Dental crowns, often called dental caps, come in several varieties designed to address the specific purposes they serve and the locations they are placed in the mouth. Each of the different materials used for dental crowns has its advantages and disadvantages. Metal crowns (gold alloy, nickel alloy, or chromium alloy) are the strongest type of crown, making them an excellent choice for restoring molars (back teeth). In addition, metal crowns have the best fit of any type of crown and they last the longest lasting crowns. On the downside, their metallic color makes them less desirable for the restoration of front or other other highly visible teeth. The use of a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, a metal crown covered with tooth colored porcelain, can lessen the cosmetic problems of a metal crown while retaining most of the strength and durability advantages. Your dentist can offer you guidance with choosing the type of crown that is best for your needs.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
There are a number of common dental problems for which dental crowns offer a solution. A tooth that is weakened by decay or breakage can be saved by the placement of a dental crown. A dental crown can also be used to hold together a cracked tooth. The problems associated with worn down teeth, including bite problems and jaw pain, can be corrected with dental crowns. A tooth that has been weakened by a large filling or a root canal procedure can be saved with a dental crown. One or more crowns are also needed to hold a partial or dental bridge in place. Crowns can also resolve cosmetic dental issues such as misshapen teeth, stained teeth, or discolored teeth. As always, consult your dentist to see if a dental crown is right for you.
Is Special Care Required for a Crowned Tooth?
A crowned tooth requires the same care as any other tooth. Remember, your crown is just a cover on your natural tooth and you need to practice good oral hygiene to protect the natural tooth from decay and gum disease. Treat the crowned tooth as you would your natural teeth by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily including the area around crowned tooth. A temporary crown on the other hand, does require some special care. To protect your temporary crown, avoid eating sticky foods like gum and caramel that could pull the temporary crown off and hard foods like raw vegetables and nuts that could break the temporary crown. When possible avoid chewing with the temporary crown. Flossing can dislodge a temporary crown so be careful not to lift floss against the side of a temporary crown. If you experience any problem with a permanent or temporary crown see your dentist immediately.
By: Dr. Trinh Pham