Getting dental crowns is possibly one of the easiest ways to repair tooth damage and restore a sparkling smile. Typically, crowns last from 10 years to 20 years and serve you well as long as you take care of them. Make sure to brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth protected from cavities. And, there’s no reason why the crowns won’t last you a good long while.

Understanding What are Dental Crowns

Should you visit our clinic for dental crowns in Calgary, you’ll learn that dental caps work to repair the structure, shape, and integrity of a tooth. Crowns cover the entire tooth that lies above the gum line and your doctor cements it into place. You can eat and speak normally. The new cap blends in with the other teeth to give you a uniform and perfect smile. The dentist may suggest that you get the treatment for various reasons that include:

  • As part of a cosmetic dentistry procedure where the doctor works to restore the alignment and appearance of your teeth
  • As a finishing touch for dental implants
  • When a tooth has a large section removed because of cavities and replaced with fillings, dental crowns are useful for covering and support.
  • As a cap to cover teeth that are badly discolored or misshapen
  • As support for a dental bridge
  • When the tooth is badly damaged or broken in two and needs a cap to hold it together
  • As covering for a tooth that is worn down, like in the case of patients with bruxism. The dentist may recommend that you use a mouth guard for teeth grinding to prevent damage to the dental crowns.
  • To fill the gaps between teeth and give a more even appearance to the dental structure
  • To provide support to the hollowed-out tooth after a root canal procedure, and prevent fracturing or cracking
  • For replacing the worn away cusps or uneven edges of the tooth that are essential for tearing and chewing food

How the Procedure for Dental Caps Works

The procedure for dental crowns can be done in two visits. Here’s what to expect:

First Appointment

  1. The expert dentist at our clinic for dental crowns in Calgary begins by examining the tooth that needs the cap. She will check properly for signs of tooth decay. If needed, the doctor may also take X-rays to evaluate the condition of the pulp and root. The integrity of the bone surrounding the tooth is also a factor under consideration.
  2. In the case of widespread caries or the possibility of infections, the dentist may choose to perform a root canal treatment. A typical root canal treatment is done in a single appointment. However, if the damage is more extensive, you might need two or three sittings. Accordingly, fitting dental crowns could take longer.
  3. When you’re ready for the cap, the doctor begins by numbing the affected tooth and gum tissue surrounding it.
  4. Next, the dentist trims the top and sides of the tooth to make adequate space for the cap. Chances are that because of severe decay, more of the tooth has worn away. In that case, a filling placed on the surface adds volume to the damaged tooth so that the cap fits perfectly.
  5. Once the tooth is ready, the dentist may use dental putty or paste to get an impression of the stub. She’ll also take impressions of the upper and lower jaws for an understanding of the dental structure. This step is essential to prevent a misaligned bite. In place of putty casts, the doctor may choose to take digital scans.
  6. If you have extensive damage and the dentist has removed most of the tooth, she may opt to insert a temporary cap. This appliance is made with acrylic and allows you to eat and speak properly until you get the new crown.

Taking Care of the Temporary Cap

Temporary caps are intended to serve as a short-term fix until you receive permanent dental crowns. You must use them carefully to prevent damage. Here’s how:

  • When flossing, don’t yank out the dental wire. Slide it out from one end to avoid loosening the new cap.
  • Avoid eating hard food like crunchy candy or chewing on the backs of pencils and pens. You risk cracking or breaking the acrylic.
  • As far as possible, try not to use the side of the mouth with the temporary cap when eating. Make a conscious effort not to use the tooth for chewing.
  • Chewing hard vegetables can break or crack the soft acrylic. Also, tiny particles can get lodged in between the cap and stub below. Avoid these foods until the treatment is complete.
  • Munching on sticky items like caramel or chewing gum can make the temporary cap come off.

Second Appointment

Dental crowns are manufactured at a specialist lab according to the scans technicians receive from the dentist. They may take around two to three weeks to create the cap out of porcelain or any other material you may have chosen. Your doctor will discuss options and make sure that the new crown matches the shape and structure of the other teeth in your mouth. She’ll also check for the perfect color and texture before placing the order. Once the cap is ready, you’ll receive a call from our clinic for dental crowns in Calgary.

Most patients don’t require anesthesia for inserting the crown. But, if needed you’ll receive a local numbing agent to keep you comfortable. Next, using special cement, the dentist carefully places the crown in position and allows it to set. She may also make minor alterations so that the new tooth fits and has the necessary cusp for eating normally.

Types of Artificial Crowns You Can Opt For

Dental crowns can be of different types and the cost of each option will vary accordingly. Here are a few of the most common materials used.

Stainless Steel

When you come in for treatment at our center for dental crowns in Calgary, you’ll learn that stainless steel is typically used to create temporary dental caps. These caps are prefabricated and attached for a short time while the dentist places the order for customized dental crowns. Children who have caries and need protection for their teeth can also receive stainless steel caps. Not only are they safe to use, but once the permanent teeth start to emerge, the artificial crowns may come off on their own. Stainless steel is especially preferred for kids since they are more economical. You won’t need to make frequent trips to the dentist and caring for these caps is easy.

Combination of Metal and Porcelain

These crowns have a base of metal or zirconia with a topping of porcelain. You can opt for these crowns to repair the front or back teeth. Since the visible portion is made with ceramic, you can get them to match the natural color and overall appearance of your natural teeth. The dentist may also suggest opting for these caps if you need a bridge. That’s because the metal base adds strength to the treatment and lowers the chances of chipping and breaking. The only downside is that the metal section could be visible when you speak. If you develop gum receding over time, the metal could look unappealing.

Metallic

Metallic caps are a great option for molars or the teeth at the back of your mouth. Metal is strong and resists chipping and cracking even if you eat hard foods. For this reason, the treatment is likely to last you longer than regular porcelain. Most metallic caps are made with alloys or a mix of metals including gold, platinum, and nickel-chromium or chromium-cobalt. The main downside of metal dental crowns is that they are more expensive as compared to other options. But, the more significant factor to worry about is that metal adds to the wearing away of the opposing teeth.

Porcelain or Ceramic

As the expert dentist at our clinic for dental crowns in Calgary will advise, porcelain is the most commonly used material for dental caps. You can opt for ceramic for any of the teeth, in the back or front. Further, patients who may have allergies to metal alloys should always opt for porcelain. You can expect that these crowns will blend perfectly with the rest of your dental structure and are rarely visible. Of course, the best positive is that you can prevent increasing decay by topping off a damaged tooth with a ceramic cap. There are a few downsides that you’ll need to know. For instance:

  • The dentist must trim the existing tooth to make adequate space for the crown. As a result, the procedure is irreversible. If you wish to remove the ceramic cap, you’ll have to replace it with other crowns.
  • You should prepare for the possibility that these dental crowns can chip or crack. If that happens, you risk food particles lodging inside the cracks and causing problems. Regular checkups with the dentist ensure that any damage can be identified and repaired right away.
  • The cement used to affix the crown can wear away leading to the cap coming off entirely. Further, bacteria buildup in the gaps can lead to tooth decay in the future.
  • You may sense pain or sensitivity to hot and cold foods because the pulp of the tooth is exposed. Your doctor will advise that you opt for special toothpaste that prevents sensitivity.

It is always advisable that you visit an expert dentist like the professionals at our clinic for dental crowns in Calgary. That’s because a well-trained dentist will make sure to adjust the new crowns perfectly for an ideal fit. Imperfectly-placed caps can cause future misalignment and discomfort from an incorrect bite.

Resin

If you’re looking for the most economical option for dental crowns, your dentist might suggest resin crowns. Such crowns are made out of acrylic polymer resins or silicon dioxide, also known as composite resins. Dentists also use this material for fillings since they look similar to the natural tooth and blend perfectly well into the overall dental structure. The procedure for fixing resin crowns is just like the process for regular crowns made with metal or porcelain. The only downside is that resin tends to wear away faster than ceramic, so you may need replacements within a shorter time.

Follow the Recommendations of Your Dentist for Maintaining the Crowns

Dental crowns are typically strong and can last you for a long time. However, it is best to follow the advice of your doctor and take good care of them. Here are some of the precautions to take:

  • Patients who need caps typically have severe tooth damage because of cavities, bruxism, or injuries. After fitting the crown in place, your dentist will give you a list of dos and don’ts to ensure that the entire oral structure remains healthy, moving forward.
  • In addition to maintaining proper dental hygiene, you may get advice to wear a mouth guard for teeth grinding. Or, a customized sports guard in case you play high-impact sports. This guard will protect your teeth from cracking because of trauma.
  • Make sure you visit the dentist regularly for checkups. She will check the condition of the caps and warn you if she detects chipping and cracking. If needed, the doctor will make the necessary repairs with composite material or resin.
  • Often times, tooth damage is the result of habits like chewing ice and hard objects like your nails. Your dentist will advise you to give up these habits for future dental health.

Prevent Problems Rather Than Looking for Fixes

Dental crowns are no doubt an effective solution for repairing any problems with your teeth. However, avoiding them is always a better option. Talk to the expert dentist, Dr. Jennifer Silver at Southcentre Dental and she’ll provide you with expert guidance on how to care for your teeth. Contact us at our center for dental crowns in Calgary and we’ll give you all the information you need. We also offer details over the phone. Call us at this number: (403) 278-1415.

References:

  1. Dental Crowns
  2. Dental Crowns (Dental Caps)
  3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Crowns