Each of your teeth depends on the others to help you eat and speak. So, when one or more is damaged, the health of the others may be threatened. It may become hard for you to chew, or the appearance of your smile may change. If you are having problems with one or more of your teeth, a crown can help restore your mouth to its normal function.
A crown (often called a cap) is an artificial cover that is placed on an individual tooth (somewhat like a thimble over your finger) to restore a decayed or damaged tooth to its normal shape and size.
This procedure is often necessary when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. It is also useful for protecting teeth that are cracked or broken. A crown can also be used to change the shape of a tooth, to correct a bite or cosmetic problem, or to replace existing broken or poor-fitting crowns. A crown may be made of gold, other metals, or porcelain which makes them durable and strong, so replacements are needed less often.
Crowning requires the entire tooth surface to be reduced and replaced with an artificial material. But, because of its strength and resistance to chewing stress, a crown is functionally superior to other aesthetic procedures.
There are several types of aesthetic crowns. The type of crown you and your dentist choose will depend on a number of factors, including the location of the tooth or teeth being crowned, the type and severity of the discolouration, and the overall health of the surrounding gums.
Fitting a crown is a two-step procedure. During your first visit, your dentist prepares and reshapes your tooth by removing enamel and dentin to allow room for the crown. You will be given anesthesia beforehand. Then an impression of the prepared tooth and of the surrounding and opposing teeth is made. Before you leave the office, your dentist makes and applies a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth between visits.
Expect to wait one week between visits while your crown is being fabricated. Meanwhile, take care of your temporary crown by avoiding hard or sticky foods. In the event the crown comes loose, call your dentist so the prepared tooth won’t be damaged.
At you second visit, your dentist removes the temporary crown and fits the permanent crown onto your tooth making sure it restores your tooth to its proper shape, look and comfort level. If necessary, your dentist may have to adjust the crown by modifying the shape. Once the fit is the way you want, cements are applied and the crown is positioned securely onto your tooth. If the crown needs further changes, additional visits may be necessary.
Crowns are designed to look and feel like real teeth. As with your original smile, care must be taken to avoid tooth fractures, and with good oral hygiene, your crown will last longer. It is recommended that you:
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