Crowns are synthetic teeth-like coverings that are designed to make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem. A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth.
If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn`t enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
A crown can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn`t enough tooth left. In most cases, crowns are indicated after a root canal therapy, and are used to restore and strengthen a devital tooth.
Crowns also can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that`s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It`s also used to cover a dental implant.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.
Because crowns require more tooth structure removal, they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are stationary and are normally used for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure, or to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.
Crowns normally last between five and eight years. Many last much longer if you practice good daily oral hygiene. Teeth grinding, chewing ice, or fingernail biting may lower the life expectancy of your crown significantly, however.
Cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.