When a tooth is cracked, decayed, or damaged, a dental crown may need to be fitted onto the tooth. A dental crown is a permanent covering that fits over the original tooth. Dental crowns can be made of porcelain, gold and other metals, acrylic resin, or an amalgam (a mix) of these materials. Porcelain crowns typically have the most realistic appearance, although they tend to be less durable than other materials. Dental crowns can whiten, reshape, and realign existing teeth, adding to a bright, healthy smile.
Preparing the Tooth and Crown
During your first visit, the dentist will numb the tooth to be crowned and remove the decay in or around it. The tooth is then resculpted to provide an easy fit for the dental crown. This is a painless procedure that is performed in the dentist's chair.
An impression of your teeth is then taken and sent to the dental lab where permanent, custom-made dental crowns are created (this usually takes one to two weeks). During this interim period, temporary dental crowns made of an acrylic resin are fitted onto the teeth.
Applying the Crown
On your next visit, the dentist removes the temporary dental crown and fits the permanent dental crown onto the tooth. She makes sure the dental crown has the proper look and fit and then cements the crown into place.
Maintaining Your New Crown
The proper dental hygiene for normal teeth should be applied to any new dental crown. Daily brushing and flossing will help to keep the teeth, gums, and crown free from the bacteria that can cause gum disease. Chewing on hard foods such as ice or pistachios should be avoided because over time, they can cause dental crowns to crack or break. Given proper care, crowns can last several decades and may last a lifetime.
If you are interested in learning more about the dental crown procedure or other cosmetic dentistry procedures, please contact Sunset Smiles - serving Miami, Florida.