Crowns are the ultimate in restorative and aesthetic dental care that not only restore the shape, size and strength of your teeth, but also look natural and aesthetically pleasing.
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INTRO - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Crowns are in short- a porcelain cap that is bonded to an existing tooth or metal implant (which also uses a type of crown) to cover the metal alloy used. They have all been called different names over the years including: Tooth Caps, Dental Caps, and even Porcelain Jackets. These special caps are securely fitted to the existing tooth that are permanent and can function the same as any tooth inside a persons mouth. They are usually created so the crown is seen at/or slightly above the gum-line of the patient for a healthy and natural tooth appearance. These crowns can have the same color and look of real teeth that last for years.
DURATION - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Time to create a proper crown varies from patient to patient and how many crowns are required will depend on the work that is needed in the time to make all the necessary dental impressions for a final crown. A temporary crown would perhaps be a shorter period to attach if one is used before the final version is placed, though once all the steps are taken to make the final crowns- it can take up to an hour or less to cement the final crown into place. Prior consultation about what should be considered with your dentist will determine how much prep time is needed and how long the entire procedure will take.
FAQ - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
- How long do Dental Crowns last?
Just like normal teeth it depends on the amount of usage and care for the teeth and proper oral hygiene that helps to maintain the Crown itself. Just as teeth are subject to break if to much force is used to chew something hard it isn't impossible that the new crown could break or be damaged if there is anything that makes an imapct with the crown. It is not unreasonable to say the normal life of a crown can be decades or longer. Typical dental estimates place a crown life-span at about 15 years but have been known to last longer without any problems.
- What type of Crowns are available?
There are several different kinds that are produced. Everything from Zirconia to Porcelain. There are also metal versions such as: gold, chromium, and nickel and some include these alloys having a porcelain crown bonded over the metal. Ceramic crowns and resin crowns are also among the choices as well. Depending on the patient's choice of crown, many options can be made available depending on the placement of where they are going to be more effective and useful.
- Does a Crowned tooth require special care?
While every tooth should have the basic oral hygiene that inlcudes brushing and flossing, the same would apply for having a crown. Even though the original tooth is covered, there is still the threat of tooth decay or gum disease if one does not following these steps correctly. And while the work that is done for the tooth or teeth, the lifespan of the crown will be affected greatly from further problems including diet, chewing hard or chewy food materials too often or even chewing ice may cause damage to the crown.
- What kind of problems can develope from having Crowns?
All new crowns cemented into place will be sensitive once the anesthetic has worn off. Patients may have sensitivity to hot of cold for the first few hours. If there is any pain when biting down on foods it may be an indication the crown is fitted too high on the tooth and is poking the gums. In some cases the cement used to bond the crown to the tooth may wear away and the exposed tooth under is subject to tooth decay. This can be easily fixed before any problems start if noticed early enough.
- What materials are the Crown made from?
As earlier mentioned, all crowns can be produced from various dental materials ranging from Zirconium oxide, Porcelain, Dental Resins, Ceramic, and metal alloys such as gold, chromium and nickel are often used as stronger bases for back teeth (used for chewing) with a porcelain cap that is built over those forms. There are even dental implant anchors that also employ the use of a crown that is built over the anchor form.
- What is a Post Crown?
When a tooth is so badly damaged and cannot support a crown by itself at the top of a remaining tooth, it may need what is called a Post. This post is inserted into the remaining tooth (usually after the tooth has undergone a root canal) and cemented into place, Then this can help support the crown that is placed over the rest of the tooth to act as a stable form for the crown itself to be attached.
- Is there tooth sensitivity after having Crowns done?
After every procedure there can be sensitivity after the anesthetic has worn off. Some patients experience hot and cold sensitivity with crowns due to improper placement of the crown itself with a small amount of tooth that is exposed just above the gum-line, though this is not common if the process is done properly. If problems with sensitivity or pain persist there may be an earler problem that was not dicovered until the crowning was done.
- How noticable will the Crown be?
Since the earlier mention about materials used in making the crown, obvious metal alloys will be noticed easily unless they are fused with a porcelain cap. Porcelain fused metal crowns last longer and have a very realistic appearance. If the choice of materials is done and the colors are carefully matched to the neighboring teeth, the crown will not be noticable at all and blend-in with the teeth surrounding the crown itself.
- Will the Crown feel different than a real tooth?
No, the material used to create the final crown should have the same feelas any normal tooth in your mouth. Even the color can be matched to have the exact shade of the teeth it wil neighbor next to. In the case of temporary crowns there may be a slight difference with materials used which would be different but not irritating. All crowns coated with a porcelain finish have the same feel as real teeth.
- Does it hurt when the teeth are being reshaped?
For anyone who has ever had a cavity filled knows that anesthetic is used to numb the teeth and gums. The process of reshaping is similar, but does not hurt since a specific dose of anesthetic will be used to keep any pain from being felt. It's depends on the threshold of pain or sensitivity that the patient feels. The dentist will always consult about this area before any reshaping of the tooth that is treated.
- Does it take more than 2 visits to have the Crown done?
This is an area that requires a consutlation with the dentist who will be handling the dental work to create the crowns. Depending on what is being crowned and how much work is involved, there is surely an amount of dental lab work that will follow when procedures need time to be completed. In most cases, more than 2 visits is not needed if a simple crown is being done. Extensive work can take more time as expected though the work preformed in the dental office should not exceed more than 2 visits to complete the actual work.
- How long before I can eat hard foods after Crowns being placed?
It's better to allow the cement that is used to attach the crown a full 24 hours to cure properly. Until that time chewing crunchy foods or sticky-chewy foods are not a good idea in the first day. If a crown was placed on just one side of the mouth then the option may be easier to chew with the opposite side. Soft foods are the best bet until the cement has reached its' peak strength.
- Is there a need for a Bridge with having Crowns?
In the case of having more than one tooth that is missing or there are gaps in between teeth that are being treated, a bridge can be created that spans 2 or more teeth. This would be completing an open section that is lacking or missing teeth in that area and would improve the ability to chew, smile easier and gain confidence for missing or damaged teeth. Crowns usually employ a bridge when a large mising gap can be filled.
- Is there a chance the Crown can break?
It can be possible if the patient is chewing objects that can damage the materials used to make the crown. The metal alloys and porcelain coatings are very tough but not impossible to crack or damage. Good care of the crown will keep the dental work performed in great shape and less likely to crack from excessive chewing or teeth grinding habits. The crown normally does not crack under normal conditons.
- Will the New Crowns affect my speech?
Those who have missing teeth will know that their speech is affected due to not being able to form vowls and consonant easily. With new crowns (even on front teeth) there should be an immediate improvement to speak better. The crowns do not affect speech since they are the same size as the rest of the other teeth normally found in the mouth. If anything, better speaking will be a benefit to having a complete set of teeth to speak with!
PROCEDURE - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
In order for a crown to be created for a tooth that is either damaged, have had prior cavities filled from tooth decay, or is simply not healthy looking due to various reasons will need to be prepped by the dentist in usually 1 to 2 vitists. The gums and teeth that are prepped first with some anesthetic to numb the area to reduce the tooth surface so it will make space to fit the new crown, once this is done an impression of the teeth are made to make a permanent crown- though a temp crown will be added until the final crown can be placed on the second visit. Once this is finished the final placing of the procelain crown takes no more than half an hour or more to cement into place.
GOOD CANDIDATE - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Those who suffer from badly decayed teeth, missing teeth, or damage where there simply ins't enough tooth structure to place a veneer or even hold a filling. Cracked teeth are subject to tooth decay or nagging pain which often results in not enjoying certain foods due to the problem of chewing and using your teeth. To a large extent, a crown can improve the overall appearance of damaged teeth especially when it comes to smiling and can improve the confidence for those who are concerned about the visual unpleasing look of their unhealthy looking teeth. It also can help improve dental hygiene for the tooth itself but still needs to be cared for just like your normal teeth would need.