When dealing with teeth, few things are permanent. Even the sturdiest fixtures can eventually fail and require replacement. A good crown can last for decades, but calling them permanent would be skirting around the truth. However, if your tooth has been damaged, a crown can save it from extraction and provide protection for the foreseeable future.
At the dental practice of Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili in Fairfax, Virginia, we offer restorations including crowns and bridges that look and function just like the original faces of your teeth.
How dental crowns work
If you’ve ever had a root canal or damaged tooth, you might have had a crown placed to protect it. Dental crowns are small “caps” for your teeth, hence the name. They look, act, and feel just like the natural surface of your tooth, and can be made of different materials.
Placing a crown is a two-part process. First, your tooth must be prepared for the crown. If placed directly over the tooth, the crown will not fit properly, which can cause problems with your bite. So, your dentist makes room for the crown by carefully shaving away the outer enamel.
Then, a mold is taken and a temporary crown is placed until your next visit. Once your customized crown is ready, Dr. Yalamanchili will make sure the fit is flush and comfortable before bonding the crown to your tooth with dental cement.
How long do dental crowns last
This is a difficult question: A dental crown can last anywhere from 5-20 years. The lifespan of your crown depends on a number of factors, including the materials used, the skill of your dentist, how well the crown was fitted in the first place, and how well you maintain your oral health post-restoration.
Proper placement is important when dealing with dental crowns; a well-made, customized crown placed by an experienced dentist will last much longer than a cheaply fabricated crown made of poor materials.
However, it’s also up to you to maintain your teeth. Material and manufacturing are important while making your crown, but proper dental hygiene is vital to maintaining it. With proper dental hygiene and regular cleanings, a crown of any kind can last for decades.
When dental crowns are needed
There are many reasons you might need a dental crown. While they are often used to protect damaged teeth, they can also hold other fixtures in place and reshape teeth that have become jagged or sharp. A crown can also correct cosmetic issues like chipping or discoloration.
As long as your tooth is still intact, a crown can help restore and strengthen it for years to come. If you think you might need a dental crown, schedule a consultation with Dr. Yalamanchili by calling 703-213-5312, or book an appointment online.