Dental crowns are common dental restoration devices, but many patients don’t know much about them. People get crowns for a variety of reasons, from cosmetic purposes to tooth protection. The answers to these commonly asked questions can help you decide if this treatment is right for you.
A Brief Guide to Dental Crowns
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a hollowed, tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth or implant. It encases the tooth or implant completely and is typically bonded with dental cement.
There are many materials to choose from, including porcelain, gold alloy, ceramic, and resin.
Why might I need one?
Whether the purpose is preventative or cosmetic, crowns can correct a wide range of problems, including:
- Restoring a broken or worn-down tooth
- Capping a tooth after a root canal
- Preventing a cracked tooth from worsening
- Attaching bridges
- Covering dental implants
- Supporting a large or loose filling
- Covering a discolored or misshapen tooth
Do they hurt?
In general, installing a dental crown isn’t painful. Dentists use anesthesia to numb the area during the placement, so at most, you may feel a slight ache when it wears off.
If nerves are still present in the tooth underneath the crown, you might experience some sensitivity toward hot and cold sensations. This can be combated with specialty toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.
How long do they last?
The expected life span of a dental crown is anywhere from 5 to 15 years. How long your crown lasts will depend on many factors, including oral hygiene, habits like teeth grinding or nail-biting, amount of daily wear, and the food you eat.
Different cap materials have varying levels of durability that can also affect longevity. For example, gold crowns tend to be the strongest.
Do they require special care?
You should treat your crown like any other tooth. Keep up a healthy oral hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, and continue seeing the dentist every six months for checkups.
If you need to restore your tooth’s shape or appearance, contact Kaimuki Dental Group for a quality dental crown placement. Serving residents throughout Honolulu, this practice specializes in preventative and restorative dentistry that aims to preserve your natural smile. Call (808) 737-7905 to schedule an appointment. To learn more about their services, visit them online.