Dental crowns are restorations that are placed over a damaged tooth. When the damaged part of the tooth is too large to be covered by a filling, a dental crown restores its size and shape and protects it from further damage. Crowns can be made out of a variety of materials, depending on your budget and the durability you need to protect your tooth. Today we are going to explain ‘what are tooth crowns for’.
What Are Dental Crowns?
The more we use our teeth, the more damage they are exposed to. Using them wears them down, while dental injuries and decay can also cause changes to the size and shape of teeth. Ordinarily, a dental filling can be used to restore a tooth but sometimes the damage is too great for a filling.
When this happens your dentist will create a dental crown or cap, which is fitted over the tooth. In addition to improving the appearance of your tooth by changing its size and shape, the dental crown makes it stronger and protects it against more damage or decay. A dental crown is attached to your tooth using dental cement to make it strong.
What Are Tooth Crowns For?
Dental crowns can be used in a multitude of different circumstances, to reinforce, strengthen and improve the appearance of your tooth. Some of the reasons you might need a dental crown include
To protect a weakened tooth
If part of your tooth has been lost to decay, the rest of the tooth structure has probably weakened and needs to be held together.
To restore a broken or worn tooth
A broken tooth is at risk of further damage or breaking without reinforcement. If it is broken or worn down, a crown can restore it to its original size and shape.
To cover a tooth restored by a filling
If your tooth has already been restored by a filling and is at risk of breaking or more damage, your dentist may want to cover it up and protect it.
For a dental bridge
A tooth crown can be used to hold a dental bridge in position.
Changing the appearance of your tooth
Dental crowns can be used to cover up misshapen or discoloured teeth.
To complete dental implant treatment
A tooth crown is the final stage of dental implant treatment and is used to fill the gap left behind by a missing tooth. You may wear a temporary crown for a short period, while your dentist makes the permanent crown. Your dentist will make the temporary crown in the practice, as opposed to sending it away to a dental laboratory to be manufactured.
For teeth that have had root canal treatment
After your dentist has drilled into a dead or dying tooth and cleaned out decayed material, the tooth needs to be covered up by a crown to protect it. Teeth that have had root canal treatments are weakened by the process and need to be reinforced.
What Are Tooth Crowns For In Children’s Dentistry?
Dental crowns can also be used in children’s dentistry:
- To save teeth that are decayed but can’t be supported by dental fillings
- To protect teeth that are at risk of decay, particularly when a child can’t perform the necessary dental care to look after them
- When general anaesthesia is not appropriate because of a child’s medical history or age.
How To Care For A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns do not need special care or maintenance but you must still practice excellent dental hygiene by brushing and flossing twice a day. Even though a dental crown can’t decay, the tooth underneath it can, and you still need to protect yourself against gum disease. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help you to keep the bacteria in your mouth under control. It is especially important to ensure the area between the dental crown and your natural tooth is kept clean, as this is where decay can occur.
It is possible for dental crowns to chip so you should avoid biting into very hard or very crunchy foods. Do not use your teeth as tools, to open bottles, as this can also cause damage to dental crowns.
If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, a mouthguard is a good protective barrier to get into the habit of wearing as it will protect your crown (and natural teeth) against unnecessary wear and tear.
Dental crowns are an excellent choice to restore your natural teeth. To find out more about ‘what are tooth crowns for’, and whether one could suit your dental needs please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8203 8760.
Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Dental Crown