What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns poulsbo wa are a fixed prosthetic device used to cover or “cap” a tooth in its entirety in order to help improve shape, strength, appearance, or alignment of a damaged tooth. Once the crown is cemented onto the tooth, the crown fully encases the visible portion of the tooth and can only be removed by a dentist.
There are several situations where a dental crown may be needed or used. If a tooth has been weakened from decay, a crown can be used to hold the tooth together and prevent it from cracking. Should a tooth be already broken or significantly worn down, crowns can be used to restore the appearance and functionality of the affected tooth. Crowns are also useful in holding dental bridges in place, covering and supporting teeth with large fillings or cosmetic defects, covering dental implants, and improving the appearance of discoloration. Dental crowns may also be placed on the primary (baby) teeth of children susceptible to tooth decay or who have difficulty cooperating with the necessities of proper dentist cleanings due to behavior, age, or medical conditions that otherwise may require general anesthesia.
Permanent dental crowns are made from a variety of materials based on patient preference, age, and dental needs. Primarily used as a temporary measure on permanent teeth, stainless steel crowns protect the tooth while a permanent crown is manufactured out of another material. Stainless steel crowns can also be used with children to fit over a primary tooth and comes out naturally when the baby tooth falls out. Other crown materials include resins, ceramic, porcelain, gold, or platinum. The material ultimately used determines the longevity of the crown, appearance, and overall condition of the tooth being covered.
The process for getting a dental crown involves two dentist visits: an initial consultation to examine and prepare the tooth and a second visit to place the crown. This initial visit could involve the dentist taking X-rays to check the root structure and underlying bone of the tooth to determine if there is extensive decay that could require a root canal prior to placing the crown. Then, the dentist will reshape the chewing surface and sides of the tooth while the patient is anesthetized. Should there be a significant area of the tooth missing or damaged from decay, the dentist may use a filling material to build up the area in order to support the crown. Once the area has been prepped, an impression is made of the tooth and sent to the manufacturer during which, the patient will receive a temporary crown to cover the tooth. During the second visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown, checks the fit and color of the permanent crown, and anesthetizes the area before placing it.
Depending on the patient’s oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, crowns can typically last between five and 15 years. A crown does not require special care, but patients should ensure they floss daily, brush twice a day, and use an antibacterial mouthwash daily. Crowns cost between $800 and $1,700 each, a portion of which is often covered by insurance, so ensuring a sound oral hygiene practice is paramount to ensuring longevity of the prosthesis as well as protecting the patient’s investment.
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