When something is damaged, you repair it so it works normally. Flat tire? Either patch it or get a new one. Clogged drain? Get rid of the clog so you can use the sink again. And when you have damage to a tooth, you need it repaired. At our Nashua, NH dental office, one of the more useful restorative dentistry treatments is the dental crown. However, nothing lasts forever. Here’s what can go wrong with your dental crown and what to do about it.
What Is A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are a form of dental restoration that repairs damage, strengthens teeth, and makes them look great. They’re almost like hollow replacement teeth. They’re made to look like a healthy version of the tooth in question that fit snugly over the visible part. When placed, dental crowns seal up any damage. They also hold a tooth together and hide any cosmetic problems. A tooth with a dental crown will look great and be strong.
- At our Nashua, NH dental office, you can choose between two types:
Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal: This dental crown combines beautiful porcelain fused to durable metal underneath. It’s not as natural-looking, but it’s very durable and lasts longer.
- All Porcelain: These dental crowns are free of metal. That means they won’t last as long as porcelain-fused-to-metal, but they will look better in your smile.
What Can Go Wrong With Dental Crowns?
Normally, a dental crown will continue to look great and strengthen your tooth for about 15 years. This depends on how well you take care of your teeth. If you brush, floss, and visit our Nashua, NH dental office regularly, you can probably get a few more years out of it. If you rarely visit the dentist, however, the dental crown might not last as long.
Don’t forget that your teeth do a lot of work. You use them to crush and tear up your food many times each day. All of that pressure from chewing food puts wear and tear on any dental treatment. Dental crowns are no exception. That’s why they’ll need to be replaced sooner or later.
Whether you have an all porcelain dental crown or a porcelain-fused-to-metal version, it can be damaged from accidents or injuries. In fact, crowns are made thin in order to fit on your teeth. They’re thinner than the enamel on your teeth. That means they can get chipped, cracked, or even broken a little easier than enamel. When this happens, you’ll need to replace it.
Gum disease can also cause a problem. When harmful bacteria irritate your gums, they start to pull away from your teeth. That exposes parts normally covered. Since your crown only covers the part of the tooth normally visible. It will then be easier for something to get underneath the crown.
However, there is one big problem that also requires replacing dental crowns: hidden tooth decay. Your dental crown is held onto your tooth with a strong adhesive. It also provides a seal between the tooth and dental crown. Harmful bacteria cannot attack the tooth because they cannot reach the enamel.
Over time, the adhesive connecting the dental crown to the tooth starts to degrade. Small tunnels can appear in the adhesive, allowing harmful bacteria to slide underneath the dental crown. They can grow there, causing cavities that cannot be seen. Sometimes, they only time you’ll notice this is when the dental crown falls off.
What To Do About A Failing Dental Crown
If your dental crown is old and starting to cause problems, the best thing to do is simply get it replaced. At our Nashua, NH dental office, our dentists can carefully remove the old dental crown and replace it with a brand-new one made just of that tooth.
How To Take Care Of Your Dental Crown
- Thankfully, taking care of your dental crown is not much different than taking care of your other teeth.
- Continue to brush and floss regularly around that tooth. The crown is held tightly, so toothbrushes or dental floss will not hurt it.
Visit our Nashua, NH dental office every six months. Our dental team can examine your dental crown to make sure it’s still doing its job.
- Call our dental office if you ever have pain with that tooth (either constantly or just when eating) or if the gums around that tooth start to get tender or swollen. All of those symptoms could indicate a problem with infection of the tooth or gums.
Dental crowns do an amazing job. They repair damage, protect teeth, and make them look beautiful again. If you have any questions about dental crowns, call us at 603-546-7460.