Repair Your Teeth with Dental Crowns

Your oral health and comfort can be jeopardized when your teeth sustain damage. Deep cracks, severe pain, and possible tooth loss can occur if you don’t receive treatment for a structurally unstable tooth. If your tooth needs more than a regular filling to restore its integrity, your dentist may choose a dental crown. Also called a cap, a dental crown fits securely over any tooth structure above the gum line.

Depending on the extent of damage and the location of the tooth, your dentist will place a ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or metal crown. Usually, porcelain crowns are recommended for teeth that are visible when you smile. Because the human bite can exert about 50 pounds of pressure in the back of the mouth, the chewing force can be as powerful as 200 lbs, which could destroy a ceramic crown. Typically, all-metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or zirconia crowns are used for back teeth.

Sometimes, damage occurs to a tooth that doesn’t need a crown, but is too severe for a filling. Inlays and onlays offer a good solution. Constructed from solid ceramic or metal materials, these partial crowns are stronger than traditional fillings. Inlays cover the cusps (bumps) on top of a tooth; onlays fit over a cusp and down the side of the tooth.

Crown placement usually takes two appointments. At the first visit, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, reshape the tooth, and take impressions for the custom restoration. Your doctor will also place a temporary crown. Final placement will occur at the second appointment, once the dental office receives the permanent restoration.

Dentist in Shreveport LA for dental crowns

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Root Canal Therapy: What’s Next?

Once you have undergone root canal therapy, your tooth will require permanent dental restoration to allow it to return safely to full function. During a root canal treatment your dentist creates an access cavity in the tooth, which further weakens an already compromised tooth. Depending on the condition of your tooth, there are a several options to consider for restoring an endodontically treated tooth.

For a tooth that is relatively intact, with little damage to the overall structure of the tooth, your dentist may recommend a tooth-colored filling.  Teeth that did not require the creation of a large access cavity or were not excessively damaged prior to treatment would be candidates for restoration with a filling. This type of restoration is probably best suited to small cavities in front teeth that are not utilized for heavy chewing.

The most common type of permanent restoration for root canal treated teeth are dental crowns. Because the tooth may have been severely damaged by either trauma or decay, root canal therapy further weakens the structure. Dental crowns provide stability and protect the tooth from future damage. Crowns also effectively protect against bacteria entering and contaminating the treated tooth. Studies have shown the highest success rate for the life of a tooth restored with a dental crown.

Your dentist will place a temporary restoration at the time of your root canal therapy. A permanent restoration, either filling or crown, should be placed as soon as reasonably possible to protect the tooth from additional fracture or decay. Consult with Broadmoor Family Dental in Shreveport for additional information about which type of restoration would be best suited to seal and protect your tooth after root canal therapy.

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How to Best Care for Your Dental Crowns and Bridges

When you have had restorative dental work such as dental crowns or dental bridges, you will want to take care of them so they will last as long as possible. Although they are designed to last for 10 to 20 years, sometimes they can become loose or even fall out. The main cause of a dental bridge or crown failure is dental disease.

You can take steps now to prevent oral problems by developing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits.

  • Brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day, or following each meal. Brushing is the best way to prevent calcium buildup and plaque on your teeth and restoration work. Dental plaque is a breeding ground for bacteria that feeds on the debris in your mouth, producing toxins. When you remove the plaque from your teeth the toxins are also removed, leaving your mouth healthier.
  • Flossing once a day is essential. If you have a dental bridge, you must clean underneath it. Special flossing tools are available to help you accomplish this. When you clean around your dental crowns, be careful not to pull upwards on the floss, but instead to draw the floss through so as not to put undue pressure on the crown, perhaps loosening it.
  • Anti-bacterial mouth rinses are an excellent way to reduce bacteria in the mouth that leads to plaque and decay.
  • Do not eat hard or sticky foods, especially hard or gummy candy. Never chew ice, as this can damage your dental crowns or bridges, requiring you to visit the dentist again for repairs.
  • Eat foods that are high in nutrients, especially calcium, ensuring that your teeth, gums and bones stay healthy and able to support your dental restoration.
  • Always be certain to visit your dentist regularly for professional checkups and cleanings.

Your dental crowns and bridges will have increased longevity if you follow these tips.

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