You cracked a tooth on some hard candy, and things have been rough since then. Eating is harder, and you find that you’re more reluctant to smile. The good news is that there are many ways for your dentist to repair the damaged tooth; they’ve suggested a dental crown, which will protect against further damage and help restore what you’ve lost. It sounds great, but life with fewer teeth has made you worry: what if it doesn’t last? Learn how you can take care of your dental crowns in Carrollton so that you won’t need a replacement too soon.
What Are Dental Crowns, and Why Would I Need One?
A dental crown is a hollow cap placed on the surface of a natural tooth. They may be made of porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys (even gold), and various other materials. Dental crowns provides a strong chewing surface that should allow the patient to eat normally for the most part (though your dentist may advise against certain foods), and it can restore the appearance of misshapen teeth. They have many uses, such as protecting weak teeth, restoring broken teeth or preventing further breaking, and keeping your jaw’s natural alignment.
How Long Will My Dental Crown Last?
Dental crowns don’t last forever; they can be worn down or damaged. The good news is that well cared for crowns tend to last longer; with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, they can usually last 15 to 20 years before needing to be replaced.
How Can I Make My Dental Crown Last Longer?
In general, the same things that help protect your natural teeth will help protect your crown:
- Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth; if this tends to happen while you’re sleeping, you may need to wear a custom night guard.
- Do not chew on hard candy, ice, fingernails, or other particularly hard objects.
- Keep up with good oral health habits such as brushing and flossing regularly. Remember that the area under the crown is still vulnerable to decay, so be sure to brush the surrounding area thoroughly, particularly at the gumline.
- See your dentist in Carrollton twice a year for routine cleaning and examination.
How Can I Tell When My Dental Crown Needs to be Changed?
A dental crown needs to be replaced if it’s chipped or damaged. It may also need to be removed if a cavity forms underneath it. An unbalanced bite or an improperly made crown are also common reasons for replacements.
Dental crowns can be an excellent solution for damaged teeth, but while they’re durable, you shouldn’t assume they’re indestructible. Give them the same care you would give to the rest of your mouth, and you should be able to make them last as long as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Dandois has over 30 years of dentistry experience; he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He has undergone extensive training in restorative dentistry (including crowns and implants), intravenous and oral conscious sedation, and bracket and wire braces; he loves working with patients and being able to offer a wide variety of services. To learn more about dental crowns and other restorative services, visit his practice’s website or call (972) 394-7007.