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Your Dental Crown Questions

Dental Crown Protection

Your Dental Crown Questions

29 June 2023

When it comes to maintaining good oral health, sometimes our teeth need a little extra support. Dental crowns are a popular and effective solution for various dental issues, providing strength, protection, and aesthetic appeal. These tooth-shaped caps, placed over damaged or decayed teeth, can restore both the appearance and functionality of your smile. In this blog, we’ll explore the different types of dental crowns, the procedure involved, and how to care for them to ensure long-lasting results.

Common Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crown materials have come a long way, and now there are several options available to suit individual needs. The choice of material depends on factors such as the tooth’s location, the amount of tooth structure remaining, and the desired aesthetics. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most commonly used dental crown materials:

  • Ceramic Crowns: These crowns are made from tooth-coloured materials, such as porcelain or pressed ceramic, which blend seamlessly with natural teeth. Ceramic crowns are an excellent choice for restoring front teeth, as they provide an attractive and natural-looking result.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crowns: PFM crowns consist of a metal base covered with a layer of tooth-coloured porcelain. This type of crown offers the strength and durability of metal combined with the aesthetic benefits of a natural-looking tooth-coloured exterior. PFM crowns are often used for both front and back teeth.
  • Zirconia Crowns: Zirconia crowns are known for their exceptional strength and durability. They are made from a crystal material that can withstand biting and chewing forces, making them an excellent choice for back teeth. Zirconia crowns also provide excellent aesthetics, as they closely resemble natural teeth.
  • Gold Crowns: Gold crowns have been used in dentistry for decades and are known for their longevity and durability. While they may not be as popular for front teeth due to their appearance, gold crowns are an excellent choice for molars, as they can withstand biting and chewing forces exceptionally well.

What’s a Post Crown?

In some cases, a tooth may have extensive decay or damage that affects its core structure. In such situations, a post crown may be recommended. A post crown is a dental crown that is placed over a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment. After the root canal, a metal or fibre post is inserted into the tooth’s root to provide stability. The crown is then placed over the post, restoring the tooth’s strength and function.

Does Getting a Crown Hurt?

One of the common concerns people have when considering dental crown placement is the potential pain or discomfort involved. The good news is that the dental crown procedure is typically painless, as it is performed under local anaesthesia to numb the area being treated. However, it is normal to experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the anaesthesia wears off. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any temporary discomfort.

How Do You Care for a Temporary Crown?

After the initial preparation of your tooth for a permanent crown, your dentist may place a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth until the permanent crown is ready. Temporary crowns are usually made from acrylic or stainless steel and are not as strong as permanent crowns. To ensure the longevity of your temporary crown, it is important to follow these care instructions:

  • Avoid sticky or hard foods that could dislodge or damage the temporary crown.
  • Be cautious while chewing or biting down on the temporary crown to prevent it from coming loose.
  • Brush and floss gently around the temporary crown to maintain good oral hygiene.
  • If the temporary crown becomes loose or falls off, contact your dentist immediately for further instructions.

How Do You Care for a Permanent Dental Crown?

Once your permanent dental crown is in place, proper care is essential to maintain its longevity and ensure your oral health. Here are some important steps to follow when caring for your permanent dental crown:

  • Practise Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay special attention to the area where the crown meets the gum line to remove any plaque or debris. Additionally, floss daily to clean between the teeth and around the crown. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • Avoid Chewing Hard Objects: Although dental crowns are designed to be durable, they can still be susceptible to damage from excessive biting or chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, or hard sweets. Avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bite into hard foods. Be mindful of your crown and treat it gently to prevent fractures or dislodgement.
  • Protect Against Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): If you grind or clench your teeth, known as bruxism, it can place excessive pressure on your dental crown and lead to damage. Speak to your dentist about the possibility of wearing a nightguard while you sleep to protect your teeth and crown from grinding forces. This will help prolong the life of your crown and prevent potential complications.
  • Attend Regular Dental Check-ups: Maintain regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months, or as recommended by your dentist. During these visits, your dentist will examine your dental crown, assess its condition, and ensure that it remains secure. Professional cleanings will also help remove any plaque or tartar build-up around the crown, reducing the risk of gum disease or decay.

Potential Dental Crown Problems

While dental crowns are designed to be long-lasting and durable, complications can occasionally occur. Here are some potential issues you may encounter with dental crowns:

  • Sensitivity: It is common to experience some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures immediately after getting a dental crown. However, if the sensitivity persists or worsens over time, it may indicate an underlying problem, such as an ill-fitting crown or decay beneath the crown. In such cases, it is important to schedule a visit to your dentist for evaluation and necessary adjustments.
  • Crown Dislodgment: Although rare, a dental crown can become loose or dislodged. This can happen due to excessive biting or chewing forces, trauma, or decay underneath the crown. If your crown feels loose or comes off completely, contact your dentist immediately. They will advise you on the next steps, which may involve re-cementing the crown or replacing it if necessary.
  • Decay or Gum Disease: While dental crowns themselves are not susceptible to decay, the underlying tooth structure and the area where the crown meets the gum line can still be prone to bacterial accumulation and decay. It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices and attend regular dental check-ups to detect and treat any signs of decay or gum disease early on.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

The lifespan of a dental crown can vary depending on several factors, including the type of material used, oral hygiene practices, biting and chewing forces, and regular dental care. On average, dental crowns can last between 10 and 15 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can potentially last even longer.

It’s important to remember that dental crowns are not invincible and may eventually require replacement or repair. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to monitor the condition of your crown and address any issues before they worsen.

In conclusion, dental crowns are a valuable dental solution that not only restore the appearance of damaged teeth but also provide strength, protection, and functionality. With advancements in dental materials, various types of crowns are available to suit individual needs and preferences. By following good oral hygiene practices, caring for temporary and permanent crowns, and attending regular dental check-ups, you can ensure the longevity and success of your dental crown, allowing you to enjoy a healthy and confident smile for years to come.

If you feel as though you require any kind of dental crown, get in touch with our team and we will schedule a consultation.

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COVID-19 update

Many of you will be aware that during the latest Covid 19 update dental practices have been given the green light to re-open the surgery from 8th June. Whilst this is good news, there are a number of procedures that we have being putting in place to make treatment safe for our patients and staff, as we are sure you will appreciate, this is taking some time to set up.

Our intention is, if at all possible to commence opening on the 8th June but this is entirely dependent on our ability to obtain training and appropriate PPE which as you know there is a great shortage of. This equipment will be essential for us to be able to operate.

From 8th- 29th of June we will be prioritising the most urgent of cases including those who have been experiencing problems during this lockdown period. We will contact you directly to arrange an appointment. This period may be extended if required.

Rest assured we are trying our utmost to source this PPE as soon as possible to enable us to extend our treatment further to include fillings, crown/bridge work, root treatments and surgical extractions, scale & polish ect.

We anticipate that it will be several weeks before we will be able to commence these more advanced procedures.

This is a rapidly changing environment which we are adapting to as quickly as we possibly can. We really appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this difficult period and look forward to welcoming you back to the practice soon.

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