Dentists use dental crowns to cap off your teeth after a procedure. You may get a crown after a significant filling has been cracked or broken, a root canal, a dental implant, a repair or bridgework. While they are made from durable materials, crowns do require good care to make sure they last as long as possible.
Postoperative Care for a Dental Crown
You may have a temporary crown put in place as part of your treatment plan. It's not as sturdy as the permanent one you'll go back for later, so you need to follow a few extra instructions to keep this one intact. One of the most important things you can do is avoid eating foods that could damage the temporary crown. Sticky substances such as caramel could pull it out of place. Hard candy and other crunchy, brittle food may damage the crown as well.
You don't need to worry about sticky food with a permanent crown, since it's firmly cemented in place. However, hard food and ice cubes should generally stay off your personal menu. If you encounter cold sensitivity after the placement, swap out your regular toothpaste for a sensitive option.
If you have problems with grinding your teeth, let your dentist know before you get a temporary or permanent crown put in. This behavior can wear down the ceramic on the cap and compromise its integrity.
RELATED: Find out everything you need to know about Common Dental Procedures
Proper Dental Hygiene for a Dental Crown
A daily brushing and flossing routine is an integral part of maintaining your dental crown. While the top of this material is not subject to decay (typically it is ceramic, porcelain or another durable material), you still have part of your original tooth anchoring it underneath.
Your flossing method should reach this area to keep it clean and clear of plaque and food debris. You can add extra protection by using products with added fluoride, such as a fluoride rinse and toothpaste that's advertised as high-fluoride. Schedule a dental appointment twice a year with your dentist to get the deep cleaning necessary to keep a healthy smile.
How Long Should a Dental Crown Last?
Your dental crown lasts an average of seven years, although Colgate reports some crowns lasting for more than 40 years. The longevity of your cap depends on the material used to create it, how well you keep up with the necessary dental hygiene, and whether you have problems with grinding your teeth or doing other activities that could cause tooth damage.
When to Have a Dental Crown Replaced
You may be lucky enough to have your dental crown last for your entire life. However, keep an eye out for a few signs that indicate it's time for a replacement.
- You sustain damage to the crown, such as a chip or crack.
- You experience pain from the tooth underneath the crown.
- The crown is worn down from years of use.
- You see signs of gum disease or tooth decay under the crown.
- You can feel the crown shifting around when you touch it or press your tongue to it.
If you're uncertain whether it's time for a replacement, consult with your dentist who can gauge the condition of your crowns.
Have questions about your dental crown or need one replaced? We have the expertise you seek. Contact us at Main Street Dental Clinic to discuss the health of your teeth and crowns, or to schedule an appointment today.