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Helpful Tips for Taking Care of Your Dental Crown Restoration
A dental crown restoration is used to repair a damaged tooth or improve its appearance. Rather than replacing the tooth, the crown, also known as a cap, fits over it and is cemented in place. Some crowns are made of materials like resin or porcelain that approximate a natural appearance. Others are made of base-metal alloys or stainless steel.
Crowns are not intended to last forever. The expectation is that eventually a crown will wear out and need replacing. However, it may be possible for a patient to extend its useful lifespan by taking proper care of it.
Benefits of crowns
While crowns are sometimes used to attach a fixed bridge to adjacent teeth, it is also possible to cap a tooth with a crown independently of what happens to the other teeth. Crowns have both restorative and cosmetic purposes.
Sometimes a tooth can break due to trauma or due to wear and tear over time. A crown can restore the tooth to its original size and shape. A tooth that has weakened due to decay may need a crown to strengthen it. Similarly, a tooth that has cracked but not yet broken may benefit from a crown to hold the pieces together. A severely decayed tooth may require a large filing in which most of the tooth must be drilled away. A crown may provide it with support and coverage afterwards.
Teeth can become stained or discolored due to tobacco use, food or drink. Caps can be used to restore the teeth to their original color. Dentists can also use them to make cosmetic modifications to teeth that are chipped, misshapen or have gaps between them.
Tips for caring for crowns
Though relatively inexpensive, dental crown restoration represents an investment. A patient can protect the investment by caring for the dental work and avoiding any activities that could compromise it.
Staying vigilant about oral hygiene
Following the placement of one or more crowns, a patient should adopt good habits of oral hygiene. These include regular visits to the dentist and daily brushing and flossing. Maintaining this standard of routine mouth care can do a lot for protecting and preserving the crowns.
Modifying bad habits
Many people have habits of using teeth to open bottles or packages, chewing on pencils, biting fingernails, etc. These habits can be hazardous to overall dental health, but crowns may be particularly susceptible to breaking or cracking under the strain. Patients with potentially destructive habits such as these should consult with a dentist, who can recommend strategies for breaking the habits.
Avoiding foods that are hard or sticky
One of the advantages of dental crown restoration is that it tends to be durable. However, certain foods, such as those that are particularly chewy or sticky, can cause a crown to loosen or become weak. Crowns can also break or crack under the strain of trying to bite down on things like hard candy or ice.
The expected lifespan of a dental crown ranges from five to 15 years. However, with meticulous care, it may be possible to extend the life of a dental crown restoration up to 30 years.
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