A dental crown, or cap, is a restoration placed partially on or completely over a tooth that is damaged or significantly decayed. Crowns are made from various materials with the material used depending on several factors. These include the location of the affected tooth, as well as the durability, strength, and cost of materials. Placing dental crowns is a routine procedure at Weissman Dental, which we perform painlessly and with great success.
Who Needs a Crown?
A crown procedure is commonly done to restore functionality and/or improve the appearance of a tooth that is cracked, broken, or severely decayed. Essentially, a crown is necessary if decay or damage has destroyed too much the tooth structure for a filling to be successful. And if the tooth is damaged deeply into the pulp, a root canal procedure may be necessary prior to placing a crown. You may also need a crown as part of a dental bridge or tooth implant restoration. Any tooth can receive a crown, from a front tooth that is very visible when you smile to a molar that only shows when you open your mouth widely. For highly visible teeth, a natural appearance is often of great importance to the patient. Prior to the procedure, we will discuss the various material options with you to determine what best meets your specific needs.
Types of Dental Crowns
The different types of materials used for crowns include composite resin, porcelain, metal, ceramic, zirconia, or a combination of materials. For instance, you could get a crown made of porcelain fused to metal. When we consult with you to determine which material is best, we will consider several factors. One of the primary considerations is the location of the tooth and how much of it will show when you smile, speak, or open your mouth widely. We will also take into account the main function of the tooth, how much of the tooth is remaining, the color of adjacent teeth, and the position of your gum tissue. In the case that more than one material will work for you, we will discuss your personal preference.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
The lifespan of your crown can vary considerably from 5 to 15 years. However, a crown can last longer than 15 years with good oral hygiene. Some crown materials are sturdier than others, with monolithic (made of a solid piece of material) zirconia crowns being the least likely to crack or split when exposed to high bite forces. In addition, gold crowns and porcelain fused with metal crowns tend to last longer than other types. While all porcelain or all ceramic crowns look the most natural, they typically aren’t as strong as all metal or porcelain fused with metal types. The location of your crown and the foods you eat can also have an effect on its longevity. Avoid biting down on hard candy, ice, or other hard foods, and try to avoid clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, we will likely recommend a custom-made mouthguard to protect your crown as well as your other teeth.
It’s important to remember that a crown is a dental restoration meant to save and protect a tooth. If damage due to decay or trauma is too severe, you could lose the tooth. That means that prompt treatment with Weissman Dental is essential. Give us a call at (503) 274-2222 to schedule an appointment and prevent further issues.