What Are Dental Crowns and How Do They Work

Dental Crowns

If you have a tooth that is damaged but not yet a total loss, a dental crown can be used to restore its shape, appearance, strength, and most importantly, function. A dental crown is intended to mimic your own natural tooth, with a hollow space inside like a cap. For men and women in North Miami Beach who had to have a procedure such as a root canal performed, a dental crown can bring that tooth back into service once again. The skilled dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach are experts when it comes to dental crowns and ensure their patients understand why they might need a crown to treat certain dental issues.

Men and women in North Miami Beach have dental crowns placed every day to fix a number of tooth problems. A common procedure, some people are intimidated by the prospect of having a dental crown placed. Thanks to advancements in dental technology, the process is quite straight-forward and not scary at all. The dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach explain how dental crowns perform very important functions for your overall tooth health.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a fixed prosthetic tooth that is made to restore a damaged tooth back into its original size and shape. A dental crown is permanently cemented on a tooth (or teeth) that is cracked, extensively decayed, or damaged in some way. Dental crowns essentially replace the outer portion of the tooth, or the “crown” part of a natural tooth. When permanently placed, a custom-made dental crown fully encases the damaged tooth and sits above the gum line, keeping bacteria out from underneath the tooth structure.

When would you need a dental crown?

There are a variety of scenarios that require a dental crown. Crowns are important to restore and maintain the structural integrity of your mouth and bite. For example, when a tooth decays or breaks, it leaves a hole. That hole can create problems interfering with your bite or when other teeth shift and move into it. By filling that hole, a dental crown restores your mouth’s proper structure.

The most common reasons that men and women in North Miami Beach, FL need a dental crown include:

Large filling. When a tooth has a cavity or fracture that involves half the width of the tooth or more, it needs to be covered with a dental crown. The remaining tooth around the large filling is so weak that it is prone to fracture.

Root canal. Root canals leave a tooth hollowed out and the remaining tooth is prone to cracking. A tooth that has had a root canal almost always requires a dental crown to prevent it from fracturing.

Cracked tooth. Patients in North Miami Beach, FL who have fractures inside a tooth typically experience pain when chewing. A crown holds the tooth together and redistributes the stress evenly throughout the tooth, eliminating the pain.

Excessive wear of teeth. If a person has a habit of grinding their teeth, also known as bruxism, the teeth can become shorter over time. This can cause the bite to collapse and a dental crown is recommended to restore the teeth back to their normal, functional size.

As part of a dental implant. Crowns can be placed on top of the posts of dental implants to restore spaces left from missing teeth.

Types of crowns

Crowns are constructed of resilient and durable materials and are designed to endure the functionality of your natural teeth. After an experienced dentist at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach cements the crown on to your damaged tooth, it essentially becomes a part of that tooth. Permanent crowns can be made from a number of materials such as:

  • Stainless steel

  • Gold or platinum metals

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal

  • Resin

  • Ceramic

  • Porcelain

Ceramic or porcelain dental crowns provide a better natural color match and are better suited to people who have metal allergies. Ceramic and porcelain crowns can also be used for the front and back teeth.

The importance of a temporary crown

Before you are fitted with your custom, permanent dental crown, you will receive a temporary one. Because the dentist has removed a good amount of tooth structure from the damaged tooth, the temporary crown acts as a barrier, keeping the prepared tooth in place. Without a temporary crown, the tooth can shift and could prevent the permanent crown from fitting properly once it is made. Temporary dental crowns also keep the tooth protected. Without a temporary crown, the tooth is very sensitive to temperature and pressure.

How long does a dental crown last?

Dental crowns restore the appearance of your mouth, as they are mostly indistinguishable from natural teeth. Dental crowns last between five and 15 years on average. The life span will depend on the amount of "wear and tear" the crown is exposed to, your oral hygiene practices, and your personal habits. The dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach recommend that in order to prolong the life of your dental crown, you avoid habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, and eating hard or sticky foods.

Taking care of dental crowns

While dental crowns are made to withstand normal activities such as biting, chewing, and grinding, they are not indestructible. It’s important to follow the post-treatment instructions received by your dentist for your new crown. Be sure you continue to follow a good oral hygiene regimen that includes regular brushing and flossing as well as normal cleanings and exams with your dentist. If you notice anything unusual with your crown, experience unusual pain or discomfort, or if it becomes dislodged somehow after it’s been permanently cemented, call your dentist immediately.

Whenever teeth are badly decayed, cracked, broken, or damaged, dental crowns have proven to be one of the most effective solutions. The skilled dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach use dental crowns to restore the appearance, shape, and alignment of a damaged tooth. Crowns are made to look like natural teeth, so they don’t stand out or look obviously different inside the mouth. If you think you may need a crown to address a dental issue, contact the office of SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach and set up a consultation today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.