Saturday, 16 July 2011

Dental Crowns - Tooth Restoration Without Any Royal Pain

Dental crowns restore broken, discolored and weakened teeth that have robbed you of your bright smile - all in a painless procedure. Serious damage to your teeth may have been caused by a number of reasons including decay, root fillings and others. This procedure, though, may also be done by your dentist to help hold your dental bridge or dentures in place.

The usual procedure involves using a dental impression of your prepared tooth by a dentist who will then customize the crown or cap outside of your mouth. The capping material is inserted generally during your following visit to the clinic. This indirect restoration procedure enables the dentist to use strong restorative materials and time-consuming fabrication methods requiring intense heat like casting metal or firing porcelain. This definitely would be impossible to do inside the mouth.

Materials used for this cap vary and some new types are introduced year after year. Among the top choices these days are porcelain and all-ceramic.

Porcelain types have two versions - all-porcelain or porcelain bonded to precious metal. A tooth crown made entirely out of porcelain are not as strong as those bonded to precious metal, but look natural that they are ideal for use on your front teeth. Most people still prefer porcelain ones that are bonded to precious metal. A base made of precious metal is done and then layers of porcelain are applied on it.

But growing in popularity is the all-ceramic type. This technique that was recently introduced combines the qualities of the bonded porcelain and the all-porcelain types. It gives patients a metal-free alternative solution with the same strength as metal-bonded porcelain and the natural appearance of an all-porcelain.

There are also variations of this treatment that are called onlays and ¾ crowns. If the usual treatment covers your whole tooth, these variations involve capping only a portion of the tooth that is necessary to cover.

While having a dental crown procedure is under cosmetic treatments in dentistry, it is advisable that capping your tooth or teeth should not be done for purely aesthetic purposes. Experts recommend this procedure usually if the appearance problem is coupled with the need to restore structure as in broken or badly chipped teeth or to strengthen teeth that has had a large filling.

This treatment is reserved for more serious dental problems, because a dentist must grind a good portion of a tooth away before the capping procedure can be done. If your concern is mainly superficial, other cosmetic methods like veneers, composite bonding or teeth whitening will be considered.

Dental crowns can last even for more than a decade. But just like your natural teeth, their life span will depend on your chewing habits and oral health maintenance. Good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing, should be observed, while bad habits like opening packages with your teeth, grinding, chewing hard candies, etc. should be avoided.
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