One of the greatest things about modern dentistry is the range of options it offers for restoring damaged teeth. On one end of the spectrum is a simple filling, which is typically used to treat cavities in the early stages of formation. On the other end of the spectrum are dental implants, which are used to restore teeth that are missing altogether. You can think of a dental crown in State College as an in-between approach. It’s a good option for a tooth that has suffered some damage but is basically sound.
What Is a Dental Crown?
Each of your natural teeth includes a root, or the part beneath the gum line, and a crown, or the part above the gum line. When the crown suffers damage, either from tooth decay or physical trauma, then your dentist may choose to replace it with an artificial crown, sometimes referred to as a cap.
To do this, your dentist will gently file and shape the existing crown to receive the restoration. This is a safe, gentle process that uses anesthetic and sometimes sedatives for your comfort. Once this step is complete you will probably receive a temporary crown, which you will wear until your follow up appointment.
Your permanent crown will be fashioned by a dental lab, a process which may take a few days. Once it arrives, you’ll return to your dentist to have it placed. After that, you’ll be able to show off your restored smile to the world.
A dental crown is a form of restorative dentistry that protects the tooth from further damage. Without a crown, it’s likely that the distressed tooth will continue to suffer damage until it’s lost altogether. If that happens, it may set off a chain reaction that leads to further tooth loss and, ultimately, the need for dentures or implants.
What Are Dental Crowns Made of?
Most modern crowns are made from either ceramic or porcelain- fused-to-metal. In the past, gold or other metal alloys were often used due to their anticorrosive properties. These may still be used in some cases, especially for back molars.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
It’s impossible to give a hard and fast answer to this question, as everyone’s oral profile is different. However, a dental crown can last from 10 years to a lifetime when properly cared for. It’s important that you exercise basic dental hygiene such as regular brushing and flossing, eating a sensible diet, and avoiding tobacco, vaping devices, and illicit drugs altogether.
Like your natural teeth, a dental crown can be chipped or scratched. Your dentist will probably recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush and low-abrasive brand of toothpaste going forward. It’s important to avoid biting down on objects such as ice cubes, hard candy, or unshelled nuts.
Only your dentist in State College can prescribe a specific form of therapy for a damaged or distressed tooth. Talk to him or her about your treatment options during your next appointment. For many people, dental crowns can be the key to a restored smile and a happier life.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Devlin has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years. A former player for Penn State and the Cincinnati Bengals, he’s proud to be one of the Keystone State’s native sons. You can reach his office online or by calling (814) 238-3553.