A crown is a protective covering that restores and improves the tooth’s appearance while also shielding and strengthening it. Permanently fixed in place, your crown will last for many years.
Protecting Your Teeth and Keeping You Smiling
Your dentist may prescribe a crown if you’ve had a very large filling or a root canal. A crown may also be used to hold a dental bridge in place or as a realistic replacement tooth with an implant. When teeth are misshapen or badly discolored, crowns (also known as caps) can make a big difference in improving your appearance. Today, with advanced materials and state-of-the-art techniques, crowns are custom-made to be both durable and lifelike.
When your dentist recommends a crown, he or she will discuss with you the option that best fit your needs. There are a variety of crown options to choose from including porcelain crowns and LavaTM crowns. The first step is to prepare the tooth and take impressions so that your crown can be crafted to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth. You most likely will have a temporary crown while your permanent crown is being made. Your new crown will be carefully bonded in place so that it is seamlessly aligned with your teeth. For more information about crowns, click here.
We offer a variety of payment options to make your crown affordable. We also accept most dental insurance plans and have a dental discount program for patients without insurance.
How do you handle a chipped or fractured tooth?
There are different types of tooth fractures. Chipped teeth are minor fractures. Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, tissue, and/or pulp. Severe fractures usually mean that a tooth has been traumatized to the point that it cannot be recovered.
If you fracture a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Take ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain. Your dentist can smooth out minor fractures with a sandpaper disc. Alternatively, restorative procedures may be needed to fix the tooth. If you wear dentures and a tooth breaks or chips, wear your spare dentures until you can visit your dentist. If you do not have a spare set or cannot get to the dentist’s office soon, use cyanoacrylate (heavy-duty, quick-drying “super” glue) to glue the tooth or the piece of the tooth back into place. Remember—this is only a temporary measure until your dentist can properly repair your tooth and should only be used for dentures! Never attempt to glue a natural tooth or part of a natural tooth back into place!
What is tooth decay and what causes it?
Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people. Unlike other diseases, however, caries is not life-threatening and is highly preventable, though it affects most people to some degree during their lifetime.
Natural bacteria live in your mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods and produces acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing enamel, which weakens the teeth and leads to tooth decay.
Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables, and juices, may contribute to tooth decay.
How to improve your oral health
Many people ring in a new year by making health-related resolutions to improve their lives, but how many of those lifestyle changes are kept past January? The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up to date in the profession through continuing education, has compiled some easy-to-keep oral health tips that consumers can work into their everyday routines and continue to perform throughout the year.
“Oral health means more than just an attractive smile,” says AGD spokesperson Raymond Martin, DDS, MAGD. “Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. And, in many cases, the condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the body as a whole.”
- Floss every day. It’s the single most important factor in preventing gum disease, which affects more than 50 percent of adults. Spend two to three minutes flossing at least once a day. Not flossing because it irritates your gums? The more often you floss, the tougher your gums will become.
- Brush your teeth for at least two to three minutes twice daily. If you’re not sure whether you’re brushing long enough, simply brush for the length of an entire song on the radio.
- Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head (if you’re using an electric toothbrush) before the bristles become splayed and frayed, or every three to four months. Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, they may harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections, such as gingivitis and gum disease.
- Drink sugary beverages through a straw. This will minimize the amount of time that the sugars are in contact with your teeth, which can minimize the risk of developing cavities.
- Replace carbonated beverages, which cause enamel erosion and cavities, with water, milk, tea, or coffee.
- Chew sugarless gum that contains xylitol after meals and snacks. This will help cleanse your mouth and prevent the bacteria associated with cavities from attaching to your teeth. Even better, gum will increase your saliva production and reduce bad breath!
- Wait one hour to brush your teeth after consuming highly acidic food or drinks, like wine, coffee, citrus fruits, and soft drinks. Otherwise, you run the risk of wearing away the enamel on your teeth.
“One last reminder to patients is that they should make an appointment to see their general dentist every six months,” adds Dr. Martin. “More than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, meaning that your dentist could be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem.”
Hygiene tips for a stellar smile
- Brush with the radio on – dentists recommend brushing for the entire length of a song.
- Use fluoridated, antimicrobial toothpastes and mouth rinses. They help to make the tooth structure resistant to decay.
- Keep oral hygiene products at work. Studies show that the chance of a person using them during the day will increase 65 percent.
- Talk to your dentist about new products you’re using, as all products are not suited for all people.
- Skip the caffeine. Avoiding caffeine before a dental appointment can make you less anxious.
- Communicate. Use hand signals to inform the dentist that you are uncomfortable, and talk to your dentist about your specific fears.
Why do I need a root canal?
Root canal therapy is necessary because the tooth will not heal by itself. Without treatment, the infection will spread, bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it’s always best to keep your original teeth.
How long do crowns last?
Crowns should last approximately five to eight years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision, most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.
What is the difference between a cap and a crown?
There is no difference between a cap and a crown.