Dental Tips Blog


How Long Do Crowns Last?

Posted in Root Canals

If you have recently been told that you need to have tooth repair and crown work performed, you may wonder how long the repaired tooth will last when trying to decide what type of repair work to have performed.

Tooth repairs are often required after serious dental decay, or after accidents.  Depending on the type of damage, these tooth repairs may take only one or two visits to the dentist, or may require several more trips.  Patients sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier, faster, and less expensive to have the tooth pulled.

Tooth repair is designed to save the tooth, and keep your natural smile in place.  Even if this is not a visible tooth, the loss of any teeth makes it more difficult to eat, talk, and places individuals at an increased risk of developing jaw bone infections.  Tooth repair is the best option for overall health.

A properly repaired tooth often requires crown placement.  With proper care (including regular dental visits) the repaired tooth can last a lifetime.  Dental crowns that are professionally made and installed by a dentist can last up to 40 years.  It is very important to continue to see your dentist after tooth repair and crown placement, especially if a root canal has been performed.  Root canals remove the center (the pulp) of the tooth.  When this happens, the tooth is more likely to break. 

If you do not receive routine dental exams, you could develop gum disease.  Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the tooth itself, making the tooth more vulnerable.  Even if a tooth has been repaired, routine dental exams are a necessity.


Root Canals

Posted in Root Canals

If you have been experiencing tooth pain, a dentist may have told you that you need a root canal.  A root canal is a dental procedure where the center of the tooth (the pulp) is removed, cleaned and then repaired.  Often times, a root canal is the first step in tooth repair and crowning.

The idea behind root canal treatment is to save a tooth that in years past would have required removal, or that would have fallen out on its own.  Root canals also remove the damaged area of the tooth, making it less likely that infection will occur, that may damage the jaw bone.

The most common reasons that someone requires a root canal and crown are from  cracked teeth, deep or large cavities, or injuries to the tooth.  Common injuries include falling on the tooth, being hit in the tooth area, or receiving a blow to the head that impacts the tooth.  Tooth repair is frequently needed after automobile accidents when passengers or the driver fly forward into the airbags, and suddenly snap their mouth shut.

After the inside of the tooth is cleaned, your dentist will determine how severe the damage is.  If the tooth has extensive damage, or is very broken down, a post may need to be placed as part of the tooth repair process.  This allows for the tooth to be ‘built up’ before the crown is placed.

It is important to have all necessary steps of the tooth repair process completed.  Failure to do so may result in further damage, including damage to the bone in the jaw.


How Crowns Are Made

Posted in Crowns

You may have been told that you need to have a tooth capped or crowned.  Generally, teeth have crowns placed on them because they have decay or deterioration.  In some cases, crowns are placed when the tooth is badly discolored.  Placing a crown on a tooth allows for teeth to be repaired.

After any necessary dental procedures have been performed, the dentist will first clean around your gum line with a piece of thick dental floss.  This will allow the gum to be pushed down and a good imprint of the tooth made.  Next, a mold of the tooth itself will be made.

During the molding process, a bit of soft, formable rubber-like substance will be placed in your mouth.  This substance has the texture of smooth putty.  You will be asked to ‘bite down’ and the mold will form around your tooth.  This allows for a complete tooth repair, and the crown is an accurate fit for your mouth.  Try not to move, sneeze, or cough (if possible) during this time. 

If you have any discomfort, let your dentist or his assistant know.  Having the mold made should not hurt, but may require you to keep your mouth open for several minutes.  Sometimes, a piece of rubber is placed in your mouth to keep saliva from dripping into the mold.

The mold will then be sent to a professional for creation of the crown.  You will return to the dentist in a few weeks to have the new crown placed.



Posted in Crowns

After certain dental procedures or trauma, your dentist may recommend that you have a dental crown placed to help keep the tooth structure intact.  This article will briefly explain what dental crowns are, and the procedure for placing a dental crown.

Dental crowns are a type of restorative dental surgery.  The crown is actually a covering that is cemented in place.  When this crown is placed, it fully covers the tooth that is seen above the gum line.  Crowns are used when fillings become too large to maintain tooth structural integrity, or after certain dental procedures and sometimes after traumatic events.

Crowns may be made out of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both.  Most dentists will use a porcelain outer for any tooth that shows when you smile.  Careful attention will be made to your surrounding teeth color to make sure that the porcelain ‘matches’ your other teeth.  Your dentist may actually use a color chart to match the tooth color prior to ordering the crown.

Placing a crown involves several trips to the dentist.  A mold of the tooth will be made, and a temporary crown placed.  In a few weeks, the crown will be placed and fitted.  You will be asked to gently ‘tap’ on colored paper to see if any raised areas or other issues of concern arise after placement.  A permanent crown is placed with hard cement that is not easily removed.  Depending on the cause for the crown, you may or may not need local numbing.  However, this should always be a pain free procedure, so if you do have any pain, always let your dentist know.

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