According to a study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, getting a dental crown is the single most common restorative dental procedure, with approximately 2.3 million made each year. Since dental crowns must withstand the same daily pressure that natural teeth do, their general lifespan is between 5 and 15 years, depending on how well they’re cared for. So how can you keep your crown functional for as long as possible? Find out from your cosmetic dentist in West Brookfield the best tips for keeping your new dental crown safe, and what to do if you don’t.
The Goal of a Dental Crown
One of the reasons dental crowns are so common is because they’re such a versatile restorative and cosmetic procedure. These durable, tooth-shaped caps fit over the visible part of your tooth, restoring its appearance, strength, and function. They can be used to:
- Keep a weak tooth from breaking.
- Hold parts of a broken tooth together.
- Strengthen worn-down teeth.
- Change the appearance of discolored, chipped, misaligned, or misshapen teeth.
- Cover and protect dental work like implants and bridges.
Protect Your Crown for Years to Come
It may take a few days for you to adjust to your new dental crown, but eventually, it should feel like just another part of your smile. However, don’t forget about it entirely! There are two big things you can do to keep your crown functional for years:
Practicing good oral hygiene is key to the long-term care of your dental crown. The crown itself won’t decay like your natural teeth do. However, the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease can build up where the edge of your crown meets your natural tooth. Regularly floss, use mouthwash, and brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day to keep that area clean.
Reducing biting force will protect your crown from damage. Crowns are extremely durable, but still not as strong as natural teeth. Avoid chewing on hard objects like your fingernails, ice, and pen caps that could cause chips or breaks. Bruxism, the condition of grinding your teeth in your sleep, also causes enough stress on your crown to cause damage. If you have bruxism, your dentist can provide you with a night guard to reduce the pressure.
When to See Your Dentist
You need to continue to see your dentist regularly so they can identify and remedy any problems with your dental crown before they get worse. See your dentist if:
- Your teeth are extremely sensitive to hot or cold foods, drinks, or air for more than 3 days.
- It feels like your dental crown is loose or about to fall out when your talk or chew.
- You feel pain while chewing or biting down.
- Your crown is chipped or cracked.
- Your crown falls out. If this happens, keep your crown clean and store it in a plastic bag. See your dentist right away, and don’t try to put it back in on your own.
Treating your crown like royalty will help it protect your tooth for years to come! If you follow these tips from your cosmetic dentist in West Brookfield, you’re newly restored and transformed tooth could last you more than 15 years!
About the Author
Dr. Enkin is a graduate of the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine and a member of both the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. He is committed to providing his patients with beautiful, healthy smiles, which is why he offers a variety of cosmetic and restorative procedures, including dental crowns. If you’d like to learn more about this article, he can be contacted at his website or at (508) 867-2777.