Tooth damage occurs for a multitude of reasons, the most common ones being trauma from injury, or oral health issues. The great thing about modern dentistry is that you don’t simply have to “live with it,” as people did not so very long ago.
Whatever the reason your smile is not as confident and attractive as you’d like, the Professional Dentist in North Delta BC is likely to recommend one of the types of dental crowns available to resolve your problem.
The forms of tooth damage dentists see most often are:
- Tooth discolouration
- Chipped teeth
- Worn down teeth, or worn tooth enamel
- Cracked and broken teeth
- Missing teeth
- Overfilled teeth in danger of breakage
- Decayed teeth, which require root canal procedure.
Any of these issues can result in aesthetic problems, but equally critically in structural issues such as bite that no longer functions effectively. Over time, a bad bite leads to worn teeth, tooth grinding and TMJ disorders, which makes it imperative to repair damaged teeth as promptly as possible.
Repair Options for Damaged Teeth
Modern dentists have several options available for repairing a damaged smile. Tooth bonding and dental veneers offer minimal preparation and low costs, and these are sometimes acceptable methods for restoring functionality to teeth.
A dental crown is a fixed, prosthetic covering that is cemented onto your tooth, which can only be removed by a dentist afterwards. Its main purpose is to cover the damage to the tooth, but since it also strengthens the tooth and improves the overall appearance of your mouth, it has become the preferred way of providing a permanent solution for adult patients.
This is especially important if the damage is visible when you smile, and dental crowns for front teeth can make a huge difference to your appearance.
Types of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns offer the most practical repair option for a damaged smile, and there are several kinds to choose between. Depending on the location of the crown, your dentist might recommend one or a combination of two or more types of dental crowns.
- Ceramic is the most popular material used in dental crowns for front teeth, simply because they come in a wide range of shades and are the easiest to blend with the colour of your natural teeth. They’re made from a porcelain-based material that is more brittle and prone to chipping than other products, which makes them unsuitable for back teeth.
- Porcelain fused to a metal post is stronger than a ceramic crown and exceptionally long-lasting, as well as easy to colour-match, according to the Canadian Dental Association. For patients with thin gums or who are at risk of gum shrinkage, however, the metal on these types of crowns may become visible after a period of time.
- Composite crowns look natural and are stronger than ceramic crowns, but they also show wear from chewing more quickly. Tooth brushing also removes some of the polished surface of the teeth, which makes them susceptible to staining.
- Metal crowns are made of gold mixed with other metals, and are exceptionally strong and durable. They have the added advantage of not wearing down the teeth opposite them, but, of course, the colour is problematic and makes them unsuitable dental crowns for front teeth.
After consulting with your dental practitioner, you’ll be able to determine which are the types of crowns for your requirements. You’ll also have a clear idea of what the cost will be, and can approach your healthcare insurance to determine whether they are likely to contribute anything towards the procedure.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Having a dental crown fitted typically requires your dentist to do a fair amount of preparation. The dentist first takes impressions of your mouth to create an accurate model, and chooses the colour and shape of the crown you need. A temporary crown may be created, or you might be a candidate for same-day CAD/CAM dentistry.
The dentist then numbs the tooth and surrounding tissues, and carefully removes exact amounts of the tooth to prepare it to accept the crown. If necessary, this includes the removal of decayed tooth pulp and the placement of a composite core. The tooth is shaped to provide a footing for the tooth, with enough space to add the crown without making the tooth bigger than it was naturally. The gum is gently pressed back from the tooth and the temporary crown is fitted. This protects the prepared tooth surface and prevents it from shifting, until your permanent crown is ready for fitting.
A short time later your permanent crown will be available and you’ll need another appointment to have it fitted. The dentist will once again numb the tooth and surrounding areas if necessary, and clean the tooth before adding and cementing the permanent crown. If you had a root canal procedure previously, it may not be necessary to numb the area. The crown is fitted and your bite is checked to make sure your teeth connect accurately, and then the cementation part of the dental crown procedure is carried out.
Crowns generally last for 10 years or more, particularly if you practice good oral hygiene and take care of them. Brush and floss your crown daily, just as you do with your other natural teeth. Remember, the crown might not be as strong as your natural teeth, so try not to use your teeth for any purposes such as opening or cutting things.
For more information on repairing a damaged smile with dental crowns, schedule an appointment with Nordel Crossing Dental Centre, one of the Professional Dentist in North Delta BC today.