For significant oral health issues, a dental crown could be the right solution for you. You may have visited your dentist before to clean out tooth decay that caused a cavity. Or, perhaps you have chipped a tooth. In these cases, fillings and composite bonding can be enough to take care of the issue. However, if you have a larger cavity or a broken tooth, your dentist may recommend getting a dental crown or cap instead. If you are nervous about the process, it is helpful to understand what happens and how it can benefit you.
Why the dentist may use a crown
Poor brushing and flossing habits can lead to serious decay or infections such as an abscessed tooth. These issues can spread if the patient does not visit the dentist right away. A root canal can clean out the damaged area, but the dentist will also place a cap over the tooth. This will protect the tooth and preserve its form and function. It can also help prevent addition cavities from developing. If a patient has a broken or cracked tooth from an accident or injury, the dentist may recommend a cap in these situations.
Preparing the tooth
Once it is determined that a crown is the right treatment, the dentist will take X-rays. These will go to a lab where a technician will create the caps. In the meantime, the dentist will numb the patient using a local anesthetic. Then the dentist will remove part of the tooth, so the cap can fit well. The dentist may also build up the tooth so it can support the cap. A temporary cap will be used until the permanent one is ready for use.
Placing the cap
Once the cap is ready, the patient will come to the dentist’s office to remove the temporary cap. The dentist will then test the permanent cap to make sure it fits properly and matches the color of the surrounding teeth. The dentist will again numb the patient’s mouth and will then cement the cap in place. It may take some time to get used to, but the patient should be able to eat normally within a day or two.
The dentist will check on the cap at future appointments. The patient should continue to come to the office every six months for checkups. During these visits, the dentist can check the function and strength of the cap. As it gets close to wearing out, the dentist may start to prepare a replacement cap. Most dental crowns last at least 10 years if the patient takes care of them.
Fix that smile
Badly damaged or decayed teeth can hurt your mouth and ruin your smile. You may even have anxiety in social settings. If your teeth are infected, or you have broken one or more, talk to your dentist about getting a cap. The process involves little pain or discomfort and takes a few steps to complete. Make an appointment today, so you can start to look and feel better.
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