What Is A Crown?

A: A crown is a full covering of a tooth—basically, it’s what we know as caps. It’s essentially like a cast for a broken arm. What it does is prevent the tooth itself from breaking and actually getting worse.  Crowns are generally made of a zirconia or porcelain product. They’re very strong, very hard, and can last upwards of 10, 20, sometimes upwards of 30 years. They’re smooth so they prevent plaque buildup and slow the progress of any decay. Additionally, they can actually prevent bigger problems in the future.

The Rundown On Dental Crowns In Corpus Christi

Did you know that dental crowns are one of the most common dental restoration procedures in Corpus Christi? In fact, dental crowns in Corpus Christi continue to be one of the top dental procedures second only to fillings.

While a tooth may last a lifetime, there are times when they can chip or crack due to various causes.  Often a cracked or chipped tooth does not need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant, but merely repaired with a crown.

What is a Dental Crown?

As Dr. Vela mentioned, a dental crown is essentially a type of restorative covering of a chipped or cracked tooth.  This crown or cap, as it is also called, sits above the gumline and gives the damaged tooth a normal appearance. However, a crown also prevents further damage to the tooth and is perfect for damage beyond what a filling can repair.  For example, if a patient falls off a bike and cracks a tooth, a crown can keep the tooth together.  The crown in effect stops the crack from spreading and damaging the tooth to the extent where it requires replacement. Some crowns are also used to attach a bridge or prevent fracture in an undamaged, but soft tooth.

Dental crowns in Corpus Christi are usually just for functional restorations but there are some cases where it’s purely for cosmetic reasons.  For example, a patient that has a healthy but severely stained tooth might opt for a crown to restore the natural color.

Creating Dental Crowns In Corpus Christi

While some dentists in Corpus outsource the creation of their patient’s crowns to a third-party lab, it’s increasingly popular to have an on-site lab.  This improves turnaround time and offers greater control to the dentist who will be installing the crown.  In order to make a crown here at Vela Dental, Dr. Vela will resize your tooth so the crown can fit.  Then, impressions will be made of your teeth so our lab can create a crown customized to exact dimensions.  While you wait for the permanent crown, we provide you with a temporary crown to protect the tooth in the meantime.  On your return visit, Dr. Vela will attach the permanent crown to your tooth and the restoration is then complete.

There Are Different Types Of Crowns

Crowns actually are created from several kinds of materials and the location of the crown and your expectations determine which one we recommend.

  • Metal Crowns are made from a metallic allow of either gold, nickel, chromium or palladium. They are very strong and will endure teeth grinding and chewing longer than any other material.  However, they cannot be color-matched so if we use them, it’s only for molars.
  • Resin Dental Crowns cost less, but the tradeoff is that they are also less durable than metal. They wear down faster and may not last as many years as metal crowns either.  Resin crowns are often used to make the temporary crowns given on the initial visit.
  • Porcelain-Metal Hybrid Crowns are made of porcelain that is fused to a metal base and is stronger due to this fact. However, the porcelain can still chip if not careful. These look the most natural and are usually used on front teeth and bridges.
  • Full Porcelain or Full Ceramic dental crowns can easily be color-matched to your teeth and are a better option than metal for those allergic to metal.  However, they typically wear down opposing teeth faster than metal will—so that should be considered.

No matter where you get dental crowns in Corpus Christi, they should last anywhere from five to upwards of 15 years or more.  How long they last depends on how you care for them, and the material they’re made from.  Porcelain is more fragile, so you may be looking at the lower end of that lifespan range.  Metal, while not as subtle in appearance, does have the longest lifespan, so it may be the more economical option in the long run.

How Does A Tooth Crack?

Teeth are very strong and can last a lifetime but accidents can happen, and personal habits can often be detrimental to teeth. The most common causes for a tooth fracture are:

  • Blunt force trauma to the face

While an accident isn’t always avoidable, there are some habits you can cease that will help prevent cracking a tooth.  Things like opening things with your teeth such as soda cans, bottles, or packages.  For those who grind and gnash teeth in your sleep, a mouthguard would be a good start.  It will protect the teeth from grinding against each other.

If You Chip Or Crack Your Tooth

If you end up cracking or chipping your tooth, you should call us immediately as you may need an emergency visit.  Unless the damaged part of the tooth is jagged and cutting the inside of your mouth, most times you can wait a couple of days.  Keep in mind that in the meantime, it is common to have some sensitivity or minor pain.  Try to avoid foods that are too cold or too hot and see if the sensitivity stops.  This is usually due to a break where the pulp of the tooth is exposed—hence, the sensitivity.

You’ll want to rinse your mouth with warm water and if bleeding, use gauze to put pressure on the damaged area.  If you can’t come on the same day, there is a temporary dental cement you can find at most pharmacies over the counter.

Do You Need A Dental Crown?

Not all situations are going to benefit from a dental crown, but the most common reasons why a dentist would recommend a crown are:

A Cracked or Chipped Tooth – Naturally, this is the most obvious and especially useful for molars with no root damage.  A crown will protect the nerves and restore normal bite strength and chewing. Crowns are also used to repair front teeth as well and it is done primarily for restorative reasons versus for cosmetic improvement.

Large Cavity – While fillings are great for repairing most cavities, there are some that are just too large to repair with a filling.  With a filling, there must be enough tooth structure undamaged to support the filling or it will fall out.  This usually happens with extensive decay and other bad dental health situations.

Discolored Tooth – Sometimes, teeth whitening just doesn’t work—mainly for teeth stained from the inside, beneath the enamel. These stains can result from root canals, excessive fluoride use, and some medications.  In a severely discolored tooth, crowns are an excellent option in addition to veneers and Dr. Vela offers both.

Worn Down Tooth – When a patient grinds or gnashes their teeth when they sleep it will grind their teeth down over time.  Crowns protect the enamel of your teeth and protect them better from the effects of grinding.

Vela Offers The Best Dental Crowns In Corpus Christi

If you are suffering from any of these issues—stained, cracked, or chipped teeth, don’t hesitate—contact us today to resolve it.  The sooner we address and correct the problem, the less likely it will cause further issues.  Contact us and request your free consultation right now.

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