More commonly known as ‘caps’, dental crowns are custom-made, custom-fitted prosthetics designed to fit over or replace a damaged or weakened tooth. In doing so the aim is to restore the tooth’s shape, size appearance and/or strength.
It’s true that dental crowns have been around in some form or another for centuries. So it’s safe to say that they’re a tried and tested method of restoring, protecting, and fixing teeth. In fact, the ancient Etruscans were the first to use dental crowns containing materials such as ivory, bone, and gold to protect chipped or broken teeth. Surprisingly, these same materials were used right up until the beginning of the 20th century when dental porcelain was introduced. Thankfully modern-day crowns are a lot more sophisticated and life-like and are customized to fit the patient’s bite. They can be placed in just one or two dental visits and what’s more, provided proper cleaning and care are adhered to, the modern-day dental crown is designed to last many years.
So when is a dental crown required?
There are various cases where a dental crown is needed. It could be to further protect a weakened tooth (after root canal therapy for example; or decay) or to restore a broken tooth in instances where there isn’t much tooth left. It can also be used as part of a dental bridge, or to cover a dental implant. Whatever the reason, dental crowns are a great way of ensuring that you retain both form and function of your bite.
So what does the treatment entail?
After an initial consultation with Dr Akinwande and the team, the affected tooth is reshaped in order to take the crown. Next an impression is taken using a fabricated mold. This includes further impressions of teeth adjacent to where the new crown needs to be placed, and is to ensure the correct bite. In addition Dr Akinwande will help you select the correct color shade so that the finished crown blends in perfectly with your natural teeth. Once this is done all impressions and color instructions are sent to the lab for construction. While your permanent crown is made (this takes around 2-3 weeks) we’ll fit you with a temporary crown, so that you can carry out everyday functions such as speaking and eating.
Once your permanent crown is ready, you’ll be called back to our dental office, where the temporary one is removed before the permanent crown is cemented into position.
What about after-care?
For the first few days it’s advisable for patients to avoid chewing hard or sticky foods directly onto the crown such as candy or caramel as this can cause the crown to come loose. However patients should be able to clean their crown as normal with regular brushing and flossing. Patients may also experience some slight soreness around the gum area for several days after. This can usually be brought under control with over-the-counter pain killers.
If you’d like to find out more information about dental crowns or would like to book an appointment to speak to Dr Akinwande and the team, then don’t hesitate to contact us on (314) 469 6429