Dental crowns cover teeth that are badly damaged or decayed. Teeth need crowns when they have suffered extensive damage that can’t be fixed with fillings. They also hold dental bridges in place. Patients should take care of both temporary and permanent dental crowns. They protect fragile teeth from any additional damage.
What Do Dental Crowns Do?
Dental crowns are caps for teeth that help repair moderate to severe damage. They can:
- Protect weak or cracked teeth from further damage
- Support teeth with excessive fillings
- Restore broken or worn teeth
- Revive dental implants
- Keep dental bridges secured
- Cover severe tooth discoloration
- Improve the look of your smile
What Are They Made Of?
Dental crowns can be made with:
- Metal Alloy
- Porcelain and Metal
A metal alloy will last the longest, but it looks the least natural. It is affordable, strong, long-lasting, and your mouth will generally accept it without issue. Metal crowns are resistant to damage and are unaffected by plaque.
Porcelain crowns have the most natural look. They are customizable and will be created to match your surrounding teeth. Porcelain is susceptible to teeth grinding and normal wear.
Porcelain and Metal
The fusion of a porcelain shell with a metal crown provides the strength of metal with the natural look of porcelain. The porcelain shell is still susceptible to the same damage that a porcelain crown is.
Crowns made with resin are the most affordable. They have a color similar to natural teeth but are the least resistant to damage and decay.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
With proper care, a dental crown can last for up to 20 years. The life of your crown also depends on what kind of material your dentist uses. Metal crowns are strongest, followed by porcelain, then resin.
How Do I Care For My Dental Crown?
Follow a straightforward dental hygiene regimen:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Monitor what foods you eat
- See your dentist at least twice every year
Brushing twice daily prevents the existing tooth underneath your crown from falling prey to decay. A clean mouth allows your crown to bond more firmly to your tooth and prevents it from weakening.
Flossing prevents buildup from compromising the structure of your teeth. Be careful when flossing upward. The pressure from flossing with too much force can push your crown out of its bonding.
Avoid eating chewy, sticky, or hard to chew foods. Foods like caramel and taffy can pull your crown from its bonding and away from the tooth. Hard-to-chew foods can damage porcelain if the shell or crown sustains too much pressure.
See your dentist to get regular teeth cleanings for your crowns. Your dentist will also monitor any teeth clenching and grinding habits you have. Grinding and clenching accelerate wear on your teeth, which ages your dental work.
If you have moderate to severe tooth damage, talk to a dentist with experience in Austin at Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry. We’ll consult with you about the extent of your tooth damage and how crowns can help repair your smile. Don’t wait – call today at (512) 982-0317.