When dealing with dental health, there are many alternatives available. It is essential to sit down with your dentist and discuss what works best for you and your unique situation.

One such option is dental crowns. Dental crowns, also known as caps, cover and protect teeth. Dental crowns become necessary at specific points following damage or other concerns. Please read below to understand dental crowns and their uses better.

Why Do I Need a Dental Crown?

Crowns can be used for many reasons. They can strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by decay or on which a filling will no longer stay in place. Or restore a tooth that has been severely damaged due to fracture or another injury, care for an orthodontic appliance such as braces, fix cosmetic flaws of the smile with color fillings, bonding, or porcelain veneers. Crowns may also be needed to hold a bridge in place or when there’s not enough tooth left after root canal treatment.

A dentist will need to examine the structure of the teeth and gums, take an impression (mold) and x-rays before treatment begins.

How is a Dental Crown Made?

The dentist or lab technician will create a tooth-shaped cap that fits over all or part of the crown. When it comes to materials the crown is made of, there are several options to go with (which may be decided by the dentist). Porcelain overlays, porcelain on metal crowns, and gold crowns are permanent restorations. All-porcelain crowns eventually wear out and require replacement as they grow thinner with use and age. 

However, many people opt for this type of restoration because it lasts longer than resin-bonded gold crowns. Amalgam, also known as silver fillings, are permanent restorations that can be used in front teeth. Gold crowns are the most traditional type of restoration because they last for decades and require only infrequent replacement.

The dentist will make a temporary crown to wear while the final treatment crown or bridge is made.

What Kind of Supplies Do I Need?

Most dentists should have tooth-colored composite filling material available to complete a temporary crown. Using this material instead of amalgam will help create a stronger bond between the temporary crown and the newly restored tooth. 

Preparing for the Crown Procedure

One can take a few simple steps to prepare for their crown procedure. Before undergoing treatment, be sure to tell the dentist if one is taking any medications that thin the blood, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Because dental crowns are meant to last a long time, and since they cover most of the tooth surface, they require robust bonding techniques, making them much more sensitive than fillings or other types of dental restorations. 

Ask about ways to ease the temporary discomfort after their crown is placed. The dentist may recommend ibuprofen or an ice pack for relief or prescribe a stronger pain reliever if needed.

Possible Side Effects and Risks

There are a few common side effects and risks that come with crowns. These concerns include temporary discomfort, bleeding, swelling, stinging sensation, irritation of gums, tongue, and lips.

Recovery Time and Follow-Up Care

A person should eat and drink normally once their temporary crown is in place. One may also return to regular activities immediately unless instructed otherwise by their dentist. Be sure to tell the dentist if you have any unusual or severe problems during the first few days following treatment. These symptoms include increased pain, bleeding that won’t stop after repeated attempts at controlling it, persistent bad taste, difficulty breathing through the nose, problems with speech or open sores around the treated area.

The dentist will place and secure the permanent crown over the tooth and gums. It can take several weeks for a person to get used to their new crown, and it is best not to chew on the side where it was placed for at least a few days. Be sure to maintain regular dental appointments so that their dentist can check on their progress. A dentist may need to make adjustments, let a person know if there are any signs of infection, or remove it when it’s time for its replacement.