What you should know about dental crown procedure
Dental crowns not only protect your oral health but also helps your smile become more cosmetically elegant. Are you up-to-date on dental crown procedure? Do you know the steps and what they are for?
Why choose dental crown?
Dental crowning is quite an expensive and complicated procedure. However, you may need it to:
- Cover your implants.
- Protect cracked teeth.
- Strengthen your bridge.
- Cover and support a tooth with dental fillings.
- Protect a weakened tooth from cavities or breakage.
- Restored chipped or severely worn out teeth.
- Cover severely disfigured or discolored teeth.
Generally, you will need to get dental crowns to protect weakened teeth and to improve your oral health and beauty. If you choose dental crowning, your dentist will talk you through the procedure and aftercare.
Cautions before crowning
For the porcelain crown procedure to go smoothly and bring the best results, you need to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before performing this procedure. In addition, if you are having dental problems such as periodontitis or tooth decay, consider treating them first.
In addition, it should be noted that porcelain teeth are often thin so they are more likely to be chipped or broken if subjected to strong impacts. Therefore, if you have a habit of grinding your teeth and prefer hard foods, this type of cosmetic procedure may not be suitable for you.
On the other hand, porcelain teeth will still wear out over time. At that time, you will need to visit the dentist for a new tooth.
Dental crown procedure
You may need 2 -3 visits to finish a dental crown procedure, including the following steps.
1. Oral examination
The first visit is to prepare you for dental crowns. Your dentist may order a dental X-ray to check the condition of your roots and surrounding bone. You will need treatment if you have oral conditions such as cavities, high risk of infection, and vulnerable pulp.
During this step, you will consult with your dentist to pick the most suitable type of crowns for you.
1.1. Types of crown materials
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: This type of crown has an inner frame made of Cr-Co alloy or Cr-Ni alloy and a porcelain cover. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are the cheapest option in the market. However, they will oxidize and change colors, which affect their cosmetic elegance. Besides, they are also more likely to trigger an allergic reaction and more prone to cracking if you bite on hard items.
- Titanium porcelain crowns: This type of crown has the inner frame made of titanium and a porcelain cover. Titanium porcelain crowns are durable, not sensitive to hot or cold food, don’t cause allergies, and are highly biocompatible with the human body. However, as titanium is a metal, it can oxidize and darken the gum lines. Titanium porcelain crowns are available at mid-price, making them an option worth considering.
- Precious metal crowns: These crowns have the inner frame made of precious metals such as gold, platinum, palladium, and are covered with a porcelain layer. Precious metal crowns are highly durable, have a natural color, and are less likely to change color. Additionally, because gold is antibacterial, golden crowns are quite safe for your oral health. However, precious metal crowns are expensive and require more advanced technology. Thus, they are not the best choice for most people.
- Pure Zirconia crowns: This type of crown doesn’t use metals as its frame. Instead, the frame is made of Zirconia, which provides a naturally beautiful color. Other than that, these crowns also don’t trigger an allergic reaction and last quite a long time. Nevertheless, the cost of pure Zirconia crowns is considerably high as they require advanced CAD/CAM technology and imported material.
2. Reshaping and getting impressions
Once your dentist has decided that you are eligible for dental crowns, you will move onto the crown-making step. Before your crowns are created, your dentist will clean your oral cavity and numb your teeth as well as the surrounding gums.
Then, he or she will reshape the teeth which are about to get crowned so the crowns will fit well onto them. Your dentist may file down the chewing surface and both sides to make your teeth smaller, making space for your crowns.
How many teeth to be filed down depends on the type of crowns you get. If a part of your teeth is gone due to cavities or cracking, your dentist will need to use dental fillings to make them big enough to hold the crown. After your real teeth have been reshaped, your dentist will use a scanner to get your dental impression which will be used to make dental crowns that fit you perfectly.
Your dentist will use the impression to design crowns that not only fit well but also have a color that blends naturally with your real teeth. Until your permanent crowns are ready, your dentist may give you temporary crowns. While you are wearing these, it’s best to avoid eating hard or chewy foods such as chewing gums, ribs, and chicken, among others.
3. Placing the crowns
Once your crowns are ready, your dentist will place them on your teeth and check to see if they fit well and look good with your real teeth. If you’re satisfied, your dentist will secure them in place to finish the procedure.
With the help of cutting-edge dental equipment, dentists at The East Rose Dental (Old Rose Dental Clinic) are able to carry out dental crown procedure with high precision. Dental scanners, Cercon Eye laser scanners, and professional Cercon Art designing software allow the production of more accurate jaw model and porcelain crown design, compared to traditional techniques.
Taking care of dental crowns
Just like natural teeth, dental crowns may get cavities, chipped or cracked. Thus, you should take care of your dental crowns as you do with your real teeth.
1. Practice good oral hygiene
You should brush your teeth twice a day and use dental floss to completely remove food particles and plaque. Additionally, you may use an antibacterial mouthwash once a day to manage oral bacteria.
2. Adjust your diet
You should go for soft and easy-to-chew foods such as soup and porridge, etc. and avoid foods that are too hard, hot, or cold. When you eat, try to spread the food in your mouth so it’s chewed by both sides of your face, reducing the pressure on your crowns.
3. Periodical oral exam
Porcelain crowns may have problems after a long period of use. Therefore, you should visit your dentist once every 3 -6 months for timely intervention in case your crowns no longer fit properly. Also, you should seek professional help right away if you experience numbness, toothache, chewing difficulty or cracking. Without early treatment, these conditions may lead to severe complications.
As complicated as it may appear, dental crown procedure can offer healthy and beautiful teeth with good chewing function. Moreover, with proper care, dental crowns have impressive longevity.
Learn more: Cosmetic porcelain dental restoration overview