Dental crowns are used to cover and protect teeth. A dental crown are indicated if a tooth has been severely damaged, if there is a large filling present, large areas of cavities are present or if you have a tooth that has a root canal in the back of the mouth. Dental crowns are also used to attach to dental implants, which allows for a tooth to be replaced in the area.
The types of materials can be all metal, porcelain fused to metal or all porcelain. These materials are usually determined based on your specific tooth and the potential limitations there may be. Traditionally, dental crowns are sent to a dental lab to be made and a temporary dental crown will be placed on your tooth until the dental crown is returned from the lab. Lowell Tooth Docs utilizes the highest quality dental lab to ensure your crowns look and feel great.
Delivering a crown in this fashion takes two visits to complete. The initial visit is for the preparation of the tooth, which involves removing anything problematic (cavity, cracks, old fillings, etc.) and creating enough room for the crown material to be strong enough to maintain your bite. When you leave this visit, a temporary crown will be placed over your tooth to protect it until the permanent is returned from the lab. Once the permanent arrives, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented in place.
Maintaining good hygiene while you have a temporary crown is very important. Continue to brush around the temporary crown as you would any other tooth in your mouth, but be cautious when flossing. A water flosser used on the lowest setting will be the best option to clean around the temporary crown, but flossing can still be done AS LONG AS YOU DON’T PULL THE FLOSS BACK UP. Floss down, then pull the floss out. If you pull the floss back up, it is very likely to pull the temporary crown off.
If a temporary crown comes off, it is very important to either put it back in yourself (if you can orient it yourself) or call our office so we can put it back on for you. If a temporary crown is off before we cement your permanent crown, your teeth can shift. The shifting of your teeth will lead to your permanent crown no longer fitting when it comes back from the dental lab. Putting your temporary crown back in will only take us 5-10 minutes, so please be sure to call us if it comes off.
Dental crowns still require good hygiene to ensure they last a long time. The interface between tooth structure and crown should be a smooth transition and seal off your tooth completely, but bacteria can still get under this area if you aren’t keeping the area clean. Another way to protect dental crowns is to use clear-style retainers or a nightguard to ensure that excess pressure at night doesn’t compromise the strength of the crowns.