Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To make a cosmetic modification
What Steps Are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Crown?
Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist — the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain or zircon.
- Metals, if compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies.
- Zirconia is the strongest type of crown and can last the longest. This type is actually the best type, but costs more money.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging).
Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?
While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily — especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth — and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day.