A dental crown, also known as a ‘cap’, is a prosthetic covering that protects a damaged or decayed tooth. It covers your entire tooth, which is filed down to make room for the crown. A dental crown is attached with dental cement, and we can match it to your existing teeth, so that it blends in with your natural smile. With good oral hygiene habits and regular visits to our office, your crown should last for many years, even decades, but the longevity of your crown is directly related to how well you treat your teeth and gums.
Caring for a Dental Crown
A dental crown can become loosened, fall out, or break if not treated properly. In addition, a crown tends to attract more plaque around your gum line than a natural tooth, so it’s important to give the gum tissue surrounding your crown a little extra attention when brushing your teeth. If your gums become diseased and recede, this can affect how snugly your crown fits and can create a gap where bacteria can easily grow. A gap can also cause the dental cement to wash away, loosening the crown. Tooth grinding can be very damaging to crowns, so consider wearing a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night. Hard foods and candy can also damage a crown, so avoid chewing on ice or other objects, opening packaging with your teeth, and biting your nails.
Benefits of a Dental Crown
In addition to a dental crown being custom-fit to match your natural teeth, this type of dental prosthetic offers other advantages.
- Protects against tooth sensitivity. – Extensive tooth damage can lead to tooth sensitivity, which involves pain associated with your teeth coming in contact with intensely hot or cold foods and beverages. Grinding your teeth in your sleep can wear down your enamel, causing tooth sensitivity, as can overconsumption of acidic foods and drinks, and acid reflux. A dental crown shields the nerves in your tooth, reducing or eliminating tooth sensitivity pain.
- Protects against additional damage. – A chipped or fractured tooth will only suffer more damage if exposed to chewing and biting forces. A dental crown can protect the tooth from further damage that can lead to tooth pain. Large fillings aren’t as protective, as much of the tooth structure is lost to decay.
- An integral part of other dental restorations. – Dental crowns are used with dental bridges and implants to fill gaps left by missing teeth, preventing bone loss and atrophy.
- Masks imperfections to improve your smile. – A crown can be applied to hide severe discoloration and damage to your teeth, to increase confidence in your smile.
There are many ways a dental crown can improve your oral health. If you think you may be a candidate for this dental restoration, contact River Valley Smiles at 479-646-0706 for more information.