Healthy Smiles, Happier Families

Dental Crown

Dental Crown

Do you have a broken tooth, a tooth that’s soft or sensitive after a root canal or a tooth that’s discolored and throwing off the look of your mouth? If so, a dental crown may be the best dental care to restore your smile to strength and attractiveness.

Crowns are different from veneers that cover just the front of your tooth to improve your smile. Crowns improve the structure and cover the entirety of a troubled tooth.

If you’ve heard the term “cap” – this is the same thing as a crown.

Come in to see Dr. Brad Judy at our Mercer Island office near Seattle to find out if a dental crown is the best option to improve your smile and bite.

What is a Dental Crown and How Does It Work?

A crown completely covers a damaged tooth or a dental implant. Crowns can drastically improve the appearance of a troubled tooth and help to restore alignment to your bite. Crowns come in a variety of materials including porcelain, composite resin, gold or other metal alloys.

Porcelain and composite resin can be made to match your other teeth and are preferable for front teeth or anywhere in the mouth that you want a consistent look. Metals may be used for back teeth because they’re strong or to cover damaged baby teeth in children.

When Dental Crowns Are Needed

Crowns can not only improve the look of your smile but can protect weak or sensitive teeth. Dr. Judy may recommend a crown if:

  • You have a tooth with a filling so large there’s not enough structure to support it
  • You have a discolored, decayed or badly shaped tooth
  • You have a weak tooth that may break or has already broken
  • You have a dental implant that needs to be covered
  • You need to anchor a bridge
  • You had a root canal on a tooth

How Dental Crowns are Made and Fit in Your Mouth

Dr. Judy will take an impression to craft a crown that will blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth and keep your bite intact. If you’ve chosen a porcelain or composite resin, the material will be color-matched to your other teeth for consistency.

You’ll be fitted with a temporary crown while your permanent crown is custom crafted for a perfect fit. Crowns are made at a trusted local lab. Once your crown is ready, it’s fitted over your tooth to ensure a snug fit to avoid future problems.

How Long Will a Dental Crown Last?

Properly cared for, a crown can last for a decade or more. As long as you maintain proper oral hygiene including brushing and flossing and twice yearly cleanings, your crown should be good.

If it becomes loose or falls out for some reason, you can bring the crown back to Dr. Judy to have it refitted over your tooth.

So long as the crown is intact and there is no dental concern, it can be put back in your mouth and repositioned for a snug fit. Most people never have a problem with a crown shifting or coming loose.

What to Avoid After You Get a Dental Crown

After you get one (or more) crowns installed in your mouth, there are some care concerns you need to know. You should avoid chewing extremely hard things such as hard candy, ice, candy covered nuts or brittle. Because these require great force to eat, you can break or chip the crown material just as hard foods can damage your natural teeth.

Extremely sticky candies like caramel or taffy can lift or loosen your crown. Also, the sugars in candy can become trapped in the space between the tooth and crown and cause tooth decay. If you do eat sweets, choose softer candies and be sure to brush and floss after.

If you have a crown, you should also avoid biting your fingernails and tooth grinding. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, Dr. Judy can fit you with a custom night guard to protect your crown and other teeth.

If you have a tooth that’s unsightly, sensitive or weak, contact Dr. Judy at our Mercer Island, WA dental practice to find out how a crown can restore your smile, confidence and comfort. Contact us at (206) 232-5866.

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Brad Judy