Restoring Decayed Teeth With Dental Crowns

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If you have severely decayed teeth, dental crowns can help you avoid extraction. Dental crowns are one of the most common restorative dentistry procedures. Placing the dental crowns over the decayed teeth will help prevent further damage and will enhance your appearance if your decayed teeth are visible. Here are some things you need to know about treating decayed teeth with restorative dental crowns.

Function Of Dental Crowns

A dental crown is also known as a cap. It is custom-made to meet the dimensions, shape, and color of your tooth. The cap is placed over the tooth and is very strong and protective of severely decayed or cracked teeth. If your tooth is significantly decayed, a filling may not be strong enough to protect it from breaking.

Even the slightest pressure can cause your tooth to break. A dental crown gives your tooth the reinforcement it requires to maintain its integrity. Dental crowns can also keep teeth from further damage when they are cracked.

While bonding can repair cracks and fractures, they are unsuitable for large cracks. Large cracks may predispose your tooth to breakage and may also raise your risk of infection because bacteria may proliferate inside cracks. 

The Procedure

After a comprehensive dental examination and consultation, your restorative dentist will develop a treatment plan suited to your individual needs. The first step in the dental crown process is to prepare your tooth and remove all traces of decay.

The dentist then reshapes the surface of the tooth so that the cap properly fits over it. Next, an impression and measurements of the tooth will be taken so that the dental lab can make the crown to your specifications.

The dental crown will closely resemble the appearance of your natural tooth in terms of color, size, and shape. Your dentist will give you a temporary crown because it can take up to a couple of weeks before the dental lab technician makes your permanent crown.

After your permanent dental crown has been delivered to your dentist's office, your temporary crown will be removed and replaced with the permanent restoration. The permanent crown will be cemented into place over your natural tooth so that it doesn't come off or slip out of place. With proper care and regular dental visits, your dental crown can last for a decade or more.

Caring For Crowns

To extend the life of your dental crown, avoid biting down on hard foods and candies and avoid chewing ice. If you grind your teeth during sleep, your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouth guard at night.

Tooth grinding may lead to wear and tear of the crown, and if the grinding force is excessive, the restoration may crack or come off of your natural tooth. Your dentist can repair crowns that have been chipped. However, if the chip is large or if there are multiple chips on the crown, replacement may be necessary.

 A repaired dental crown may be weaker and more prone to breakage, so depending on your individual situation, your dentist may recommend that you replace it even if the crack is minor. Your dentist may refer you to a prosthodontist if you have problems with your restorations. A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry. 

If you have severely decayed or cracked teeth, make an appointment with your dentist. After a comprehensive examination, he or she will develop a treatment plan to help save your teeth from extraction. Dental crowns not only help save your teeth, but they also enhance your appearance, improve your chewing ability, and reduce your risk for bite problems or malocclusions.