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Dental Crowns and When to Get One

Dental Crown

A dental crown is an artificial restoration that looks like a tooth. First a broken, damaged, or missing tooth is prepared for restoration. Then a crown or a ‘cap’, as it is sometimes called, is fitted on to the prepared tooth. This process makes teeth stronger and makes them look like normal teeth. Crowns have oral health benefits and are also useful for cosmetic purposes. Crowns are designed to fit seamlessly in with the natural teeth when it comes to shape, size, color, and texture. It also restores the patient’s biting function.

You may need a dental crown if:

  • You are missing a tooth due to breakage or decay
  • You have a discolored filling
  • You have a root filling and need a cap to protect the remainder of the tooth
  • You have dentures and need them to be firmly in place

Sometimes crowns are used to keep artificial teeth in place by making it a part of a dental bridge. At other times, crowns are used as caps on dental implants, replacing missing teeth. Crowns are usually cemented onto dental implants or existing teeth. Only dentists can remove these if at all necessary.

Crowns are made of different materials. Most crowns are made of a mixture of porcelain and other precious metals. Sometimes, porcelain is used by itself, though it does not have as strong a base as the metal ones. However, these look very much like natural teeth and are therefore used for front teeth. All-ceramic crowns are comparatively recent and a modern alternative to metal crowns. It is strong like metal crowns and natural looking like porcelain crowns. These can be used anywhere in the mouth. Glass crowns also look very natural and can be placed in all areas of the mouth. As far as filling materials go, gold is one of the oldest. Gold is now fused with other metal alloys to make them stronger. These are either silver or gold in color.

First the dentist will prepare the tooth to be replaced. This is done keeping in mind the shape of the tooth. First, a layer of the outer surface is removed, leaving the strong inner core intact. Once this is done, a mold or impression of the remaining tooth will be taken. Impressions of the opposite jaw will also be taken along with the bite. After this, a dental technician will be given the impressions along with information about the shade for the tooth. While the crown gets prepared, the patient is fitted with a temporary restoration. Once the crown is ready, the dentist takes out the temporary restoration and cements the crown onto the existing tooth or the dental implant.

Crowns typically last a lifetime. However, these sometimes come loose. The best way to ensure the wellbeing of a crown is by maintaining good oral hygiene.

  • If the crown is new, avoid chewing hard foods like raw vegetables.
  • Brush your teeth twice, daily.
  • Floss everyday.
  • Don’t bite your nails or grind your teeth.
  • Contact your dentist for regular checkups and teeth cleaning.

DM Dental is one of the premiere dental health organizations that help people with crowns for teeth in Des Moines. Call us today at 515-512-5377 to schedule an appointment.

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