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Dental crowns can help restore broken, weak, and diseased teeth

A dental crown is an artificial restoration that covers a portion of the tooth above the gum line in the oral cavity. The most common indications for crowns includes restoration of the large amounts of broken or missing portions of the tooth as a result of dental cavities, trauma, and congenital malformations of the teeth.

Crowns are fabricated outside the patient’s mouth in the dental laboratory or in the dental office and typical process includes one to several appointments. Most commonly, crowns are made of specially formulated dental ceramics, metal alloys, or combination of both. If crown fabrications requires more than one appointment, dentist will cover the tooth with a protective temporary crown. Once completed, a dental crown is evaluated in the mouth and if deemed acceptable it is secured to the tooth with a dental adhesive.

Dental crowns have been utilized in dentistry for a very long time and this treatment presents a relatively high predictability and success rate. Follow this expert advice if you are considering dental crowns.


Do understand your treatment options

Restoration of the missing or diseased tooth structure can be accomplished with dental fillings, crowns and veneers. In contrast to dental fillings and veneers which are indicated for the replacement of small to moderate amount of tooth structure, crowns are preferred restorations when there is a need to restore large amounts of the tooth. All treatment options present advantages, disadvantages, and risks. In addition, these treatment options can greatly vary in cost. As a result, it is important for you to understand available options, their benefits, and risks involved in the treatment process. By doing so you can make an educated decision that satisfies your goals and risk tolerance associated with the treatment.

Do understand treatment process and cost

Treatment with dental crowns most of the time is a relatively straightforward process and can be accomplished over minimal number of appointments. However it is not unusual that your tooth may require additional restorative and surgical procedures.

For example a badly broken tooth may require root canal treatment, foundation fillings to support the crown, and minor corrective surgery to expose the remaining portion of the tooth. These procedures will require additional treatment time, appointments, and consequently will increase the treatment cost. Discuss requirements of your case with your dentist so you have clear understanding on the treatment process and overall cost of the procedure.

Do understand risks and complications

Treatment with dental crowns typically carries a low risk of complications. However complications do occur and the rate of complication typically varies depending on your clinical condition and type of procedures required to restore the tooth. Some of the complications after tooth preparation preparation such as increased temperature and pressure sensitivity are transitory, disappear shortly after completion of the procedure, and do not require additional treatment.

Other types of complications such as inflammation of the root canal tissues may necessitate additional restorative procedures such as root canal treatment. While in service your crown material or supporting tooth may fracture, which may require crown remake or tooth extraction. Other less common complications include gum irritation and allergic reaction to the restorative materials. Discuss possible complications with your dentist so you have clear understanding of the risks involved in the treatment process.

Do perform a thorough and consistent oral hygiene

Dental crowns restore compromised teeth and extend their longevity. However they do not prevent cavities and gum disease. Practice good oral hygiene and keep your teeth free of plaque so you can prevent cavities and gum disease, two of the most common diseases that accounts for tooth loss.

Do inform your dentist if you are allergic to metal, plastics, or ceramics

If you are allergic to metals, plastics or ceramics and the same material is used in the oral cavity you may experience gum redness, gum bleeding, and inflammatory reaction of the mouth tissues. If there is a suspicion of a possible allergic reaction your dentist may choose a different restorative material for the crown. Your dentist may also refer you for the skin test in order to choose the most appropriate material for your mouth.


Do not hesitate to discuss any fears you may have

Discuss your fears and anxiety about the treatment with your dentist. All surgical and the majority of the restorative crown procedures are performed with the help of local anesthesia. However, if you have severe fears use of local anesthetic may not be adequate. This problem can be address with a help of sedation procedures. Your dentist may present you with options of oral sedation, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia. After consultation and review of options, you and your dentist can decide what is the best approach for you.

Do not fail to follow a prescribed follow up instructions

Success of restorative procedures depends not only on the dental team, but also on the patient’s adherence to the follow up instructions. For example, if your tooth is covered with a temporary crown while you have a permanent crown fabricated in the laboratory, you will be asked to adhere to a “soft diet” and special cleaning regime in order to prevent dislodgement of the temporary crown. Your dentist may ask you to use a night guard if you have a nighttime grinding disorder.

Do not skip periodic checkup appointments

Just like natural teeth, crowns need to be professionally monitored on a periodic basis. Your dentist will developed a necessary preventive regimen for your restorations. By doing so, some problems can be prevented and if detected, addressed early.

Do not hesitate to contact your dentist of there is a problem

You should not hesitate to contact your dentist if any problems or complications happen during or after the treatment. Contact your dentist if you have pain, swelling, prolonged bleeding, and loose or fractured crowns. By doing so, potential problems can be addressed and prevented earlier in the process. Call your dentist right away if you have any suspicion of complications.

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Dental crowns allow for cosmetic and functional restoration of the teeth and extend their longevity. They are indicated for the badly broken teeth, teeth compromised by dental caries, and malformed teeth due to the congential diseases. Crown treatment presents with a good longevity, relatively low rates of complications, and high patient satisfaction.

More expert advice about Dental Procedures

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Alexander Shor DMD, MSDSpecialist in Prosthodontics

Alexander Shor DMD, MSD is a certifed specialist in prosthodontics, a dental specialty which encompasses restorative and reconstructive dentistry. Dr. Shor earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. After dental ...

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