A crown is a prosthetic device that covers the natural crown of a tooth, protecting and reinforcing it. Dental crowns are used during many dental restorations, including the placement of a dental implant, the installation of a dental bridge, and the repair of a large cavity or dental fracture. Crowns may also be used for purely cosmetic purposes as they can conceal the imperfections of an underlying tooth.
A dental crown is designed to fit the exact contours of your mouth. Additionally, if a tooth-colored crown material, such as resin or porcelain, is selected, the crown can be matched to the color of your other teeth.
A dental crown is considered a permanent application. However, a crown may incur problems if it is not cared for properly.
Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid dental crown problems.
Protect Your Crown From Grinding and Clenching
Many people grind or clench their teeth during periods of stress. Additionally, some people suffer from bruxism, a condition in which the sufferer grinds their teeth at night as they sleep.
To protect the teeth from the damaging bite force that is caused by grinding and clenching, a night guard should be worn. The guard, which is customized, fits over the teeth and absorbs the pressure of the grinding to prevent it from damaging the teeth.
Brush and Floss as Directed
Most dentists recommend that their patients brush at least twice and floss at least once daily. The brushing and flossing protect the teeth from decay.
A dental crown cannot be demineralized by bacterial acids. However, the tooth that is covered by the crown can decay. If a bit of the exposed structure of the underlying tooth starts to decay, the fit of the crown may be eventually compromised.
Additionally, a severe case of gum disease can cause an infection that spreads to the jawbone that supports a crown-covered tooth. As a result, the tooth can loosen in its socket and fall out over time.
Crowns that cover dental implants may also be affected by poor gum health. A condition called periimplantitis, which is a type of gum inflammation, can occur if the gingival tissues around an implant are not kept clean. The periimplantitis can prevent an implant wound from healing properly. If the implant fails, the crown that covers it will also be lost.
To learn more ways to care for your dental crown properly, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area.