Table of Contents
What is dental crown/cap?
A crown is a tooth-shaped cover or “cap” that is placed over a tooth by your dentist. The cap restores the tooth to its original shape, size, and function. A crown can make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks. The crowns, when cemented into place, cover the visible portion of a tooth.
When required dental crown for your tooth
Well, after a thorough examination by dentist, she/he will evaluate your condition of teeth, and suggest you whether does you really required cap or not.
Here are few conditions that require crown for your tooth.
- Tooth with large cavity that is too large for a filling
- Natural tooth that is cracked, worn down, or weakened
- A weakened tooth after severe decay or cavity
- To cover an implant
- A tooth that has a root canal (especially back teeth)
- To align your bite
- An implant needs a crown on top of it
- For cosmetic purposes: to create beautiful smile by levelling the size, shape, and colour of your teeth.
- You want to cover discoloured or dark teeth (dead teeth)
- To Replace missing teeth, either side of teeth needs crown for support
Steps for dental crown procedure
It usually takes 2 dental visits to complete the treatment. When a crown is placed over a natural tooth, several steps are involved:
At the first visit, dentist will examined your teeth. Sometime X-rays are taken if decay is found or there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, in that case you may require first teeth filling or a root canal treatment
Your dentist will need to anesthetize (numb up) both your tooth and the gum tissue that surrounds it. So you will not experience any pain during whole procedure.If your teeth already root canal treated, you may not need of any anaesthesia.
With specialise drill, the crown preparation is done by shaping the tooth a couple of millimetres all around in order to make room for the crown. The trimming of tooth size is depend on type of crown you selected, usually it require 1-2 millimetre.
This step generally takes the most time to complete.
After shaping of teeth is completed, dentist will take an impression of the shaped tooth (copy of tooth) so that the crown can be on a model by dental laboratory
Accurate impressions of your prepared tooth are an important part of the dental crown procedure, usually upper and lower impression is taken so that laboratory person will get an idea of how you bite on teeth and it consider during crown fabrication.
In some case dentist may take digital impression (intra oral scanner) in stand of conventional paste like material. Especially for teeth received multiple crown or you may Experience severe gaging while taking impression.
Dentist put a paste or putty like material on a tray and put on your mouth for 1-2 until it gets set and remove it, if your shaped tooth is not recorded properly on material dentist may take new impression, because only accurate impression gives accurate crown fitting.
Then dentist record your colour of teeth with vita shade guide® which should match with natural tooth colour. The crown should match that of the tooth and surrounding teeth so that it is not noticed when it is placed inside the mouth. If you select a metal crown this step is not required.
At last a temporary crown is usually placed over the tooth to protect it until your final crown has been fabricated and is ready to be fixed on teeth. Final crown fabrication will take 3-10 days depending on type of crown you selected.
Temporary crown is cemented with temporary cement only so it will easily pop up while brushing, flossing and eating so you have to be careful while wearing a temporary crown. You should avoid sticky and hard foods and eat using the opposite side of your mouth.
During the second appointment dentist will remove your temporary crown and clean your shaped tooth to ensure that your teeth is completely free from any debris. During second appointment you will not require any anaesthesia.
Dentist will put your final Crown on your teeth and check your crown fir on teeth and also they will also check your bite as well. If you feel crown is little high biting dentist will adjust your crown.
Now with help of luting cement dentist will fix your dental Crown on your teeth. you may ask to hold a cotton roll between teeth and press for a few minute. at the end again check fit of your crown.
Home care of dental crown/cap
There are few post-operative instructions for dental crown you need to take care
First 24 hour is crucial after dental crown fixing, as fixing material will completely hard during this time so you should be careful while eating.
Avoid sticky and hard food. Don’t eat on a crown side for At least one day.
You may feel something is put on your teeth and little discomfort but it will get normal witching 4-7 days
After this, there’s not much you have to do to care for a crown. But you still Require Continue to perform daily oral hygiene.
Let your dentist know about issues, such as pain or discomfort that arise.
Here are some helpful tips for long life of dental crown
Practice good and proper brushing, if you’re not already brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, it’s time to start brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth every day.
Avoid chewing hard foods such as nuts, other hard objects, such as pen wires etc, this might damage your crown or sometime crown may get crack, especially if you have a porcelain/ceramic crown.
If you have a habit of teeth grinding or clenching during night dentist may recommend wearing a night guard to protect your teeth and Crown talk to your dentist if you have such a habit
Benefit of dental crowns
- Dental crowns can be used for a variety of purposes, to include:
- It protect weak tooth and prevent fracture of teeth or dislodgment of large filling material
- It can be restore worn out teeth to original size
- To restore a decayed and broken tooth.
- To improve the appearance of tooth by changing its shape, colour and irregularities in teeth
- To provide support for a dental bridge. Bridge requires two healthy teeth on both sides.
- Efficiency of chewing is increase
Problems of Dental Crowns
There are also some few drawbacks or disadvantages of dental crowns, such as
Some patients may experience discomfort shortly after the procedure, particularly sensitivity to hot or cold. If teeth is not rct treated. Dentist may advice to use over counter medicine or desensitizing tooth paste but usually it will resolved within 10days
Some patients felt pain from biting the crown. this is because the crown is receiving more Load then other teeth.so you need to visit your dentist and ask to adjust crown height it will resolved immediately.
Sometimes crown may get break or its outer layer get chip of especially if you have ceramic crown and you will bite a hard object on it small chip can be repair but large And multiple break of crown required a new crown. Thanks to new material like zirconia, this is strongest material and it will not break easily.
Your crown could get loose or even fall out from mouth if there’s not enough height of teeth to hold crown or you select entry level of crown. You need to revisit your dentist to refitting of your dental crown.
Rarely, an allergic reaction may occur in some people this because of metal of it. Tell your dentist if you have any allergic reaction to metal or ornament dentist will suggest a metal free crown.
Frequently ask questions
How long do dental crowns last?
Average dental crown life is 5-15 years with some crowns even lasting up to 25 or 30 years.If the crown made with high standard material like zirconia well fitted on teeth and good oral care.
Life of dental crown is determined by your personal lifestyles, eating habits, biting hard object, oral care taken by you and the amount of wear and tear the dental crown can take.
Do all root canal teeth need a dental crown?
Usually yes, but certain condition you may not require like of front teeth with less decay may not require dental crown whereas all back teeth require dental crown after root canal to provides strength to your teeth against heavy biting force.
Is there any alternative to dental crown?
Yes with coming of latest innovation and material now you don’t need to do crown every time. onlay is another option for dental crown, of course dentist will evaluate dental condition whether you are suite for it or not
Sometime dental veneer is a best alternative of dental crown in front teeth.
In some condition dentist may use high strength fibre reinforce composite resin filing material to restored damage tooth structure.
Can I replace dental crown in future?
Yes, any crown can be replaced by dentist, your old crown will remove and new impression is taken for new crown. Dentist will evaluate condition for any necessary treatment like filling or root canal by taking x-ray.
When do we need Dental Crowns Replacement?
After years when life of crown if over by wear or tear or having hall on top part
If your crown gets large chip of or fracture,
If you feel pain or sensitivity or decay in your teeth below the crown, dentist may remove your crown to treat underline problems.
Frequent loss or dislodge crown require replacement of new crown
Some time for cosmetic reason or colour changes you may need to require replacement
What should I do if a crown falls out or become loss
First clean loss or fallen out crown put in small box safely, call your dentist and take appointment for fixing of fallen crown. Dentist will clean everything and fix same crown again with luting material.
Until you fix your crown avoid eating hard food also chew on other size to prevent farther damage of tooth, remember you should fix your crown within 3days otherwise your crown may not get fit properly.
What is the difference between a cap and crown?
Both cap and a crown is same thing. in medical term we call it as dental crown where as in laymen term people call it as cap. Both world can be use inter changeably having same meaning.
What is a Dental Cap (crown) made of?
There are different types of dental materials used for crowns, the most common ones include:
Metal alloy: this include materials like platinum, palladium, gold, and other non-precious metals this can be either yellow, ex: gold crown, (note that gold crown does not have 100% gold in it) or silver colour
Dental Ceramic with metal: this crown is tooth coloured ceramic with metal portion beneath it
All ceramic material: like emax crown or onlay
Zircomer for zirconia crown
Can I glue my crown back on myself?
No. this will not work on tooth, if crown is loose don’t try to remove it, it crown is fallen out keep in small box and visit your dentist. Dentist will clean your crown ultrasonic machine and fixed it again on your teeth.
Do my teeth get decay under crown?
Usually well fitted crown does not get decay. However if you not follow proper oral care and food may trapped around your cap that leads to carried or decay in your teeth. If you feel any pain or sensitivity on that tooth you might have teeth decay.
Is a veneer better than a crown?
Both have their own indication, in front teeth veneer is better option as it looks like exactly natural teeth and also require less amount of tooth trimming. Veneer is used for aesthetic and conservative purpose.
Crown usually indicated in large decay or fracture teeth, where strength is more important than looks, your dentist will guide you which one is suitable for you.
What happen if I eat a crown?
Usually it does not cause any problems. You just eat two bananas to facilitate morning flush in toilet, if you find difficulty in breathing or in abdomen you may need to visit your physician to take chest and abdomen x-ray.
Dot forgot to make new crown by dentist as open tooth may get infected or get fractured easily.