A dental crown is a restorative procedure designed to enhance the look and functionality of a tooth in need of structural reinforcement. Dental crowns might be recommended if you have large cavities, broken or decayed teeth, or have had root canal treatment.
Dental crowns are prosthetic caps that are designed to be durable and resilient. Despite this, their long-term integrity does depend on the quality and maintenance of your oral hygiene practices. In this guide, we’ll detail exactly you can care for your dental crowns to improve their lifespan.
Getting a dental crown involves having a colour-matched porcelain cap fitted and attached to the tooth. Here is an overview of how the procedure works:
1. Initial consultation and examination. Your chosen dentist will carefully examine the compromised tooth, using x-rays and professional experience to determine whether this is the right treatment route for you.
2. Removal of the compromised tissue involves the use of local anaesthesia to ensure optimal comfort throughout. Many practices also offer general anaesthetic for more nervous patients.
3. Recontouring of the remaining tooth using filling materials can help create a suitable structure for the crown to be fitted onto.
4. Digital scans of the area will be sent to the lab, where your bespoke crown will be crafted using high-quality, biocompatible materials.
5. You can be supplied with a temporary crown as you wait for your final crown to be made.
6. Your bespoke crown will be expertly cemented at the dental surgery!
At each stage throughout having your dental crown fitted, there will be different recommendations regarding how to best care for them.
For the first few days after getting your crown, it’s good to rinse your mouth with warm saltwater after eating. This helps to clean the area and reduce any risk of infection, as the saltwater works as an antiseptic rinse that can reduce the build-up of bacteria in the mouth.
Although a dental crown encapsulates what is left of your original tooth, you may experience sensitivity. This can be managed by using a soft-bristled toothbrush alongside a minimally abrasive toothpaste. You should also be careful when flossing around the area to avoid dislodging the crown.
Make sure you seek a trusted and recommended dentist to avoid unnecessary sensitivity problems, which can be caused by an ill-fitting crown or erosion of the cement used to hold the crown in place.
Regular dental check-ups are a must if you want to maintain your overall dental health, as bi-annual examinations are recommended by professional dentists as a minimum. After your fitting, your dentist should book you in for a check-up appointment to ensure the procedure went well.
If you have a crown fitted, it can be beneficial to slot in additional check-ups to help prevent and detect any issues from a long-term perspective. This can help maintain the structural integrity of the crown and surrounding teeth, essentially making sure your crown lasts longer!
Immediately after your dental crown is fitted, your dentist will provide you with a few recommendations regarding what to avoid in the post-operative phase. These generally include the following advice:
After a crown is fitted, you should avoid hard or sticky foods that may pose a risk of dislodging the crown – or even fracturing it. Avoid things like hard sweets, caramel, and nuts.
We all have bad habits when it comes to using our teeth for things we perhaps shouldn’t! If you bite your nails, grind your teeth, or use your teeth to open things such as bottle caps, this can damage your crown. If you are unable to stop unconsciously grinding your teeth at night, you may have bruxism; ask your dentist about a custom-made night guard to help protect the crown from unnecessary pressure and wear.
Contact sports and other high-risk activities can be damaging to the teeth anyway, but it’s extra important to exercise additional caution when engaging in these activities if you have a dental crown.
There are a few things you can do to ensure the lifespan of your crown, even from your initial appointment with the dentist. First, make sure you read up about the procedure and how it works.
Once you have decided a dental crown is the ideal treatment for you, take some time finding out about dental surgeries near you. Don’t limit yourself to your immediate surrounding area – it’s always worth travelling that little bit further out to ensure you receive the best possible care. Finding a highly experienced dentist that can reassure you throughout the process is important. This will also mean you receive expert aftercare and advice following your dental crown procedure.
With good care, a dental crown can last between 10 to 15 years. Regular check-ups and cleanings, along with good daily oral hygiene, will help extend the life of your crown. One of the most significant factors in how long a dental crown will last, however, is how experienced your dentist is with the procedure. Do your research, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to ‘shop around’ for alternative providers if you don’t feel comfortable.
Taking good care of your dental crown is essential for maintaining durability and longevity. At Ringway Dental, our luxurious private surgery offers only the best in experience and quality. Due to our friendly, approachable team and that ever-valued expert touch, our dental crown patients have been recommending us throughout greater Manchester!
If you’d like to find out more about dental crown procedures, call our reception on 0161 438 2020. We also offer free online dental crown consultations with our Smile Advisors, who can help talk you through any questions before you commit to booking an in-person consultation.