Missing teeth are both a practical and aesthetic problems for patients. Even a single missing tooth can increase the risk of cavities, gum disease, and further tooth loss down the road. Dental crowns in Sioux Falls are one way to treat this problem. Crowns remove discomfort, restore a tooth’s lost functionality, and enable the patient to live a happier, healthier life.
What Is a Dental Crown?
To understand what a dental crown is, it helps the first know a little about how the tooth decay process works. In most cases, cavities begin at the top, or crown of the tooth and spread to the base. In many cases the bottom portion of the tooth is still in good shape, even if the top is suffering from advanced decay or damage.
In such cases, it’s common for the dentist to recommend that a crown be created. Crowns are artificial teeth made from either metal, ceramic, porcelain, or a metal interior with a ceramic exterior.
The crown placement process begins by the dentist gently filing and shaping the distressed portion of the tooth to receive the restoration. When the crown is ready, the dentist will fit it in place and bond it to the base of the tooth using a special dental adhesive.
Dental crowns typically last from 10 years to a lifetime and require only basic care. Your dentist will probably recommend using a low-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the appliance.
You should follow your dentist’s recommendations regarding brushing, flossing, minimizing sugar consumption, and avoiding tobacco, illicit drugs, and vaping devices. It’s also important to avoid alcoholic beverages entirely or drink them only in moderation. Failure to follow these basic steps may lead to premature crown failure.
Other Uses for Dental Crowns
Crowns are sometimes used for other purposes besides correcting tooth decay. Examples include:
- Protecting a tooth that has suffered physical trauma from an accident.
- As the cover for a dental implant.
- As a cosmetic technique for improving the patient’s smile.
- As the support for a dental bridge.
Types of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are made from one or a combination of the following materials:
- Stainless steel: these are used primarily as temporary measures while the permanent crown is being fabricated.
- Other metals: for example, gold is sometimes used due to its anti-corrosive properties.
- Porcelain fused to metal: these crowns combine the aesthetic benefits of porcelain with the inherent resilience of metal alloys.
- All ceramic or all porcelain: these are a good choice for people with metal allergies. Modern versions are much more durable than those made in the past.
The Final Word
Only your dentist in Sioux Falls can tell you which type of tooth restoration is best in your case. Make an appointment to see him or her soon, if you’re struggling with tooth decay or discomfort. Before long you’ll be walking around with a smile on your face.
About the Author
Dr. Brandon Wilcox is a seasoned dentist and Colorado native who’s proud to be the latest member of our team here at Family Dentistry of Sioux Falls. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (605) 339-0219.