What is a crown?
A dental crown, also known as a “cap”, is a large tooth-shaped filling. It is placed over a tooth covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, or to improve its appearance. Crowns fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Why is a dental crown needed?
- A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or fracturing
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To restore and support a tooth with a large filling when tooth structure is lacking
- To restore misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- To restore a dental implant
How should I care for my temporary dental crown?
The temporary crown serves two purposes: it protects the prepared tooth underneath, and to prevent surrounding teeth from shifting. Because “temporary” crowns are just that, please follow these precautions:
- Avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy. When in doubt, leave it out!
- Minimize use of the side of your mouth with the temporary crown.
- When flossing, insert the floss and pull it out through the side.
What should I do if my crown falls off?
Sometimes crowns can fall off. If this happens, clean the crown and your tooth. You can replace the crown temporarily using temporary tooth cement that is sold in grocery stores and pharmacies. Please contact our office immediately. You will receive specific instructions on how to care for your tooth and crown until the crown can be recemented.
How long do dental crowns last?
On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of wear and tear; how well you follow oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits. You should avoid such habits as chewing ice, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packaging. We also recommend the use of an occlusal guard (bite guard)to protect your teeth when grinding or clenching occurs.
Does a crowned tooth require any special care?
While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing once a day, especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth, and staying on-time with your professional dental cleanings.