What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns rockford illinois are a widely used dental technology that are used to cover or, in some cases, replace a missing tooth. As the name implies, they are plainly visible, serving as the top or crown of a damaged or missing tooth. Regardless of which kind of crown is used in any given situation, it is never used alone; dental crowns are always used in conjunction with either part of a damaged tooth or along with other prosthetic parts to replace an entire tooth.

Dental Crowns Used to Protect a Damaged Tooth

One of the primary uses of dental crowns is to protect a damaged tooth. This damage could be the result of an injury or break, or it could also be necessitated by tooth decay or abscess requiring a root canal. In these cases, the infected or decayed part of the tooth is first cleaned out and treated with an antibiotic dental solution, if necessary. Because the decay and subsequent cleaning procedure often compromises the viability of the tooth’s protective enamel layer, a dental crown is then placed over the top of the tooth and bonded in place to protect the delicate and sensitive interior of the tooth.

Dental Crowns as Prosthetics

Dental crowns can also be used as one piece of a prosthetic tooth. Typically these are used in two different ways; as part of a bridge or as part of a dental implant. When used in conjunction with a traditional bridge, a prosthetic crown is bonded to a neighboring tooth – often with other prosthetic crowns – to effectively bridge a small gap in one’s smile. The teeth on either side provide the support needed to keep the tooth firmly in place above the gumline, and no intervention is required below the surface of the gums.

Dental crowns can also be used as the top-most part of a dental implant, as well. In this case, the crown is connected via a small piece called an abutment to the top of a prosthetic dental root called a dental implant fixture that is embedded into the jawbone beneath the surface of the gums. In this case, the crown is supported by the pieces immediately below it rather than by the teeth that surround it. This technology can be used to replace a single tooth, numerous teeth, or even all of one’s teeth.

Creating Dental Crowns

The materials used to create dental crowns can vary depending on the type and use. Whenever possible, dental impressions are taken and used to ensure that the crowns created for use in your mouth mimic your natural teeth and bite as well as possible. This is important, as a misaligned bite pattern can have a negative impact over time, creating friction and even damage to other teeth. In the case of crowns used for a bridge or dental implant, the crown is then crafted in a dental laboratory.

For dental crowns used to cover a damaged tooth, your dentist can use dental composite material shaped directly on the top of your tooth. She or he will place the composite material, shape it to fit, and then test your bite multiple times by asking you to open and close your mouth. They can then make any necessary changes before using a special UV light to harden the material on the spot.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?