Crowns or dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps individually placed over a tooth, covering the tooth to restore its strength, shape and size, and to improve its appearance. The crown fully covers the entire visible portion of a tooth positioned at and above the gum line, when cemented into place.
When a tooth is in general broken down and fillings would not solve the problem, a crown is needed. A crown holds the tooth together to close or seal the cracks if the tooth is broken or cracked, to avoid worse damages. When there is not enough of the tooth remaining, crowns are as well used to support a large filling, protect a weak tooth from fracturing, attach a bridge, restore broken teeth, or even cover discolored or deformed teeth.
Preparation of a tooth for a crown needs two dental visits; the first visit includes examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit includes placement of the permanent crown. In preparing the tooth for a crown, the tooth is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of teeth and gums is made, which is sent to the laboratory for the crown production. Until the permanent crown is created, a temporary crown is fitted over the tooth. The dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth during the next dental visit.
Crowns will definitely look natural. The main objective of the dentist is to produce crowns which will look like natural teeth. This is the reason why dentists take an impression. The color, shape, bite, and length of natural teeth are factors which are considered to attain a particular look, which can have an effect on appearance. Teeth can be more appealing and can be stronger when the procedure of crowns is completed.
Crowns, which need more tooth structure removal, conceal more of the tooth than veneers which are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that are bonded on the front side of teeth. Crowns are not moving and are usually indicated for teeth that have maintained significant loss of structure, or even to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on dental implants or on natural teeth.
Crowns or caps should last about five to eight years. With good oral hygiene and supervision, most crowns last for a much longer period of time. Some instances may decrease the period of time for crowns like damaging habits of fingernail biting, chewing ice, and grinding teeth.
Crowns can be taken care of by preventing chewing of ice, hard foods, and other hard objects. Avoidance of teeth grinding can also help prevent fracturing or damaging the crowns. Cleaning between teeth, brushing twice a day as well as visiting the dentist are very important with crowns. To remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth, specially shaped brushes and sticks or interdental cleaners as well as floss are important tools that can be used. Plaque in the crown area may lead to gum disease and dental decay.