Dental crowns are a common topic of conversation in dentistry, but mayb
e not to the average patient. Before jumping into any major dental work, it’s important to understand the “what” and “why” of what’s going on in your mouth. Here are the most common questions about dental crowns.
Question: What is a dental crown?
Answer: A crown is a fake tooth that caps one of your natural teeth or a screw for an implants. They are typically made from either ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, or an alloy (including gold). Naturally colored materials are much more discreet for those who prefer that option. Crowns are made in a dental lab, based on a mold that the dentist will take after prepping the area. While it’s being made, you will get a temporary crown.
Question: Why do I need it?
Answer: There are several different problems that a crown can correct. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Strengthen a weak or fractured tooth
- Replace a tooth after a root canal
- Attaching an implant
- Cosmetic purposes
- Replace a filling that is too large for the remaining tooth
Some of these problems need immediate dental work, but others use a crown as a prevention of further problems down the road. We never advise getting a crown unless we feel like it is absolutely necessary.
Question: Does it hurt?
Answer: For the crown to be placed over your existing tooth or dental implant, the dentist will need to do some modifications. For this part of the process you will be numb, so the worst of it will be the achiness you might feel after the feeling comes back.
The placement of a crown does not usually hurt. Most people complain when a temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is placed, when air hits the exposed nerves. This lasts for maybe a minute and doesn’t even require numbing. If you have a root canal, this isn’t even a concern since you don’t have feeling in those nerves anymore. For implants, the pain and swelling is managed with over-the-counter medicines.
Questions: What kind of maintenance is involved?
Answer: Crowns are treated just like any other tooth. Stick to your daily oral hygiene regimen of flossing, brushing, and mouth wash. Make sure to come in for your regular dental check-ups twice a year. If there is a need to treat the tooth inside the crown, the dentist can just drill through it and fill it in when the work is done. You really don’t need to worry about doing anything special for your crown.
While you may not want to replace all your teeth with crowns, it isn’t something you need to be afraid of either. Crowns are a great way to
fix a handful of problems or potential problems. If you feel unsure