Crowns & Bridges
There are several ways a tooth can be repaired after sustaining damage from decay or trauma. One of the most common and reliable ways dentists can restore both function and form to a defective tooth is by applying a dental crown. Crowns are a versatile restoration: they finish off root canals and fill in empty spaces with a bridge. In many instances, crowns allow the root structure of natural teeth to remain fixed in place while compensating for the loss of the upper portion of the tooth.
In size and shape, crowns look like the top portion of a natural tooth. They can be made from a variety of durable materials, including gold, porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Metal crowns are typically used for molars, or back teeth, while porcelain is more commonly used for teeth that show while smiling or talking. All crowns have a hollowed-out section inside, which allows them to fit snugly over the top of a natural tooth. The only exception are crowns that are used in the middle section of a bridge; these restorations are solid because they are taking the place of a missing natural tooth.
Dentists prepare natural teeth for crowns by first taking measurements of the space where the crown will be placed. The next part of the process involves removing any decay and preparing the tooth for the dental crown. This shape will correspond with the crown, which can be designed in a laboratory or prepared in-office while you wait. A bonding cement is applied to the prepared tooth and the crown is attached in place, with any necessary adjustments made to ensure a perfect fit.
With proper care and regular checkups, crowns can last as long as 20 years, allowing the wearer to smile and eat normally without risking the health of the remaining teeth.
Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework
Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.
Interested in Dental Crowns from Smile Sculptors of Wake Forest?
Call us at (919) 244-6120 for more information!