Dental Crowns in Calgary
If you are looking to improve your smile and fix some broken or damaged teeth, dental crowns may be your solution. Crown restorations are one of the most common dental procedures performed in the dental office and they allow you to restore damaged teeth with a long term solution.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a prosthetic tooth cap designed to restore a damaged tooth to its original size and shape.
The crown is cemented onto the damaged tooth, covering the visible outer section of the tooth, restoring the natural look and feel. While dental crowns are not recommended for everyone, they are a frequently used solution designed to protect the tooth from further damage while restoring your natural smile.
When Are Crowns Used?
Dental crowns are used for a variety of different issues. They provide protection to weak teeth, restore the natural shape of broken teeth, help prevent cracked teeth from further breakage, and support teeth with large fillings. When a tooth is lost, a crown is used as an attachment to a dental implant. This allows a natural shape tooth to fill in the gap where a patient experienced tooth loss. In cases where a patient needs a bridge, various crowns are often used to stabilize and hold the bridge in place.
Crowns are also used as a cover for a tooth that undergoes a root canal. In a purely cosmetic manner, a crown can be placed over dark or discolored teeth in order to approve your smile.
Some of the indications for requiring a crown include:
- A previously filled tooth where there now exists more filling than tooth. The existing tooth structure becomes weakened and can no longer support the filling.
- Extensive damage from decay or breakage.
- Discolorations and compromised aesthetics.
- Tooth fractures or accidents involving the teeth.
- After root canal therapy.
The Four Types of Dental Crowns
There are four different dental crowns. Ceramic crowns are used to restore damaged front teeth because of their ability to blend with the natural color of the surrounding teeth. Porcelain-fused metal crowns are similar to ceramic, but in this case the porcelain is connected to a metal base and provides a stronger bond and is a more durable option. Gold alloy crowns are a mix of gold, copper and other metals. These provide a strong bond to the tooth and will not fracture or wear away. These are often used for back molars where they are not seen. Base metal alloy crowns are made from non-noble metals and provide a very strong and durable crown, again typically used for the back teeth that are not seen.
What to Expect with a Crown Procedure
A dental crown procedure typically requires two visits to the dental office. In the initial visit, the dentist prepares the tooth for the crown. This includes removing the outer portion of the tooth and any decay. If the tooth structure needs support, the dentist may build up the tooth core. After this is complete, the dentist will make an impression of your tooth and the surrounding teeth, so the crown can be made. At this point, a temporary crown is put in place. While this temporary crown is in place you may experience hot and cold sensitivity in the area. Do not chew gum or eat sticky foods as this can pull off the temporary crown.
Once the crown is made and delivered back to the dental office, you will have your second appointment. The dentist will place the crown in place and make any necessary adjustments before cementing it in place.
Possible Risks Associated with Crowns
As with any dental or medical procedure, there are possible risks. When it comes to dental crowns, there are some minor risks to be aware of. Discomfort or tooth sensitivity is common but typically resolves within a few days. Pain when you bite down can occur if the crown sits too high, but your dentist can adjust this placement as needed. While very rare, a patient can have an allergic reaction to the metals or porcelain used in the crown itself. If this occurs, the crown is removed, and another material may be tried.
Porcelain crowns can chip or break. Small chips can be repaired, but larger chips may require a new crown. In some cases, the cement used to hold the crown in place was not enough or it washes out from under the crown. This can result in a loose crown or the crown coming off completely. In this case, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Caring for Your Dental Crown
Dental crowns can last a lifetime if they are cared for properly. Brushing twice a day and flossing helps to remove plaque and keep the teeth and gums healthy. Avoid chewing hard foods, such as candy or ice, as these can chip or break a crown. Make sure to attend regular check-ups with your dentist so they can check and care for crowns as needed.
If you are interested in learning more about dental crowns in Calgary, give our office a call today for more information.