As a cosmetic dentistry office, we restore damaged teeth on a regular basis. We are experts at doing so, and when a tooth is severely cracked or chipped, we often recommend using a dental crown. A crown is a cap that surrounds the tooth and provides a great deal of protection. It prevents anything from directly touching the tooth and is long-lasting, durable, and natural-looking. Since crowns are so dependable, many people take them for granted, assuming that nothing can happen to them. While crowns are durable, like natural teeth, they are also just as fragile. You must be careful to avoid doing anything that could damage it while also keeping your teeth clean and healthy so the underlying tooth does not become infected. Otherwise, your crown could become damaged and need to be either repaired or replaced.
What to watch for:
After you brush and floss, run your tongue along your teeth to see if anything feels out of place. If you notice a rough edge, you may have chipped your tooth. You will be able to tell the condition of your front teeth and crowns very easily, but with your back crowns, you will need to rely on how they feel. You should also watch for any signs that your crown has come loose. If it has, you need to call our office right away, since you do not want to go to sleep with a loose crown in case it falls off and gets swallowed.
When you schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentistry office, we will begin by examining your crown to see if there is any visible damage. We will also take an x-ray of the tooth to determine if the area underneath the crown has become damaged or infected. This is important for ensuring that the entire problem will be dealt with.
If the crown is the only thing that is damaged, we might be able to smooth out the surface and restore it with a bonding material. Whether or not this is possible will depend entirely upon the condition of your crown. If we do so, the procedure can be completed in one appointment, in an hour or less. This is the best case scenario. When the crown is too damaged to be fixed, we will remove it and have another one created as a replacement. Since the dental lab will be creating the crown, this procedure will take two appointments.
If the tooth underneath the crown is infected, we will remove the crown, then remove the infected portion of the tooth, and restore it with a new dental crown. This will typically take two appointments to complete, though it could take three. In rare cases, a tooth may be too infected or damaged to treat. In this scenario, we may recommend an extraction. We can then replace the tooth with either a dental bridge or a dental implant, both of which are strong, durable, and natural-looking. In our cosmetic dentistry office, we have a variety of ways to restore your teeth, so give us a call for more information.