If you’re experiencing some unusual sensation on one of your teeth, it might be time to get a dental crown. If you’ve never had a crown before, you might not know what a crown is or how a crown is installed. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of dental crowns and describe some common signs that it might be time to get one.
What Is A Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth covering made of an artificial material that is used to cover up a damaged tooth. Crowns can cover up damage to protect the inner tooth, improve cosmetic appearance, and maintain the structure of your teeth to prevent further issues. Dental crowns are most commonly made of porcelain, a porcelain/metal hybrid, or gold.
What Is The Dental Crown Process Like?
Once your dentist has decided that a dental crown is needed, they will create a mold of your damaged tooth. This mold is then sent off to a lab to manufacture a crown that will match the size and shape of your old tooth.
While the permanent crown is being manufactured, your dentist will seat a temporary crown to protect your tooth. This crown will be attached with a strong dental adhesive, but you should expect to take it easy on that tooth while the temporary crown is in place for about 2-3 weeks.
Once the permanent crown is completed, your dentist will schedule you for another appointment to affix the permanent crown. During this procedure, the dentist will remove the temporary crown, seat the permanent crown, and make some adjustments to make sure that the new crown is just as comfortable as your natural tooth. After a healing process of a few days, your crown should feel just as good as the real thing!
Signs You Might Need A Dental Crown
There are several signs that it might be time to get a dental crown. Here are a few of the most common ones:
- Tooth Pain – If you suddenly experience pain in a specific tooth, this could be an indicator of some dental issues that require a crown. If the tooth damage is extensive enough, a crown might be needed instead of a filling.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold – Temperature sensitivity might indicate that your tooth is cracked and the nerves inside of your teeth are getting unwanted exposure to temperature changes in your mouth. This can be a minor annoyance or a painful experience. Capping your tooth off with a crown can protect the nerves and alleviate the pain.
- A misshapen or stained tooth – If you notice that one of your teeth is misshapen or stained, a crown might be used in a cosmetic application. Crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth by providing a renewed exterior to the tooth surface.
- You have had a root canal – Teeth that have had a root canal procedure lose a lot of structural integrity. A crown can hold your tooth in place and keep it aligned with the other teeth in your mouth. The crown also protects the inside of your tooth that has been exposed by the root canal, preventing tooth pain and infection.
- You have a large filling – If a tooth filing takes up 2/3 of your tooth’s surface or more, you may need a crown to maintain the integrity of the tooth. Large fillings can make a tooth’s surface weaker, so a crown can help strengthen your tooth so that it doesn’t crack.
Only your dentist can decide if a crown is the correct treatment for your tooth pain. But if you experience any of the signs described in this article, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist about crowns during your next dental appointment.