dental crowns

Your teeth are part of one big happy family, but when one of them is damaged or otherwise fails, the whole group suffers. The good news is that many instances of damage to teeth can be repaired with dental crowns, which are “covers” made from specially-designed and durable materials typically colored in a shade to naturally blend with your existing teeth.

Reasons for needing a crown vary, but some of the most common include:

  • Restoring large areas of decay that cannot be addressed with a typical filling
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restoring a tooth after root canal procedures
  • Cosmetic reasons to improve a discolored tooth
  • Rebuild structural areas of an injured or cracked tooth

Caring for dental crowns

Dental crowns are incredibly strong and with the right kind of attentive care they can last many years. The best strategy in caring for dental crowns blends regular dental visits with diligent oral care at home, including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing them at least once, while maintaining a healthy diet.

Food to avoid with dental crowns

Always remember that it is a good idea to steer clear of very hard foods (no Jawbreakers) and don’t do things like chewing on ice; either of these choices could cause breakage of the crown. In addition to hard candy, other food can have a significant impact on the lifespan of your dental crowns, including nuts, sticky desserts, chewing gum, and even crunchy fresh vegetable such as carrots and broccoli.

Once the crown procedure is complete it doesn’t take much time to adjust to the feel of the crown on your repaired tooth. However, some foods can complicate the process and make your adjustment period more challenging. These kinds of food will not negatively affect your dental crown but if they make eating uncomfortable, you should at least temporarily eliminate them from your diet:

  • Soup, coffee, and other hot foods can cause some teeth adorned with crowns to feel sensitivity, especially if there was any gum recession also at play.
  • Cold foods can trigger the same painful sensitivity, so stay away from ice cream for a while.
  • Avoid sugary foods, sticky candy, and the like as an everyday rule, and always when you have a dental crown. Sugar is an express route to decay and sticky or hard foods can damage the crown.

Dental crown care tips

While the lifespan of a dental crown varies, your oral hygiene habits go a long way in extending that time frame. In addition to brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash; be aware of and follow these tips:

  • Consider using a night guard. These guards resemble retainers to ensure upper and lower teeth do not touch, and they are also very helpful in protecting against grinding teeth while sleeping. Grinding teeth wears them down and can even cause a crown to pop right off.
  • Ditch bad habits like chewing your fingernails or ice, which can loosen a crown from its moorings. When brushing, remember to be attentive to the gumline area.
  • Some lower quality crowns are susceptible to chipping, such as porcelain-based varieties. A dentist may be able to restore a damaged crown by etching it with an adhesive to bond the crown’s composite resin. However, repaired crowns are prone to damage and are generally less durable.
  • Perhaps the most critical step in crown maintenance is keeping up with routine dentist visits. It’s easy to procrastinate but preemptive visits can help identify and remedy issues before they become serious (and expensive).

Remember, if you feel pain while chewing or biting down, immediately schedule an appointment so your dentist can investigate the cause of the problem. One common culprit is the crown sits up too high and in that case your dentist can adjust its shape and position. Other times, glue beneath the crown washes away and bacteria finds its way in to cause decay. Crowns can also fall off completely if not properly adhered.

If your crown does fall off, do not attempt to “glue” it back into place and most definitely do not ignore it and choose to simply put up with it. Use a temporary adhesive like Fixodent to keep the crown in place until your dentist can have a look.

veneers

Teeth are extremely durable, but they’re hardly immune from damage, and often, we behave in ways that are harmful to our teeth without even knowing it. The foods and beverages you consume,Veneers for example, could help or harm your teeth. While calcium-rich foods like dairy products work to strengthen teeth, ingredients like sugar and acid in soda can weaken enamel, feed bacteria, and lead to tooth decay.

Although our teeth can be damaged by cracks, chips, staining, and decay, there are a variety of dental solutions designed to meet both your functional and cosmetic needs, protecting your teeth from further harm and restoring your smile simultaneously. In some cases, these treatment options can also correct issues like crowding, gaps, and uneven edges, as well.

The question is: are veneers or crowns a better option when facing these smile snafus? Which solution is right for you? Here are a few things you’ll want to consider.

Coverage

Both veneers and crowns are potential solutions to dental issues like damage or cosmetic concerns, but there are a couple of key differences that will help to determine which one is the better option on a case-by-case basis. One of those differences is the amount of coverage each option provides.

Crowns offer significantly more coverage than veneers. One of the major selling points of veneers is how thin they are, generally less than a millimeter in thickness. This allows patients to retain the vast majority of any tooth being covered, although the enamel will have to be etched to allow for the best adhesion, or bonding of the veneer material to the tooth. In addition, veneers are only applied to the outward facing surface of the tooth, or the portion that is visible when smiling.

Crowns, on the other hand, are much thicker (often 2 millimeters or more) and they cover both the front and back surface of the tooth, providing for greater strength and coverage. This may require a significant portion of the tooth to be tapered down so that the crown doesn’t add so much bulk that the final product is too large to fit with other teeth.

In order to preserve a natural appearance and a normal bite pattern, much of the natural tooth will have to be removed to make space for the crown to fit. However, because the material of the crown is so thick, it acts as the new outer layer of the tooth, ensuring that whatever remains of the natural tooth is protected, and that the patient can chew normally and smile with confidence.

With proper care, veneers should last 10 years or more. Crowns, on the other hand, could last anywhere from about 5-15 years, and often even longer. In some cases,

dental insurance will cover crown replacement after the minimum estimated life of the product has elapsed (say, five years). If veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure rather than a dental necessity, they may not be covered by insurance, but it could depend on the policy and the patient’s situation.

Severity of Damage or Cosmetic Concern

Another factor that determines whether a crown or veneers are right for you is the severity of the situation. More severe cases will often require a crown. In terms of damage, this could depend upon the amount of enamel remaining.

Adequate enamel is essential to creating the etched surface needed for proper adhesion of veneers. If enamel is too worn, you may have to accept that a crown is the better option. Also, if a significant portion of the tooth is missing, wafer-thin veneers simply won’t provide the strength needed for practical concerns like chewing food.

Severity of cosmetic issues can also dictate whether veneers or crowns are more appropriate. For minor misalignment, uneven edges, or staining, for example, veneers are likely a better choice because they allow for more of the natural tooth to be preserved. Teeth that are relatively healthy and undamaged are the best candidates for veneers.

However, if teeth are severely rotated, overlapped, or separated by gaps, veneers are unlikely to do the trick. The amount of natural tooth that can be removed, paired with the thicker, more robust surface offered by crowns makes this option the obvious choice if the patient isn’t keen to wear braces for the next couple of years to correct the problem.

family dentistry

Crown That Smile!

Is smiling for a photo-shoot uncomfortable? If your answer is yes, and you avoid smiling because of a missing or discolored tooth, a crown can offer a long-term solution.

dental crowns

  • Crowns are strong and completely natural-looking. A damaged tooth or a tooth that is off-color, oddly shaped or out of alignment can be entirely “capped” and strengthened using a crown. Crowns are also used to attach bridges, protect a severely decayed or weak tooth from breaking or restore a tooth that is already broken. Additionally, a crown can sit atop a dental implant, providing natural shape and structure.
  • A crown can also improve the alignment of your teeth and your “”
  • Unlike dentures, which are removable, crowns are cemented onto your existing teeth and can only be removed by your dentist.
  • At StarWhite Dental, we use the new CEREC crown technology – which means that your crown can be done in one visit, instead of two or three.
  • CEREC’s precise 3-D technology allows us to create a unique, custom crown that fits your tooth perfectly and is completely bio-compatible with your mouth and other teeth. It offers many advantages over other types of restorations.
  • The CEREC system eliminates the need for a temporary crown. This is great news, because some teeth become sensitive while wearing a temporary crown and may require a root canal to alleviate the sensitivity.
  • With CEREC, we can conserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible and create attractive results while offering our you a more pleasant and convenient experience.
  • Although crowns can last a lifetime, the most important thing you can do to ensure that they do is to practice good oral hygiene. A crowned tooth does not require special care, but the underlying tooth can still decay and the surrounding gum tissue is still susceptible to gum disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing and flossing daily – especially around the crown. Using an anti-bacterial mouth rinse can also help.
  • Visit StarWhite Dental regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

 

Get your smile ready for those spring and summer camera moments!

Call our office to book a consultation appointment and to learn more about the revolutionary CEREC crown technology: (951) 698-4426.