While dental crowns may not have the luster of the crowns of royalty, they can have a powerful effect on saving your smile. Often when we don’t take proper care of our teeth, they can wear away and lose their strength and shape. There are a number of things that can contribute to tooth decay including skipping regular dental checkups, eating hard candy and not brushing one’s teeth.
When our teeth wear away, break off, or deteriorate due to cavities, we can place a crown to cover, protect or restore the broken or decayed teeth. Dental crowns can even be used cosmetically to cover up other implants or discolored teeth. . They are essentially caps that are placed over your teeth and are a sort of “last resort” for a tooth that has too much damage for a normal filling to fix.
In the past, technology was such that these special tooth caps had to be made of metal with a simple porcelain overlay to mimic the look of a normal and real tooth. But the metal underneath caused the crown’s look to worsen considerably over time. The material that your crown is made of is dependent on many factors, such as severity of tooth decay or location of the tooth in your mouth, but generally, crowns are made up of the following:
- Porcelain, usually more esthetically pleasing
- A durable plastic
- Metal: gold, nickel or chromium
In the past, the metal crown can be seen just while talking as metal is exposed at the gum line or in the way the color or stain of your crowned tooth just doesn’t match the rest. But the dark ages are over and no one needs to know which of your teeth have crowns just by casting a glance. New technology is now available. Cosmetic dentists can now offer you all porcelain or all acrylic crowns. These crowns do a much better job of being inconspicuous among the rest of your teeth and give off a much more natural look.
Dental crowns can generally be placed in a couple of visits. And if properly taken care of, can last for years without being replaced. Call our office to see if your mouth deserves a crown.