Dental crowns can help patients restore teeth that have been damaged by extensive tooth decay or some sort of injury to the tooth. These restorations can be made of ceramic materials that appear quite realistic and blend in with the rest of the smile, and with a system called CEREC, they can even be ready for placement in a single appointment. Dental crowns also generally require no special care beyond good oral hygiene practices and adequate follow-up with your dentist at least twice a year, which is the same approach that patients should use to keep a smile healthy in general.
After your dentist bonds the ceramic crown to your teeth, the restoration is quite strong as it is bolstered by the natural tooth enamel. This characteristic means that a tooth fitted with a crown maintains much of the functionality of any other biological tooth. It should be able to contribute fully to actions like chewing and speaking.
However, you should use common sense with a crown, as any habit or action that could harm a natural tooth could also damage a dental crown. So, don’t use your crown to chew on hard, non-food items like pencils or ice cubes, and never use your teeth as tools to open packages or crack nutshells, etc. Your provider will discuss any additional limitations of the crown with you directly.
Additionally, patients should be sure to practice good oral hygiene habits after getting a dental crown. The underlying tooth is still susceptible to decay, so it’s important to minimize oral bacteria by brushing twice a day, flossing daily and limiting your consumption of sweet treats. Semi-annual professional exams and cleanings are also a must for dental crown maintenance. It is important to tell the hygienist where your crown is located, as it may be necessary to use different instruments or techniques while cleaning in the vicinity of the crown.
Dental crowns typically require minimal accommodations on the patient’s part, although your provider may give you some specific instructions of adjustments you need to make in order to maintain the crown. If you follow these instructions, you can get the maximum benefit of these restorations. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about taking care of your dental crowns.