Your teeth are an essential part of your mouth. They are strong and can stand up to much daily wear and tear. However, they are not indestructible. When damage to your teeth does occur, whether, from facial trauma, tooth decay, or a sports related injury, it can seriously harm your oral health. When the damage goes untreated, it can cause further damage to the tooth, such as splitting or shattering, or painful infections. Damaged teeth, depending upon their location, can also greatly impact your smile. At National Dental Williston Park, we provide crowns to restore the health and function of your damaged teeth.
What are Dental Crowns?
There are several different types of damage that can happen to a tooth – chips, cracks, decay. No matter what the type of damage, the strength of the affected tooth, and your oral health, become compromised. A crown is a “cap” that covers the entire visible area of a damaged tooth. The crown holds a damaged tooth together, provides it with strength, and protects it from bacterial infection, avoiding the need for an extraction.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are a few different types of materials that are used to make dental crowns:
- Metal Crowns. Metal crowns have been in use for several decades. The strength of these crowns is unparalleled. They can stand up to the strongest bite pressures and are practically indestructible (lasting 50 years or more). They are ideal for crowns toward the back of the mouth. However, despite their strength, many people tend to lean away from metal crowns as they are highly visible. Their silver or gold color makes them stand out from the rest of your teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal. PFM crowns consist of a metal base and a white porcelain coating. The metal base is meant to provide strength to your tooth, while the porcelain provides aesthetics, helping the crown to blend in. While porcelain matches the color of your natural enamel, a thin metal line often shows through at the base of the crown, making it more obvious.
- Ceramic. Ceramic crowns (made entirely of ceramic) are the most aesthetic option. While the material may not be as strong as metal, it can stand up to normal biting and chewing forces. Ceramic imitates many of the properties of natural enamel, including the color and the light reflecting properties, helping it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your mouth. Ceramic crowns are ideal for damaged teeth toward the front of the mouth.
How are Dental Crowns Placed?
Placing crowns typically takes two visits. During the first visit, your tooth is prepared. This process is done under a local anesthetic and involves trimming (or removing) a portion of your enamel. This allows the crown to fit naturally in with the rest of your smile. Once your tooth is prepared, we then take an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a lab, where your custom crown is designed and created. It can take up to two weeks for your crown to be ready, so a temporary crown is placed in the meantime to protect the tooth from bacteria. Once the crown is finished, we will check your crown for fit and cement it into place.
Dental Crown Benefits
Crowns offer several benefits:
- They protect your tooth from further damage and infections.
- They protect a tooth following a root canal.
- Ceramic crowns blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile.
- They anchor bridges in place and cover screws from dental implants.
- They help you to avoid the need for an extraction.
When your teeth have been damaged, getting treatment right away is essential. To find out more about dental crowns, and if they are right for you, call National Dental Williston Park today at (516) 686-9780.