak tooth, especially a tooth that is suffering from decay. It can hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
- The tooth needs restoration. If your tooth is broken or severely damaged, a dental crown can restore it back.
- The tooth has a large filling and needs cover and support especially when there isn’t much of a tooth left.
- The tooth is discolored. A dental crown can entirely cover the severely discolored teeth making it appear white again.
- There is a dental implant that needs to be covered.
- There is a cosmetic modification to be done.
There are different types of dental crowns available depending on the materials being used which includes stainless steel crowns, metal crown, porcelain fused to metal dental crowns, all resin crowns and all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns.
How long will dental crowns last?
Generally, a dental crown can last between five to fifteen years. Like any other things, the lifespan of the crown depends on the amount of wear and tear it will endure. There are many factors that can possibly increase or decrease its lifespan such as:
- Good oral hygiene. A crowned tooth does not require any special care at all but remember that just because it is crowned, the tooth is protected from decay. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you still practice good oral hygiene such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash too.
- Avoiding personal mouth-related habits. If you have dental crowns, it is not good if you grind or clench your teeth. It can cause damage to the crown eventually. You should also stay away from chewing ice and using your teeth when opening packaging.
Dental crowns are a good long-term option as they are durable and last longer but they can be expensive compared to other tooth restoration options. To get professional advice on whether you should get a dental crown or not, talk to your dentist.