A general dentist performs general dentistry services and can serve as the first point of contact for patients who need other types of dental care. Some services, such as dentures, may require a referral to a dentist who focuses on a specific area of dentistry.The general dentist is usually responsible for preventative care, such as…
General Dentistry: A Guide to Dental Crowns
In general dentistry, dental crowns are provided to restore the function and shape of a damaged tooth. This dental restoration is commonly used to protect a broken tooth, restore a severely decayed tooth, or replace a worn-out crown. The dental crown is custom-made for the tooth in order to maintain the smile’s appearance.
Initial consultation and planning
When a tooth gets so damaged or decayed that it is impractical to restore it with conservative options like composite bonding or veneers or if a root canal was recently done, the general dentist will recommend getting a dental crown. Regardless of the crown’s purpose — whether to repair a damaged tooth or serve as an artificial tooth replacement — it will be fabricated in the dental lab or the general dentistry office if the facilities are available.
The material used for making the dental crown varies. The options include full-porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, metal, or gold. The material is chosen based on the nature of the damage, aesthetic requirements, strength, durability, and restorative space.
The consultation may also include taking dental impressions to produce a crown that fits perfectly with the rest of the teeth. The impressions can be used to create models for proper teeth length, shape, and alignment. Patients will learn about the teeth preparation process, local anesthetic, and other steps involved in the procedure. The dentist will also talk about temporary crowns and how to maintain good oral health after the crown procedure.
The crown placement procedure
To place a dental crown, the dentist will need to prepare the tooth and make an impression to be forwarded to the dental lab. The preparation entails filing down layers of the enamel to make room for the incoming dental crown. A local anesthetic is usually administered to reduce pain during the preparation process. The dentist will fit a temporary crown over the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being produced. After the permanent crown is ready, patients will visit the dental office for crown placement.
Nowadays, some dentists have CAD/CAM technology that allows them to produce the dental crown from a ceramic block on the same day as the appointment. If the facility is available, patients can get a permanent dental crown without a second appointment. The device uses digital impressions of the teeth to produce a custom-made crown.
Caring for the new restoration
After placing the permanent crown, the dentist will provide instructions on caring for the new restoration. This typically includes cultivating good oral hygiene habits, like brushing twice daily and flossing with interdental cleaners or dental floss. This will help clean plaque or tartar accumulation on the teeth surfaces and prevent decay and gum disease.
Patients also need to avoid habits that may damage the crown, like chewing on hard foods or objects like ice and fingernails. Those who tend to grind or clench their teeth can get a mouthguard from the dentist to protect their smiles.
The process of getting dental crowns is easy and straightforward. With adequate care, the dental restoration can survive between five to 15 years of use. If you think that you might benefit from getting a crown, visit the general dentistry office for a consultation.
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