Dental crowns are a common tool that can help restore or stabilize a damaged tooth. Some dental crowns experience issues once they’re in place, especially right after installation or after they’ve aged for many years. Knowing the problems that can come from having a dental crown can help you be prepared and can help you get treatment for your crown. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Dental Crowns, and Why Are They Needed?
Dental crowns are artificial caps that are placed over teeth. The purpose of a typical crown is to protect the tooth, restore the tooth, or to improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are designed to cover teeth all the way down to the gums so that no portion of the original tooth is visible.
A dental crown can stop decay of a weak tooth, secure a dental bridge, provide support to a tooth with a large filling, fix a tooth that has been badly damaged or broken, or restore the beauty of a tooth that has been discolored or damaged.
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, depending on the patient, the patient’s priorities and the condition of the tooth.
- Metals. Metals are best used when there is little tooth left to grip onto. Metals are known for creating a strong bond between the tooth and the crown, while also creating as little wear on the tooth itself as possible.
- Porcelain. Porcelain is easily matched to the color of the tooth to which it is being bonded. It is a common material because of its aesthetic qualities.
- Stainless steel. Stainless steel metal crowns are commonly used for juveniles, because they’re very cost effective.
Dental Crown Problems and Solutions
Dental crown problems are rare, but knowing the symptoms of a problem and what you can do to fix those problems can help you seek help when you need it.
Plaque can build up on a crown in much the same way that it can build up on a natural tooth. Plaque contributes to bacteria in the mouth, which can cause other oral hygiene issues. You can prevent plaque from forming on your crown by practicing the same good oral hygiene that your dentist recommends for your natural teeth. Follow your dentist’s recommendations for brushing and flossing.
Sensitivity and Discomfort
Sensitivity and discomfort is common when crowns are newly installed, because it takes the mouth a while to adjust. Over time, this sensitivity should go away. Use desensitizing toothpaste and talk to your dentist. Your dentist may apply a solution to protect the dentin from temperature changes, to help you feel more comfortable.
Sometimes tooth decay can cause patients to lose their crown. If this happens to you, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can help you replace the crown, if that’s possible, or explore other options for restoring your teeth to their original appearance.
Natural teeth are very strong, but porcelain is not as strong as tooth enamel. Chips are a common problem for porcelain crowns, but far less common for metal crowns. Small chips can be fixed by the dentist, but larger chips may require a crown replacement. If your crown is chipped, talk to your dentist to resolve the problem.
Post Procedure Care Instructions
Once your crown is installed, your dentist should provide you with post-procedure care instructions to help you take care of your crown. Follow the instructions carefully. If you have questions about post-procedure care, talk to your dentist. Below are some recommendations to care for a crown after its installation:
- Brush and floss your crown like your other teeth
- Do not eat sticky foods, like caramel, that could dislodge the crown.
- Do not bite on the crown for the first hour after it is installed.
- Contact the dentist if the crown becomes loose or if the gums become swollen.
Following your post-procedure care instructions can help you avoid problems immediately following installation of the crown, and in the future.
We Can Help
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.