Dentists use crowns to treat teeth that no other type of dental restoration can fully restore. The reasoning behind this is simple: a dentist always chooses the most conservative treatment option that can deliver a good long-term outcome. Crowns are not the type of restoration that you can label as conservative.Getting crowns or dental caps…
How General Dentists Use Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are often used by general dentists to resolve a variety of dental issues like tooth decay and damage to teeth structures. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the visible part of a tooth, fully encasing it.
Crowns serve restorative and cosmetic purposes. They improve the way teeth look, protect teeth from further damage and restore the function of lost teeth.
What to expect when getting dental crowns
A general dentist might recommend getting a crown to patients who are dealing with issues like:
- Broken teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Deformed teeth
- Decayed teeth
The first step towards getting a crown is evaluating the patient to determine if it is the right solution for their problems. Visual examinations and tools like x-rays are often used to make this determination. Once the patient has been cleared, the dentist will start preparing their tooth for a crown.
Preparing a tooth for a crown involves removing enamel from all of its sides. This is an irreversible procedure that requires the tooth to always have some restoration serving in the place of its lost enamel. Preparing the tooth this way makes for a better fit with the crown.
Once the patient’s tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an impression of it. This is typically done by having the patient bite down on a mold that leaves an impression of the tooth. It can also be done by using digital images to create a 3D model of the patient’s tooth. The impression/model is then sent to a dental lab where restorations like crowns are made. The process takes about two weeks for the customized crowns to get back to the dentist.
Meanwhile, the patient is fitted with a temporary crown to protect their tooth while they wait for their customized crown. The temporary crown is cemented into place using temporary cement so the dentist can easily take it off once the customized crown is ready.
The patient goes back for a second appointment to have their temporary crown removed and to be fitted with their customized crown. The dentist cleans the tooth and roughens it after removing the temporary crown so that dental cement sticks better to it. The customized crown is attached using dental cement, and adjustments are made until the dentist is satisfied with the way the patient’s tooth looks.
Living with a dental crown
Dental crowns do not require any special care. Patients get to go back to how life was before their tooth was fitted with a crown. Dentists recommend not eating chewy or sticky foods for the first few days after getting a crown since they can end up dislodging the crown before the dental cement sets. Afterward, patients can enjoy all their favorite dishes, but they should avoid hard foods that can damage the restoration.
Fix your teeth with dental crowns
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