What You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

a woman smiling after getting crowns on her teethA dental crown—also called a cap—is a permanent covering for a tooth. It can be made from metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two. Metal is the strongest and porcelain looks the best. This is why people generally opt to have the two materials together. Regardless of the material, crowns should be handcrafted outside of the dental office by a skilled professional to fit your exact bite. This is important so that food and bacteria do not get trapped and cause additional problems. The team at Lee Trevino Dental is ready to help you!

Why Did the Dentist Say You Needed a Crown?

More often than not, your dentist will recommend a crown in order to try and save the tooth in question. Your tooth could be broken or have a very large (and usually old) filling. Or you will need the crown to either anchor a bridge or protect a tooth that had a root canal.

Dental Crown Procedure

There are two dental visits involved in getting a crown. At the first visit, your dentist will take X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and the surrounding bone. Then, the tooth will be numbed and filed down along the chewing surface and sides in order to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. However, if you have a large area of the tooth is missing, your dentist will use a filling material in order to build up the tooth so it can support the crown.

Then, he or she will either use a paste or putty or a digital scanner to make an impression of the tooth receiving the crown, as well as the teeth above or below so that it does not affect your bite. The impression of your teeth will go to the lab that will create it. Your dentist will also put in a temporary crown in order to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns are generally made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.

It should take about two or three weeks for the crown to come in. Then, your dentist will remove the temporary one and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is correct, the tooth will be numbed and the new crown will be permanently cemented in place.

Caring for Crowns

While permanent crowns should be brushed and flossed like your regular teeth, while you have temporary crowns it is best to avoid sticky and hard foods, as both can dislodge the temporary crown. In addition, you need to be extra cautious when you floss with a temporary crown so that you do not accidently pull it out. 

Choose Lee Trevino Dental, Today!

If you think you need a crown or other dental work and are in the El Paso area, contact Lee Trevino Dental. They have been providing quality family dentistry since 1977.

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