Dental crowns are a prosthetic component that replaces lost tooth structure. Crowns are a means of dental restoration and are commonly known as dental caps or tooth caps because of the tooth-shaped cap placed over the tooth. This 'cap' protects the damaged or decayed coronal portion of a stable or viable tooth. Crowns are also used to hold together the parts of a cracked tooth once the infection or decayed particles are cleared out. Dental crowns are made of dental cement and completely cover the visible portion of the tooth.
Dentists recommend crowns for various reasons. The cap-shaped cover is used to protect and in turn strengthen the surviving damaged tooth structure while maintaining its original shape. Crowns also provide a satisfying cosmetic appearance for the teeth.
There are different types of crowns available today. Permanent crowns are made of metal and can be either gold or another metal alloy. There are also crowns made of porcelain, while others prefer ceramic crowns. Ceramic crowns are suitable for patients who are allergic to metal.
Dental crowns are designed and created in a dental laboratory. Your dentist first numbs the tooth in order to get an idea of the shape of the tooth. A temporary dental crown is then created. It takes two to three weeks to restore the natural form of the tooth and match the color. Prior to creating a permanent crown, your dentist will be able to examine various aspects of your bite and jaw movements from different angles. Once the examination is completed, the crown is molded to a perfect fit and made permanent.
You can expect your dental crowns to last approximately 10 to 15 years. But this is subject to good oral hygiene and cautious exposure to food and drinks. Talk to your dentist about taking care of your dental crowns so that they will last longer.
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