Crowns—Make Your Smile Royal


CrownsDental crowns can offer significant protection to a tooth with serious structural damage. Similar to the way in which football helmets use state-of-the-art materials to function as brain-protecting headgear, crowns have evolved into dental restorations that encase your natural tooth in order to keep it strong and healthy.

Here are some basic facts about crowns that can help you better understand what they are if your dentist recommends them for you.

Crowns, in all their glory

  1. There are two main reasons to install a crown – to provide structural support to a weakened natural tooth, or to protect the tooth’s root. They are often chosen when a tooth has a significant amount of tooth decay, has suffered a major crack or chip, or if the tooth has had to undergo a root canal and needs to be protected as part of the after-care for that procedure.
  2. Crowns can be made out of a wide variety of materials. The most common types of crown materials are metal, porcelain which can be also fused to metal, and ceramic. Each one offers specific advantages and disadvantages; your dentist can discuss with you what material might be best for your crown.
  3. To shape the natural tooth to receive its crown, a large amount of natural tooth material must be removed. This means that the crown provides an aesthetically pleasing restoration for a tooth with significant damage to it. It is not a recommended solution for a tooth with minor appearance issues that is essentially healthy. In that situation, your dentist might recommend a procedure such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers.
  4. With proper care, a crown can last five to 15 years. It’s important to observe your regular daily oral hygiene routine with a crowned tooth and visit your dentist for regular checkups. Crowns don’t last forever, but with good care, you can extend their useful life significantly.

“Crowns are the ‘royal workhorses’ of the dental world,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist in practice in central Phoenix. “They rescue natural teeth that are broken or damaged, and often can improve their appearance, as well.”

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