Dental Crowns

Normal oral hygiene cannot always protect your teeth from cracking or any other damages. Sometimes you will need to see a dentist to restore a tooth that you cannot keep healthy any more. In these cases a dentist in San Diego, CA will recommend a crown. A crown is a “cap” that is shaped like your tooth. It will be placed over your tooth to make it stronger or to restore the shape of the tooth. It will also improve the shape, size and appearance of your tooth. A crown is used to protect a tooth that is weak or that has break. It will also keep a cracked tooth together. It will also be used to keep the filling in a tooth together when there is not much of the tooth left. It can help to cover a discolored tooth or a misshape tooth or a dental implant.

What type of crowns do you get?

There are a few different crowns that you can look at but the three most used crowns are:

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are strong when biting and chewing with force and does not wear down very fast and they do not chip or break very easy. The only downside of a metal crown is the metallic color and it is best to use a metal crown where it is out of sight. Metal crown are made from gold alloy, nickel, palladium or chromium. Metal crowns are best compared to other crowns because the tooth structure that needs to be removed is much less than with other crowns.

Stainless steel crowns

A stainless steel crown is used as a temporary crown to protect a bad tooth or to protect a tooth filling while waiting for a permanent crown to be made of another material. Stainless steel crown are used primarily for children with bad decayed teeth that need to come out. When the tooth comes out the stainless steel crown comes out with it naturally to make place for the permanent tooth that comes out. This is very cost effective for parents because there are no multiple visits to the dentist’s office.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns

Porcelain fused to metal crowns can be color matched to your original teeth. This type of crown will be good for front and back teeth as the underlying metal can show through the porcelain and will show as a dark line on the gums. Porcelain fused to metal crowns can chip or break and it wears down faster than other crowns. These crowns will look more like your natural teeth than other crowns do.

Preparing a tooth for a crown

There are normally two steps in preparing a tooth for a crown. With the first step your dentist in San Diego, CA will take X-rays of the tooth to see if there are any infections or damage to the tooth pulp. If there are a root canal will have to be done first. Before the steps to make the crown start your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth first. Then the surface on the side of the tooth and the chewing surface are filed to make space for the crown. If there are a bit of the tooth missing the dentist will use a filler to build it up. After the tooth is reshaped the dentist will make an impression of the tooth with putty or a paste. To make sure that the crown does not affect your bite an impression of your teeth above and below will also be made. The impression will then be send to a dental lab to be manufactured. It will take about two or three weeks for the crown to arrive. In the mean time a temporary crown is made from porcelain to protect the tooth and it is held in place with temporary cement. With the second visit the original crown will be checked against the color of your other teeth and if the fit is the same. If everything is as it should be the dentist will then use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth and the permanent crown is then cemented into place.

Caring for your crowned tooth

A crown does not need special care but you still need to keep a good oral hygiene in your mouth. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily especially around the crown where the gum and teeth meets. You can still get gum disease and decay if you are not looking after your teeth. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse your teeth at least once a day to get rid of bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth.