Dental Crowns: What are They and How Do They Work?

To put it simply, dental crowns are fixed prosthetic restorations that work by restoring a damaged tooth and bringing it back to its original shape and size. They are also permanently cemented on teeth that are extensively cracked, damaged, or decayed.

While dental crowns can extend onto the tooth’s surface at times, they are primarily designed as replacement for the outer aspect of the natural tooth. Once affixed, dental crowns will fully encase the portion of the tooth situated above the gum line.

To ensure it fits over the tooth, dental crowns are custom made. Dental crowns can also be made from various materials such as gold, ceramics, resin, and porcelain-and-metal.

How do dental crowns work?

Dental crows are often fitted over the tooth’s top so it protects what’s underneath. Once cemented in place, dental crowns will act as a new top for the tooth and will keep work by holding it together and ensuring it won’t break apart. 

Since dental crowns are made from resilient and durable materials, they can effectively withstand traumas brought by chewing just as effectively as the natural teeth.

When are dental crowns required?

Dental crowns can offer a lot of benefits and serve multiple functions. For instance, dental crowns are used to protect weak teeth and prevent cracked teeth from further damage. 

Some variants of dental crowns are also used to help hold dental bridges in place. In other words, dental crowns can be used to support or replace structures that no longer work on their own.

For teeth that are misshapen, cracked, broken, and badly damaged, dental crowns are also deemed the ideal solution. Designed to appear and look just like natural teeth, they won’t look odd or stand out since they mimic the appearance of natural teeth.

Dental crowns can also help restore the shape, appearance, strength, and functionality of damaged teeth. Once cemented in place, dental crowns can help warrant affected tooth can be used for chewing without compromising the tooth’s structural integrity.

How are dental crowns installed?

Before a dental crown is affixed, an anaesthetic is first applied to numb the tooth alongside the surrounding gum tissues. An abrasive bur as well as a dental drill will be used to remove the outer surface of the tooth so there is enough room available for the crown.

If there is not much of the tooth left available that can support the crown, a crown buildup may be added to warrant there is a robust foundation for the crown. An impression of the tooth will be taken with the use of putty, impression paste, or a digital scanner. It will then be sent to the dental laboratory to be created.

Mostly, it will take around 2 to 3 weeks for the crown to be created after the impression has been sent. Since it is not advisable for the tooth to be left uncovered for a long period, a temporary dental crown may be installed first.

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