Dental crowns have been around a long time, but they continue to play an important role in reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry. A dental crown, often called a cap, covers the visible part of the tooth.
Dental crowns are used for several problems common among Eagle River cosmetic dentistry patients.
Replacing an Old Crown
Sometimes, you might get a dental crown that doesn’t fit properly. It might prevent you from closing your mouth properly, or it might feel wrong when you bite and chew. Left in place, these crowns can damage your teeth or contribute to bite problems like temporomandibular joint disorders.
Other times, the crown might have seemed good at first, but now has failed. Well-fitted and properly treated dental crowns can last decades, but some crowns, especially porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, may fail prematurely.
Supporting a Broken Tooth
If your tooth has developed structural fatigue, it needs support and protection. A dental crown fits over the entire top of the tooth and gives it additional strength. A dental crown can take a troublesome cracked tooth and make it fully functional, comfortable, and beautiful again.
Protecting a Decayed Tooth
We normally treat tooth decay, cavities, with tooth-colored fillings. However, when decay has progressed to a certain level, the tooth is too weakened and unstable. It needs more support. A dental crown can provide that support. At the same time, it beautifies a tooth that has been made unattractive by decay.
Covering a Tooth Treated with Root Canal Therapy
In root canal therapy, we remove the interior of an infected tooth. This not only stops the current infection, but hopefully prevents future infection. However, even after filling the tooth with inert material, it is significantly weakened. A dental crown can cover and support it, making sure it doesn’t break and blocking out future infection.
Beautifying a Small or Misshapen Tooth
We usually use dental crowns for restorative dentistry, but they work for beautifying Eagle River smiles, too. We often rely on dental veneers for cosmetic tooth reshaping, but if the amount of reshaping needed would put too much stress on a veneer, a dental crown can be used. Dental crowns not only reshape the tooth, they can brighten it, too, a highly effective way to whiten a single tooth that is badly discolored.
Restoring a Proper Bite
Over time, your teeth can get worn down from biting and chewing, bad habits, or clenching and grinding. If that’s the case, we might need to restore your bite to a more comfortable, healthy position. We do this with dental crowns, which build up your teeth so they hold your jaw in the proper position.
Make Your Dental Crowns Last
Eagle River cosmetic dentistry patients who get a dental crown should not assume that the tooth is now invincible. Crowns need daily cleaning and flossing just like natural teeth. The remaining tooth structure just around the gumline could still become decayed and the soft tissue around the crown is susceptible to gum disease. Chewing hard foods or using your teeth as a tool can cause a crown to crack or break. (Use scissors to open a stubborn plastic package – don’t bite and pull!) Your Anchorage cosmetic dentist can advise you on caring for your new crown so that it will last as long as possible. Some of our Palmer patients have crowns that are still looking beautiful after ten years.