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The Many Roles of Dental Crowns

May 10, 2023
The Many Roles of Dental Crowns
When you have a tooth that’s damaged or decaying, your dental health suffers. Customized dental crowns are an effective and versatile way to preserve your teeth and restore your oral health. Learn more about the many roles of dental crowns.

Damaged and decaying teeth can cause serious dental health issues. In fact, according to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than half of adults in the United States have lost at least one tooth, and many have lost several. 

The good news is that custom-made dental crowns offer an effective and versatile solution for preserving your teeth and maintaining your oral health. And because dental crowns solve many oral health problems, it’s no surprise that millions of U.S. adults have crowns in place. 

At Proud to Smile Dentistry, dental expert and crown specialist Dr. Patricia Swaintek-Lamb puts her expertise to work helping patients in Bernardsville, New Jersey, enjoy optimal dental health. Dr. Patti first evaluates your dental needs before creating a personalized treatment plan designed especially for you.

Because of the versatility they offer, many dental issues can be addressed using dental crowns. Take a moment to learn more about crowns and the many roles they can play in your oral health.  

Dental crowns 101

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped prosthetics, or “caps.” They’re held in place with dental cement and custom-designed to fit seamlessly and comfortably over your natural tooth to protect and strengthen it, helping keep your bone intact.  

Crowns can be made from different materials. The right material for your dental crown depends on the health of your natural teeth and the reasons you’re getting a crown. These materials include:

  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Stainless steel
  • Resin
  • Gold or another alloy  

Dr. Patti discusses which type of crown is right for you during your initial evaluation. 

Getting a dental crown placed

Getting a dental crown usually involves two to three visits to Proud to Smile Dentistry. During your first exam, Dr. Patti evaluates the affected tooth and takes dental X-rays. 

At the next appointment, she prepares your natural tooth. After numbing the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding gum, she shapes the tooth so the crown will fit comfortably and securely. 

Finally, she takes an impression of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth, and sends it to a dental lab where they custom design your crown. Dr. Swaintek-Lamb places a temporary crown over your natural tooth while you wait for the permanent crown.

When the permanent crown is ready, you return to our office for a quick visit to have it cemented in place and adjusted as needed for comfort. With a crown in place, you can chew, talk, smile, and brush and floss like normal.

The different roles of crowns

Keeping your natural teeth is preferred whenever possible. But when your natural tooth has significant damage from decay or trauma, keeping the natural tooth in place becomes more challenging. 

Crowns can be used to strengthen teeth weakened from decay, fillings, or injury/trauma. This preserves your bone, and allows you to keep the healthy part of your tooth and the root. They can also correct misaligned and misshapen teeth.  

Crowns also help you maintain and even improve your oral health. Without a crown, cavity-causing bacteria more easily accumulate in the damaged or decaying tooth. Crowns help keep bacteria out of these areas since you can brush and floss more easily.  

In addition, if you’ve had a root treated by a root canal, a crown can be used to protect it. Because crowns are made from inorganic materials and aren’t vulnerable to decay, placing a crown over your natural tooth after a root canal better protects the treated root. 

Finally, dental crowns help you keep more of your natural teeth. This is because when you have a damaged or diseased tooth, or if you’re missing a tooth, your overall oral health suffers, putting you at higher risk for gum disease and tooth loss. 

Crowns help with all of these issues for 15 years or longer before they need to be replaced, provided you keep up your oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental cleanings and exams. 

Learn more about the many roles of dental crowns and whether this restorative solution is right for you by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone today at Proud to Smile Dentistry in Bernardsville, New Jersey.