Crowns & Bridges

dental-icons-08Crowns should last approximately five to eight years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision, most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.

A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and a filling will not solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage does not get worse.

Crowns are also used to restore a tooth when there is not enough of the tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling. Crowns are also used to attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore an existing fractured tooth or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.

To prepare the tooth for a crown, the tooth is reduced so that the crown can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is ready to be placed. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.

Why crowns and not veneers?

Crowns require more tooth structure to be removed than a veneer, hence they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure or to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.

What is the difference between a cap and a crown?

There is no difference between a cap and a crown. Both terms are used and mean the same thing.

How long do crowns last?

Crowns should last approximately five to eight years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision, most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.

How should I take care of my crown?

To prevent damaging or fracturing the crown, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. People who grind their teeth, may need to wear a nightguard. Besides visiting your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or inter-dental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.