Tips for Caring for Your Dental Crowns - Your Comprehensive GuideJun 05, 2023
Your dental health is a fundamental aspect of your overall well-being, and dental crowns are one tool in the extensive toolbox of modern dentistry, designed to restore, protect, and enhance your smile. Before we delve into the heart of the matter—proper care for dental crowns, it's important to comprehend why you might have gotten a crown in the first place.
A dental crown, colloquially known as a 'cap,' is a bespoke dental restoration that encases a tooth or dental implant. The reasons for needing a crown vary extensively. For instance, crowns are used to restore the structure of a tooth that's been extensively damaged by decay or cracked from trauma, ensuring it can function as normal. They're also utilized following root canal therapy, where the tooth is usually left hollow and thus needs protection. Moreover, crowns can provide the finishing touch to a dental implant, serving as the visible part of the tooth or improving the aesthetics of a discolored or misshapen tooth.
While the reasons for getting a crown are numerous, so are the types of crowns available. This versatility allows your dentist to choose the ideal material for your specific needs. Porcelain or ceramic crowns, for instance, are favored for their natural color, blending seamlessly with your other teeth, making them an optimal choice for front teeth. On the other hand, gold and metal alloy crowns are praised for their exceptional durability, handling the biting force of molar teeth with grace. A popular middle-ground solution is porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. They combine the durability of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain, providing an all-around satisfactory solution.
So, you've got your crown, and it's performing its duty brilliantly. But how do you make sure it continues to do so for as long as possible?
The lifespan of a dental crown is determined by several factors, including the level of wear and tear it undergoes, your personal oral habits, and, crucially, the degree to which you maintain your oral hygiene. Properly cared for, a crown can last anywhere between 5 to 15 years, with some crowns enduring a lifetime. Here's how to tip the odds in your favor:
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: This is the fundamental factor to crown longevity. Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, and don't neglect to floss daily. An interdental brush can be very effective in cleaning around your crown, particularly if it's situated near the gum line.
Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular visits to your dentist aren't merely a preventative measure; they're a proactive approach to oral health. Your dentist can identify potential problems early and suggest necessary interventions, significantly increasing the lifespan of your crown. Aim for a check-up at least twice a year.
Mindful Eating: While crowns are resilient, they're not impervious to damage. Avoid hard foods and refrain from chewing ice or non-food items like pen caps. These can all pose a risk to your crown.
Avoid Teeth Grinding: If you're prone to bruxism (teeth grinding), consider discussing the use of a night guard with your dentist. This can protect your crowns during sleep, prolonging their lifespan.
Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods: These types of food and drink can instigate tooth decay, potentially damaging the tooth supporting your crown. If this happens, you might require a new crown or other dental procedures.
So, what happens if you damage your crown?
If you notice any cracks, chips, or other damages to your crown, it's important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. While a damaged crown might not always cause immediate pain, it can lead to complications down the line. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of further damage or infection. In the meantime, avoid eating hard or sticky foods and try not to chew on the side with the damaged crown.
In emergencies, over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive can be used to reattach a dislodged crown temporarily, but you should always consult with your dentist promptly. Never try to glue the crown back in place yourself, as you could inadvertently trap bacteria under it, which could lead to decay or infection. The safe restoration of a damaged crown is best left to the professionals.
When it comes to getting a dental crown or needing any other dental care, the professionals at Prosthodontics & Implant Therapy dental offices stand ready to provide top-tier service. With three conveniently located offices in Tampa, Riverview, and Land O’ Lakes, achieving and maintaining excellent dental health has never been easier.
So, seize the day! Put your dental health first and make every day a reason to flash that beautiful smile. With us, it's never been easier to Smile Tampa! Connect with our team of dedicated, highly trained professionals today and secure the health and longevity of your dental crowns. The commitment to your smile starts with a simple call.