Your parents or grandparents could probably tell you about times, not all that long ago, when the only solutions to dental problems were fillings if you were lucky, and extractions if you were not so lucky. Today there are so many ways of restoring damaged teeth that almost any problem can be corrected. One of the best ways to repair teeth that have been severely damaged is through the use of dental crowns.
Dental crowns are caps, or covers, that are used to give a tooth back its function by covering it with dental porcelain or gold. Dental crowns are needed when a tooth is so damaged that a filling will not get the job done, but not so damaged that an extraction is warranted. Essentially, crowns hold cracked or broken teeth together and protect them from further fracture.
Gold crowns are very durable, but not much in use today because there are other materials that are strong but look like natural teeth. For instance, you probably know about zirconia – the material that substitutes for diamonds in jewelry. Zirconia is also used today for dental crowns. They are tooth colored and incredibly strong. Another wonderful new material for crowns is lithium disilicate also called “Emax”. Emax crowns have natural translucency like enamel and can blend beautifully with adjacent teeth. They are also extremely strong.
If you take care of your dental crowns the same way you do your own teeth with regular brushing and flossing, they will last for a very long time. Keep in mind, though, that anything that could harm your own teeth could also damage a crown. It’s best to avoid grinding your teeth, chewing ice or other very hard items or foods, or biting your fingernails. If you grind your teeth at night, consider a nightguard to protect your teeth and crowns.
If you have damage to your teeth that could be corrected with dental crowns, give Dr. Laurie T. Hanschu a call at 916-347-9764. We are located at 6660 Coyle Avenue, #240, Carmichael, CA 95608, and we would be happy to talk with you about dental crowns and other restorative dentistry procedures. You can also request an appointment by going to our Contact Us page and filling out the form.