Dental crown procedures have been around since the 2nd century. Archaeologists have found evidence of dental restoration work done on Roman Legion officers. Dental crown materials used at that time included ivory and gold, and they were likely performed for the same reasons we get them done nowadays: to repair damaged teeth.
Contrary to what some people believe, the placement of a tooth crown is not done solely for cosmetic dentistry purposes. Teeth can sustain damage to the enamel and dentin through a natural decay process, injury, aging, bruxism, or long-term improper biting. For the most part, dental crowns aim to repair and restore. In some cases, however, they can be used to protect teeth before they decay all the way down to their roots. In other cases, crowns are placed over a root canal procedure, and they can replace teeth in case of a full restoration.
Types of Crowns
Traditional crowns cover the tooth enamel in its entirety, but three-quarter crowns, which are commonly referred to as onlays, can be prescribed to patients whose affected teeth are not completely lost. As for the materials used to fabricate modern crowns, they range from advanced resins and ceramics to special alloys and porcelain. Dentists choose crown materials based on a patient-by-patient basis. For example, a young patient who is allergic to metals would be better off with a porcelain crown. Older patients looking for more affordable options often ask for resin crowns even though they don’t last as long as those made with metal.
When Is a Crown Necessary?
Dentists recommend crowns whenever restoration is the only sensible choice. This is not a matter of keeping or losing teeth. You will actually gain one or more “new” ones once the crowns are in place, but they will look exactly as if they were yours all along, and this is thanks to many advancements in dentistry over more than 17 centuries. Porcelain, zirconia, and resin crowns and onlays can be shaped and painted to be the perfect aesthetic match for your existing teeth. This is accomplished through computer imaging, precision tools, and the skills of technicians who treat their profession as an art.
Aesthetics and Crown Care
When patients need crowns for teeth that are visible when they smile, esthetics will be considered. Teeth that have been damaged from a cavity or a fracture are treated like any other tooth that needs a crown, the tooth is reduced to make room for the crown, and an impression will be taken to have the lab fabricate the crown. The patient will typically go home with a temporary crown while a dental laboratory will fabricate the final crown uniquely created for the patient. When the patient returns for the second visit the final crown is verified not only to fit on the tooth but to ensure it is an aesthetic fit as well. When the patient is happy with the result it will be cemented onto the tooth.
Finally, the dental care you should practice once your crowns are set should be no different than what you are supposed to do in terms of hygiene each day. You will want to brush at least twice a day, and flossing should be done if not daily, then at least a few times each week, particularly in the gum area where your new crowns sit.
At Temple Family Dentistry, we can help you maintain great dental health—in the summer or any season of the year. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to find out more.