When Do You Need a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are caps that are placed over a damaged tooth. They can be used to protect, restore and strengthen your teeth. They are functional and can enhance your natural smile. Dental crowns can be used to treat a range of oral issues. At Whitehorse Dental our team of friendly dentists are experienced in fitting dental crowns. 

In this article, we answer the question: when do you need a dental crown?

When do you need a dental crown?

Your dentist may suggest a dental crown for several reasons which may  include:

  • Protecting a weakened or decayed tooth 
  • Preventing a tooth from cracking or breaking
  • Restoring a broken or severely worn-down tooth 
  • Covering and supporting a tooth that has a large filling
  • Holding a dental bridge in place
  • Covering a misshapen or discoloured tooth
  • Topping off a dental implant
  • Covering a tooth that has had a root canal treatment

What is a dental crown?

Over time your teeth can become decayed or damaged. Dental crowns are used to restore this. They are custom made caps that are placed over your existing tooth. Dental crowns are bonded in place and can last many years. They do not require much maintenance other than good oral hygiene. 

Dental crowns can be made from a variety of different materials. They can be colour matched to your existing tooth colour and offer a natural-looking finish. Dental crowns can also enhance your natural smile.  

What’s involved in the dental crown procedure?

While no two dental crown procedures are identical, you can generally expect it to look a little like this:

Initial consultation

In your initial, your dentist will thoroughly assess your oral health and the condition of your teeth and gums. This may involve taking x-rays of the tooth and surrounding area. These x-rays give your dentist a thorough look at the damaged tooth and surrounding bone.

The first appointment

Your dentist then administers a local anaesthetic before preparing your tooth to make room for the crown. Once this is done, they take an impression of your tooth. This is sent off to a special lab where your crown is custom-made. It usually takes two to three weeks, so your dentist will fit a temporary crown on your tooth in the meantime.

The second appointment

At your second appointment, your dentist will remove your temporary crown and fit the permanent one. Your dentist ensures the perfect fit before bonding it in place. Once the crown has been fitted, your dentist does a few final alignment and bite checks, and then you’re good to go!

There isn’t much downtime after a dental crown procedure. It’s important to be aware that any local anaesthetic may take a few hours to wear off. So, be careful when eating during the initial hours after your procedure – this can help you avoid biting your lips or chewing the insides of your cheeks while numb. You may feel a little sensitivity for the first 24-48 hours, but it should wear off. Our dentists recommend that you avoid chewy or hard foods for the first 24 hours. 

How to maintain your dental crown

Dental crowns are permanent fixtures that can last for many years. With good oral care and hygiene, you can increase the longevity of your crown. Below are some of the steps you should follow to maintain your dental crown:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for a full two minutes
  2. Floss once a day
  3. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste
  4. Use a fluoride-based mouthwash
  5. Limit your sugar intake
  6. Be mindful when eating hard foods
  7. Do not use your teeth to open bottles or packaging
  8. Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sport

Whitehorse Dental is here to help

At Whitehorse Dental we care about the health of your teeth. We have an experienced team of dentists who can help you with any dental concerns you may have. If you require a dental crown, we can provide you with all the information you need and exceptional patient care. If you’d like to know more or make an appointment then give us a call.