Have you ever wondered if there is a limit to the number of fillings a single tooth can receive? Although this number varies from person to person according to the overall health of the individual tooth, extensive repairs can leave a tooth unstable, which can cause painful fractures later. To strengthen the tooth and protect it from further damage, our dentists might recommend a dental crown, which is essentially a cap that is cemented over the existing tooth.
Dental crowns have evolved over the years to be stronger and more natural-looking than ever. However, there are still a wide variety of crowns available on the market. Here is a brief explanation of the most common types:
Typically, getting a dental crown involves multiple trips to the dentist to inspect the area, prepare the tooth, and get the permanent crown installed. While we still offer traditional crown placement, Dental Excellence also offers CEREC crowns. These types of crowns are milled on-site, so that you won't have to wait for a permanent version of your crown. However, if you wish to receive a traditional crown, the process is still quite simple.
After one of our dentists has determined that you need a crown, the area will be checked extensively for decay. X-rays will be taken of your teeth to see how deep the infection goes, and how stable your jaw is. If you are a good candidate for a crown, the area will be numbed and the actual tooth will be filed down slightly to accommodate the space for the new crown. After the tooth is reshaped, an impression will be made of the area. This impression is used to create your new crown, so that it fits perfectly. An impression will also be made of the teeth above the restoration, so that your bite lines up properly. After these impressions are taken, the dentist will install a temporary crown over the filed tooth, and your impressions are sent to the lab where your crown will be made. When your crown is complete, you will be asked to return to the office to have it permanently installed.
With proper care, dental crowns can last between 5 and 15 years. However, some patients report that theirs have lasted much longer. Teeth that have dental crowns don't require special care other than proper brushing and flossing, although the area does need to be monitored closely for signs of trouble, such as pain, infection, chipping, or looseness. Also, since the core of the tooth is still your natural tooth, teeth with crowns aren't immune to issues with gum disease or periodontitis. If you suspect any type of problem with your dental crown, make an appointment to have it checked as soon as possible.
If you think that dental crowns sound like something that could help you, contact Dental Excellence today to schedule an appointment. We are located in Independence, Missouri, near Blue Springs and Lees Summit.