What is Dental Crowns?
A dental crown, or a tooth crown, is a tooth-shaped sleeve, or cap, made of porcelain or metal, that is placed over the tooth. Crowns are utilized to restore the shape and size of a tooth. When implanted properly, the porcelain caps cover the crown of the tooth that is visible above the gum.
Why do we need a tooth crown? Tooth crowns are useful to:
- Protect decayed and weakened teeth from breaking
- Hold broken or cracked parts of a tooth together
- Cover up teeth that have large fillings
- Hold dental bridges in place
- Cover discolored teeth
- Cover teeth that are out of shape
- Cover dental implants
- Cover teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment
In children, crowns are helpful to aid any teeth that have been decayed to the point that they are unsalvageable by a filling. Moreover, It is also useful to protect teeth that are susceptible to tooth decay. Crowns are ideal for children who have difficulty maintaining oral hygiene. Permanent crowns are made from stainless steel, metals, alloys, porcelain-fused metals, resins, and all-ceramic or all-porcelain materials. Temporary crowns are usually made from acrylics or stainless steel, and are generally used until the permanent crown is made.
Dental crowns can cause several small problems. Some of the common issues with dental crowns include:
- Chipping – Porcelain crowns may chip and may need to be replaced once in a while.
- Discomfort – Newly placed crowns may be sensitive to hot and cold products.
- Loose crown – In some cases, the cement that binds the tooth cap to the crown may wash away and make the crown loose. Lose caps can lead to tooth decay.
- Allergy – Many individuals can develop an allergic reaction to the metal or porcelain used in the crown.
- Dislodging of crown – If the crown is not properly placed, it may fall off. The tooth the crown was supposed to cover should be taken care of until the crown is cemented back in its place or if a new crown needs to be made.
Dental crowns may last for about 5 to 15 years depending on the use, oral hygiene, how an individual chews, if an individual bites his or her nails, and if the individual clenches his or her teeth. Oral hygiene should be practiced regularly to maintain crowns. Brushing and flossing are important when maintaining a crown, because an individual is supposed to treat the crown like it is a regular tooth. It is possible for doctors to warn against biting hard surfaces if an individual has a crown.