Not everyone is blessed with flawless teeth, but devices such as crowns can turn your tentative grin into a big, toothy smile that you’re proud to display.
Just as a “crown” sits on the head of a monarch, a dental crown sits atop your existing damaged tooth, capping it so that it looks better and is healthier as well. Poor teeth are strengthened and shape and alignment of one’s teeth will be improved overall when a crown is used.
A crown is referred to as a “fixed” prosthetic device. That’s because it is intended to stay in place once inserted, unlike – for example – a set of dentures, which can be taken out.
Crowns are cemented onto already existing teeth or implants and are designed to be removed only by your dentist.
Crowns come in a variety of materials. The most widely used are porcelain and ceramic, both of which can be designed to match the color of your existing teeth so that they don’t look out of place or “fake”. Other materials sometimes used to make crowns include gold and metal alloys, which are extremely strong and may be used for back teeth, if your dentist determines that is most the appropriate choice.
Sometimes, to make a crown porcelain is bonded to a metal shell, which also makes the crown quite strong and long-lasting.
Who Needs Crowns?
If you’re got perfect teeth that have weathered the years, you won’t likely need any prosthetic dental devices. But, in reality, teeth take lots of beating throughout one’s lifetime, and many individuals will need help keeping their smile looking good.
Your dentist might tell you that you are a candidate for crowns if:
- You have a fractured tooth that needs to be restored
- You need to prevent a tooth from fracturing
- There is a need to cover a discolored or poorly-shaped tooth
- The dentist must replace a large filling but there isn’t enough tooth remaining
- You must cover a tooth that has had a root canal
- You need to cover a dental implant
How are Crowns Applied?
If your dentist determines that a crown is right for your dental problem, he or she will begin the process of choosing the right kind for you and will then explain the procedure for applying/inserting the crown.
Dr. Shelly Mixson is an expert at this process and you can be assured that – with your cooperation – inserting a crown will not be complicated and will involve minimal pain.
Your dentist will begin by reducing the size of the tooth so that the crown can fit over the existing structure. Dr. Mixson’s top-notch dental staff will then take an impression so that a mold for the crown can be created. A shade to match your teeth will then be determined, if porcelain is chosen.
The mold is then sent off to a dental lab, where your crown is produced. A temporary crown will be used until the final crown is completed. Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary one will be removed and replaced. It’s that simple!
Caring for your Crowns
It’s very possible that your crown could last a lifetime, but it’s not unusual for them to eventually fall out or simply become loose. That would involve a trip to your dentist to fix the problem.
However, if you avoid certain foods that are particularly hard and if you maintain good dental hygiene, your crowns should stay in place.
Need more information about crowns? Restorative dentistry is the specialty at the Atlanta office of Dr. Shelly Mixson, and she and her staff can help you determine whether or not a crown is right for your dental woes. Call today to schedule an appointment!