Dental Health Articles
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Caps or Crowns – One in the same?February 2nd, 2016 | by Riverside Dental | in Dental Services | 0
A dental crown “caps” a tooth and covers it from further damage and decay so crown and cap are referring to the same item. Crowns are installed by a dentist and require more than one appointment to be measured, prepped and fitted properly.
Possible Reasons for Needing a Crown
Unlike royal occasions requiring formal dress and a jeweled crown, teeth may require a crown for any number of reasons including if the damaged tooth is a different color or shape than the other teeth due to cavities, sport injuries or traumatic accidents, for cosmetic, dental health or practical reasons. It is hard to chew if teeth are not uniform or if there is damage causing oral pain. Crowns can be temporary or permanent, utilized by adults and children, come in a variety of materials and depending on which teeth need treatment, different shapes and colors all customized to personal preference and budget.
Crowns Grand Entrance
Before a crown can be installed, the dentist will determine that a tooth needs to be capped during a routine dental exam or during a dental emergency evaluation following trauma to the teeth. The sooner a protective cap covers the tooth; the sooner the individual can resume normal routines and avoid further damage. Once the decision to proceed with capping the tooth is made between the dentist and the patient, the preparation can begin. The damaged tooth will be re-shaped to become the base for the crown. This gives the cap a solid foundation to adhere to. Measurements, photos and dental impressions are sent to a dental lab to construct the permanent crown. Until the permanent crown is ready, the patient will wear a temporary cap installed by the dentist. It is important for the patient to bite and chew food on the opposite side while the temporary cap is in place. At the second dental appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary cap and install the permanent crown over the tooth. Once in place, it will blend in with the other teeth unless it is metallic.
What are Dental Crowns made of?
A patient requiring a crown has options on what type of crown to select. The determining factors include budget, as not all dental health plans cover cosmetic crowns, dental durability and personal esthetic. Different materials do not stand up to wear and tear as well as others and some do not blend in with the appearance of the surrounding teeth and gums. Some patients desire a shiny gold smile while others prefer a natural look. As technology advances, new options become available. Crown choices include metal such as gold or stainless steel, porcelain, metal fused with porcelain, resin, ceramic and zirconia. Certain crown materials are better suited to front or back teeth depending on how soft the material is, if it stains easily, if it is brittle or likely to chip or fracture, if it can sustain pressure, acidic food, daily brushing wear and tear etc. Each material has it’s own pros and cons and the dentist should explain all the options in detail so that the patient is well informed and can make a decision based on dental needs, allergies to certain materials and personal appearance preferences.
Proper Care for Dental Crowns
In order to maximize the life of a crown, which is 10-15 years on average, the patient should practice healthy oral hygiene routines including: brushing after meals, flossing daily, rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash and regular visits to the dentist. For patients with temporary crowns, they should slide used floss out between teeth rather than lifting up to avoid dislodging the cap material. Destructive habits like grinding and clenching teeth while awake or sleeping, using teeth to open, tear, cut or separate items, chewing sticky or hard candy, crushing and chewing ice cubes, biting finger nails, chewing on pens, pencils, buttons, hair, jewelry etc should be avoided by everyone, but it is especially important if you want to increase the duration and durability of your dental crown capping your teeth.
Speak with the qualified and experienced dental professionals at Riverside Heights Dental Centre for more information.