Birmingham dentists commonly use dental crowns to treat patients who have misshapen and/or weak teeth. This helps to restore the size and shape and keep the tooth from becoming further damaged. It can also help to improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are cemented to your tooth and fully encase it.
Why Opt for Dental Crowns?
The most common reasons to go to a dentist in Birmingham, AL for dental crowns is for:
- Protecting a tooth that is weak from cracking or breaking (i.e. due to impact or decay)
- Restoring a tooth that has already been broken or substantially worn down
- Covering and supporting teeth that have a big filling and not much tooth left
- Keeping dental bridges from moving
- Covering up teeth that are misshapen and/or severely discolored
- Covering up a dental implants
- Making a cosmetic improvement to teeth
Types of Crowns
There are different types of materials that can be used for crowns, including stainless steel, metals, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-resin, all-ceramic, all-porcelain, zirconia or milled crown. Each of these materials come with their pros and cons, so it’s best to speak with a dentist in Birmingham, AL about which options are most suitable for your situation. Two popular choices include the all-ceramic or all-porcelain because they look natural and match your teeth best. It’s also ideal for folks who have allergic reactions to metal.
What Happens at Your Appointment
If you and your dentist have decided that a crown is the best route for your oral hygiene, then you will have to undergo a series of steps. First, you will have to schedule an appointment to prep your tooth for the crown. X-rays may be taken, which will show more detail about the roots of your teeth that will receive crowns and the bones surrounding it. If there’s a lot of decay, there there’s a chance the pulp could become infected or injured, which would lead to a root canal treatment being required.
Your tooth and gums will be numbed before the crowning begins. The tooth being crowned will then be filed down at the top where you chew, and along the sides to allow more room for the crown to fit. The amount of crown used will determine how much the tooth will need to be filed down. Metal crowns are thinner compared to porcelain-fused-to-metal and all-porcelain ones, so not as much tooth removal is needed. However, if your tooth has structural damage from decay or injury, filling is used to build it up, so there’s enough support for the crown.
A paste or putty is used to make an impression for the crown to be created. You won’t receive the permanent dental crown until your second visit.
Problems Associated with Dental Crowns
As with any other dental or medical procedure, it is possible to experience side effects or other problems as a result of your crown. It’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about the issues sometimes experienced after a dental crown has been placed so you know how to best protect your mouth from further injury or disrepair:
- Chipped crowning
- Loose crowning
- Crown falling out
- Allergic reaction
- A dark line forming next to your gum line
- Discomfort or sensitivity
How Long Sensitivity Lasts
If you are one of the unfortunate who witness sensitivity after having a crown placed, then there are a number of factors that will determine how long it will last. Some of the factors include what you’ve done with the tooth before the procedure, the actual procedure performed, how long you have a temporary crown and the placement of the crown.
The leading factors for sensitivity include whether or not the bite is off, the material of the crown and how well it’s been buffered, the structure of the remaining tooth, exposure of the root, and whether the pain is coming from the crown or adjacent teeth.
Some sensitivity after crown placement is normal, but there should be some improvement within the first one to two weeks. This means your sensitivity to cold and biting should gradually wear off in a couple of weeks. Sometimes, however, it can take a up to a few months. As long as you’re seeing gradual improvement, then you’re on the road to recovery. If not, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist.