Your teeth have numerous responsibilities and are put through a significant amount of daily use. Taking care of them is essential for keeping them healthy and strong. However, even with the best oral care, accidents can still happen. While the teeth are the hardest substance in the body, and exceptionally strong, they can still be damaged. Teeth can be chipped, cracked, or face decay. No matter how your teeth are damaged, your oral health is put at risk. At Shenandoah Family Dentistry, we can help restore damaged teeth with dental crowns.
Damage to your teeth can happen in a variety of ways. You can chip a tooth on food. A tooth may get cracked as a result of a fall. Decay can eat away at the structure of your tooth. No matter how damage occurs, it needs to be treated to prevent serious issues such as infections in the affected teeth.
A dental crown is a restoration for damaged teeth. It resembles the crown of your tooth and is designed to completely cover the entire visible surface. It essentially acts as a cap for your damaged tooth, protecting it and providing strength.
There are several different types of crowns, made from different materials.
• Metal. Metal crowns are the strongest crowns available, able to stand up to the strongest biting forces. This makes them ideal for damaged teeth at the back of your mouth. However, despite their superior strength, these crowns are silver or gold in color and stand out from the rest of your teeth.
• Porcelain fused to metal. This type of crown consists of a metal base covered by a porcelain coating. This combines the strength of metal around the tooth with the aesthetics of porcelain. While more aesthetically pleasing, these crowns often show a thin metal line at the bottom near the gums.
• Ceramic. Ceramic crowns are the most aesthetic option available. While not as strong as metal, ceramic is still able to withstand most normal use and blends in perfectly with the rest of your smile. Ceramic can be made to match the color of your surrounding teeth perfectly. The material also reflects light similarly to enamel, making it impossible to tell the difference between the restoration and your natural teeth.
There are several benefits to dental crowns, including:
• Providing strength for a weakened tooth.
• Holding a damaged tooth together, preventing further damage.
• Protecting a tooth from infection.
• Certain crowns restore the functions of a damaged tooth while also restoring its appearance. Ceramic crowns blend in perfectly with the rest of your teeth.
• Holding a dental bridge in place or covering the screw of a dental implant.
Crowns typically take two visits to complete. At your first appointment, we prepare the damaged tooth and take an impression. Preparing the tooth is done under a local anesthetic. We remove some of the enamel from the tooth, reducing it in size. This is done to ensure a natural, comfortable fit. We then take an impression of your mouth. This impression is sent to a dental lab, where your crown is designed and created. It can take up to two weeks for your crown to be completed and sent back, so a temporary crown is placed while you wait, providing your tooth with protection. Once the final restoration is ready, you return for your second appointment. During this appointment, the crown is checked for proper fit and color match and cemented into place.
Damaged teeth need to be treated to prevent serious oral, and overall, health complications. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Shenandoah Family Dentistry today at (540) 667-8731.