A tooth crown is a part of the tooth which is visible in the oral cavity.
It is an artificial covering that is fixed over a damaged tooth used to improve the functioning and aesthetics of a damaged or weak tooth. Crowns are devices that are prosthetic in nature. They are affixed onto teeth that are already present or onto implants by a dentist. A dentist shall ensure that the crown functions well with respect to the opposing tooth whereas the dental technician ensures the quality and aesthetics by fabricating the crown in a laboratory.
Disadvantages of a dental crown
- If the tooth is not cleaned completely and sealed before fixing a dental crown it may cause an infection.
- Some of the materials used may elicit allergic reactions. It’s important to ensure that the materials used in the crown are compatible with the patient’s body.
- The crown may become loose or dislodge itself over a period of time.
- If the outer surface of the crown is not shaved it may result in poor biting and chewing abilities.
- If the crown isn’t sealed neatly it may cause bacteria to develop underneath and damage the tooth.
- It may cause tooth sensitivity.
- Tenderness in gums may be caused.
- Only a dentist can remove a crown that is fixed.
Advantages of a dental crown
- It helps to provide support to the tooth that has been damaged due to tooth decay.
- It helps in the restoral of a tooth after a root canal procedure.
- It helps to support a cracked or broken tooth in place.
- It helps to protect teeth that have worn out..
- It is used to cover an implant.
- Tooth discoloration can be masked with the help of a dental crown.
- It helps to protect the weak tooth from fractures.
- It improves chewing and biting ability.
Porcelain or metal is used by a dental technician to make the crown based on the requirement of the patient. Some materials may cause an allergic reaction. It’s important to choose a material that is compatible with the patient. An impression is taken to mold the crown. Metal and porcelain are the two commonly used materials in a crown. Porcelain is used to match the color of the teeth. Metal crowns are more suited for teeth at the back. This gives the tooth an aesthetically better result. A temporary crown may be placed until the permanent one is made. After that, the dentist fixes the crown on the reduced tooth or part of the tooth after cleaning it out to avoid any infection. This procedure has been performed by dentists for decades and is a very safe and effective treatment method for patients suffering from a damaged tooth.
A crown may or may not last a lifetime. One has to take care whilst chewing hard objects initially. Hygiene must be maintained. Regular flossing and brushing are mandatory to keep gums healthy which shall prevent any gum disease and keep the teeth healthy. Use of fluoride paste is recommended. Regular visits to the dentist and professional cleanings shall help maintain the longevity of the crown.