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Update: May 23, 2024 | Author: Dr. Ronald Pham | Publish: May 22, 2024

How to Take Care of Your Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are more than a fix – they are investments in your smile’s future. With proper care, your crown will keep you smiling for years. Here’s your simple guide to making it last.

Understanding Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a protective cap. It fits over a damaged tooth. It restores the tooth’s natural shape, size, and strength.

Manufacturers can make them from metal, porcelain, or ceramic. They’re used to fix severe decay, fractures, or root canals.

They enhance the look of a damaged tooth. However, their main job is strengthening and protecting the tooth structure beneath them. This ensures the tooth’s long life and function.

Daily care for your crown maintenance

Show your crown some love! Brushing and flossing twice daily are critical to a healthy, radiant smile. Here’s how to care for your crown:

Brush: Twice daily, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Focus on where your crown meets your gums.

Brush twice daily after dental crowns

Floss daily. It removes food and plaque. This keeps your crown and natural teeth healthy. Thread the floss around your crown base.

Floss daily after dental crowns

Using a gentle back-and-forth motion. Avoid snapping or forcing the floss, which can damage it or the surrounding gum tissue.

Choose a fluoride toothpaste. It will strengthen your natural tooth under the crown. A soft-bristled brush (manual or electric) keeps your crown pristine.

Use fluoride toothpaste after dental crowns

Bonus: An alcohol-free mouthwash can freshen your breath and reduce bacteria.

Use an alcohol free mouthwash after dental crowns

Dietary considerations

Taking care of your dental crowns healthy also requires watching what you eat. Many foods are still enjoyable for you. But it’s best to avoid those that might harm your crowns.

This includes hard foods like ice, candies, and popcorn kernels. They could cause chips or fractures. Foods like caramels, chewy bread, or tough jerky are sticky or chewy. It’s best if you avoid it. They could dislodge or pull on the crown.

Foods to Avoid When You Have Dental Crowns

Instead, focus on a balanced diet. It’s supposed to include options. Include dairy, cooked vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and soft bread.

Also, using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example) can damage crowns. So, it’s best to avoid this habit. If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about a night guard to protect your crowns and natural teeth.

Lifestyle Habits

Protecting Your Crown During Sports

Enjoy sports without worry! A custom mouthguard from your dentist acts as a cushion for your teeth. It also protects your crown, preventing damage during active sports moments.

Mouth guard during sports

Grinding and Clenching

Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism) can wear down crowns. Talk to your dentist about a custom night guard to protect your smile while you sleep.

Avoids habits of nighttime teeth grinding

Avoiding Bad Habits

Don’t use your teeth as tools, and avoid nail-biting. These habits stress your crowns. But stopping them will help your crowns and your smile last longer!

Avoid nail-biting after dental crowns

Professional Dental Care

Regular Checkups and Cleanings

It would be best to have routine dental visits for exams and cleanings. This is key to keeping your dental crowns in good shape. This is true even if you take good care of them at home.

Our experience has shown that attending the dentist every six months is essential. This lets them check on your dental crown’s health. They can spot problems early and give you deep cleanings to remove plaque and tartar.

Addressing Concerns Promptly

Tell your dentist now if you notice any changes in your dental crowns. This could be chipping, cracks, loosening, or more sensitivity or pain.

Early intervention can help save more harm to the dental crown and increase its lifespan. Ignoring these tooth issues could cause more involved and expensive repairs.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

A dental crown can last 5 to 15 years with proper care. Yet, the lifespan of your dental crown depends on many factors.

These include the type of crown, your oral hygiene habits, and your lifestyle. Porcelain and all-porcelain crowns are more robust than resin crowns. But metal crowns last the longest.

Signs Your Crown Needs Replacement

Dental professionals design dental crowns for optimal durability. However, tender loving care (TLC) is also needed. Here are signs you know it might be time to replace it.

  • Sensitivity or discomfort: Notice a twinge when you bite? It’s time to check in.
  • Chips or cracks: Your crown should be smooth and firm. If it’s not, let’s fix it or replace it immediately.
  • Stubborn stains? A new crown could be the answer. Professional cleaning may not brighten it up.
  • Loose feeling: A secure crown is a comfortable crown. If it’s moving, it needs attention.
  • Gum recession: A crown needs adjusting or replacing if your gums are pulling back.

If any of these sound familiar, don’t worry! Your dentist has options to restore your smile and keep it radiant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be able to feel my dental crown?

No, a well-fitted crown should feel like a natural tooth. You may feel sensitivity after the crown’s placement.  But it should go away within a few days to a week.

However, in some cases, sensitivity might last longer. If it persists or worsens, consulting a dentist is recommended.

Can I whiten my dental crown?

Traditional whitening treatments won’t affect the color of your crown. It’s a good idea to discuss whitening your teeth before getting a ceramic or porcelain crown. Do this if you’re worried about color matching.

Can a dental crown come off?

While rare, crowns can loosen or fall off due to decay underneath, trauma, or failure of the dental cement. See your dentist immediately for re-cementation to keep your crown in place.

How can I determine if my crown is damaged?

Look for chips, cracks, or a rough texture on your dental crown. Contact your dentist right away if you feel pain or sensitivity. Also, contact us if you see the crown moving. This will prevent further damage to your dental crown.

Can I get cavities under a dental crown?

The natural tooth structure beneath the crown is still susceptible to tooth decay. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits prevent decay around the dental crown.

Can I adjust to eating with a dental crown?

Most people adjust after a dental crown procedure. Start with softer foods. Then, add harder ones as you feel comfortable. This will keep the dental crown in good condition.

Does its insurance cover dental crowns?

Coverage varies by your insurance plan and the reason for the crown. For example, restorative versus cosmetic. Check with your provider for details about the benefits of your dental crowns.

How much does a dental crown cost?

The cost can vary. It depends on the material, the dentist’s skill, and your location. Expect a range of $800 to $2,500 per crown. Remember, crowns may last many years. They bring enormous benefits with proper care.

What’s the difference between a crown and a veneer?

A dental crown covers the whole tooth. A veneer is a thin shell bonded to the front for cosmetic improvement. Your dentist can recommend the best option based on your specific issues.

Can I get an implant instead of a crown?

A dental implant replaces the entire tooth (root and crown). It’s a more invasive option. However, it can sometimes offer better long-term results. This is especially true if problems with the natural tooth are under the crown.

Is a dental crown procedure painful?

During the procedure, the doctor uses local anesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any pain. You may feel some sensitivity or discomfort afterward. You can usually manage it with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Can you repair a crown with a slight chip?

Your dentist can sometimes repair minor chips or cracks in a dental crown. More severe damage usually needs a new crown. It’s going to restore the tooth’s look and function.

Can I get a dental crown on a front tooth?

Yes, dentists can place crowns on any tooth, including front teeth. Dentists often use materials like porcelain and ceramic for a natural look. This is so your dental crown looks its best.

Is there an alternative to a dental crown?

Options include fillings, inlays, onlays, or veneers. The choice depends on the extent of the damage and the tooth’s location. Your dentist can recommend the best option for your specific dental issues.

What signs indicate that I need a root canal before getting a crown?

You may need root canal treatment if you have severe tooth decay, an infection, or damage to the tooth’s pulp. The pulp is the inner part containing nerves and blood vessels. It’s best to have a root canal before placing a crown to restore the tooth.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you may have gotten a new crown or had one for years. The keys to healthy teeth are brushing and flossing. Also, it would be best if you had regular dental check-ups.

This routine ensures your crowns last as long as possible. Also, it’s essential to watch what you eat. Avoid foods that are too hard or sticky. This can also help protect your investment.

Remember, caring for your crowns now can cut the need for complex and costly procedures later.

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Dr. Ronald Pham

Dr. Ronald Pham, DDS, is a Doctor of Dental Surgery who graduated from the USC Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2015. With over 8 years of experience in general dentistry, he specializes in Dental restoration, Root canal treatment, and Dental implants…

Dr. Pham has restored the smiles of +2,000 patients and is committed to providing professional dental care focused on patient comfort. He achieves this by combining a welcoming space and state-of-the-art dental technology.

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