What is a Crown?
Made of a material like porcelain, crowns are synthetic caps that are placed on the top of a tooth.
They restore a tooth's function and its appearance after a procedure like a root canal. Crowns are often used to repair the tooth if there is advanced decay, and large portions of the tooth have to be removed.
If you have implants, a cracked tooth, or a loose filling, crowns will be used to restore a tooth’s function. Sometimes crowns are also used to attach bridges. In addition, crowns serve an aesthetic purpose. They can be applied to a discolored or stained tooth and restore it to its natural appearance.
Once a tooth is reduced in size to accommodate a crown, we make an impression of the existing tooth and create a crown that’s custom-designed. We send the impression to a lab, where they manufacture the custom crown. A temporary crown is usually applied to the tooth until the permanent crown is finished. Afterwards, the crown is cemented in place. Crowns and veneers are confused at times, but they are different. Veneers generally cover relatively small areas.
Caring for your Crowns
A good crown could last up to eight years or longer with proper care. Flossing in the area of the crown to remove excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration is very important. Jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) can shorten the life of a crown. Watch eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy, because they can compromise the crown’s adhesion or damage it.
What to Do While Wearing a Temporary Crown or Bridge
Temporary dental crowns are just a temporary cover until your permanent crown is ready. We recommend the following to ensure that your temporary crown serves you well.
Don't be surprised if you have some mild discomfort around the gums of the temporary or around the area where anesthesia was applied for the next couple of days. Rinsing with warm salt water will help accelerate the healing of the gums.
For pain management, an effective pain regimen is to take Ibuprofen (Advil) 400mg + Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 500mg together every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. Do not exceed 2400mg Ibuprofen or 3000mg Acetaminophen daily.
Avoid sticky, chewy foods which have the potential of grabbing and pulling off the temporary crown. Avoid chewing hard foods which could break the temporary crown.
Brush and floss as normal but when flossing do not pull floss up between the temporary crown. Pull the floss through instead. Lifting up may cause the temporary to come off.
What if My Temporary Crown Comes Off?
The most important thing is not to panic. If this happens, it is not an emergency but do not be surprised if the tooth is sensitive- that is normal. Call our office to make an appointment to re-cement your temporary crown at 423-265-3471.
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