Must-Knows About Dental Crowns
You may have undergone root canal therapy recently, or you may have teeth that are severely worn down. These and other conditions may have led your dentist in St. Petersburg FL to recommend you get a dental crown. However, you are hesitant because you have limited information about these restorations. Here is a brief guide on everything you need to know about dental crowns so that you can make an informed decision about the suitability of these restorations for your needs.
Dental Crowns Defined
A tooth can be divided into two main parts. The first part that is visible below the gum line in upper teeth and above the gum line in lower teeth is called the crown. The second part, hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root of the tooth.
A dental crown is a restoration that covers most or all of the visible parts of your tooth. Dr. Brian Leeson, who performs cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL, points out that dental crowns may also be called dental caps.
Terms Associated with Crowns
The Margin. A margin refers to the edge of a dental crown that comes in contact with a tooth that has been prepared for this restoration. Dentists in St. Petersburg FL say that margins have to be smooth and devoid of ledges so they can sit firmly on the tooth.
Cusps. These are the pointed segments on the teeth that tear and chew food. A dental crown is necessary to repair a tooth whose cusps have been damaged due to root canal therapy or a fracture.
Crown Preparation. This refers to the design made of a tooth once that tooth has been shaved to create room for a dental crown. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, asserts that the extent to which a tooth is prepared depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the extent to which the tooth is damaged and the material the dental crown will be fabricated with.
Temporary or Provisional Crown. As the name suggests, this is a crown that is designed to be used for a short time. This is during the time when the permanent crown is being made by a dental lab. However, practitioners of cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL may deliberately leave a temporary crown in place for an extended duration. This would be the case if you have tooth pain and the dentist wants to leave that provisional crown until the pain subsides.
When Would You Need a Dental Crown?
The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry point out that many situations warrant the use of a crown to restore a tooth. The examples below show some of those situations.
When You Get a Large Filling. St. Pete dentists normally recommend a crown if you require a filling that covers at least half of the width of your tooth. A crown is necessary in this case because what is left of your natural tooth is normally so weak that it is likely to fracture. A crown restores strength to such a tooth.
Root Canal Therapy. After a root canal treatment, what is left of your tooth is likely to become brittle and fracture after the infected or dead tissue inside the tooth is cleaned out. To maintain the structural integrity of your tooth, Dr. Leeson will recommend a dental crown to be placed immediately after the root canal procedure.
Excessive Tooth Wear. Many factors, such as bruxism and GERD (gastrointestinal acid reflux), can cause teeth to be worn down excessively. As the teeth wear down, they become shorter and the best way to get them back to their normal size is by visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry to have crowns placed on those teeth.
Undesirable Appearance. If you are unhappy about the appearance of your teeth (due to discoloration, shape or gaps, for example), you may need dental crowns to fix those imperfections. Alternatively, the St. Pete dentist may opt for veneers as a better way to fix the cosmetic dental problems you face.
Steps to Getting Dental Crowns
First, the team at 4th Street Family Dentistry will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. When the anesthesia kicks in, Dr. Brian Leeson will shave down the tooth in order to make space for the crown.
Thereafter, the 4th Street Family Dentistry team will take an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a putty-like mold. This mold, together with the shade picked from a color guide, will be sent to a lab so that your customized crown can be fabricated.
Before you leave the dental office, the dental care team will place temporary crowns on the prepared teeth. This is so the prepared surfaces can be preserved and your teeth can be safeguarded from damage while you wait for the permanent crowns.
About two weeks later, you will be contacted by 4th Street Family Dentistry to return for your second visit. This is when the permanent crowns will be placed. During this visit, Dr. Leeson will remove the temporary crowns and replace them with permanent ones. Next, Dr. Leeson will inspect these crowns to confirm they fit well, have smooth margins, and don’t cause any bite problems. A special light is then used to cure the permanent cement used to attach the crown to your tooth.
Is the Procedure Painful?
The local anesthetic used as a crown is placed on your tooth ensures that the process is pain-free. When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some discomfort. However, that can be alleviated with the pain medication prescribed by your dentist in St. Petersburg FL. You can then start enjoying the benefits of your brand new crown.
Still Have Questions?
Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today and get answers to all your questions. Our experienced staff will go through all your options and recommend the best way to treat any dental issues you may have to achieve the smile of your dreams.