**for home care after a crown procedure click here

Crowns are a type of dental restoration which, when cemented into place, fully cup over the portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. In comparison, fillings are dental restorations that fill in or cover over just a portion of a tooth. Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a dental crown in effect becomes the tooth's new outer surface. 

Crowns can be made out of porcelain (meaning some sort of dental ceramic), metal (a gold or other metal alloy), or a combination of both. Other terms that are used to refer to dental crowns are "dental caps" and "tooth caps."      

 Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal or very large filling.  When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.

Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or if an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislodged. Crowns also serve an esthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance. 

Procedures

A tooth must be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. After the necessary reductions are made, an impression is made of the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. A temporary crown is placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers cover only a small portion of the tooth. read more

Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.

Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating hard foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.

 Home Care Instructions after Crown & Bridge Appointments:

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth may be numb.  Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can recement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.

To keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary, but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.

It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at  (203) 272-9694.