Imagine feeling an unexpected sharp pain while savouring your favourite dish, only to discover that you’ve damaged your dental crown. This scenario is more common than you might think, and, unfortunately, it’s a situation that can cause significant discomfort and lead to unexpected expenses. For anyone who has invested in a dental crown, understanding how to prevent such damage is important.
The concept of dental crown health is a crucial aspect of overall oral health. It goes beyond merely keeping the crown intact and glossy. It’s about maintaining the health of the underlying tooth and gums, thus contributing to a healthy and radiant smile.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how understanding dental crown care and maintenance can save you from such potential discomfort and unnecessary costs. It’s time to invest in prevention and enjoy the benefits of maintaining the integrity and longevity of your dental crowns.
Keep reading to learn more.
- Summary of the Content:
- What is a Dental Crown: A Brief Overview
- Understanding Dental Crown Damage: Causes and Consequences
- Strategies for Preventing Dental Crown Damage
- Dietary Habits and Dental Crown Health
- The Role of Regular Dental Check-ups in Dental Crown Health
- Oral Hygiene Practices for Maximising Longevity of Dental Crowns
- The Role of Rest and Stress Management in Dental Health
- Final Thoughts
Summary of the Content:
- Dental crown health relies on careful dietary habits, regular dental check-ups, consistent oral hygiene practices, and effective stress management.
- Damage to dental crowns can result from biting hard objects, poor oral hygiene, and teeth grinding, leading to dental discomfort, infection risk, and frequent replacement.
- Preventive measures to avoid dental crown damage include avoiding hard, sticky, and chewy foods, scheduling regular dentist visits, and maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
- Regular care and healthy oral habits extend the lifespan of dental crowns, maintaining their strength and appearance and reducing the risk of underlying tooth decay.
- The dental crown maintenance routine, though initially daunting, can be easily managed and integrated into daily life.
What is a Dental Crown: A Brief Overview
A dental crown, often crafted from durable materials like porcelain, composite resin, or metallic alloys, acts as a vital protective cover. This custom-made restoration is meticulously fitted over a damaged or decayed tooth or carefully placed onto a dental implant. A dental crown, also known as a ‘cap,’ serves multiple crucial functions in dental care:
- It safeguards a damaged or decayed tooth:
Crowns function as sturdy armour, covering and shielding the natural tooth. This protection helps halt the progression of damage or decay and promotes ongoing health of the entire tooth, from crown to root surface.
- Restores the tooth’s shape, size, and strength:
Dental crowns can significantly help bring back the natural shape and size of a tooth that has been extensively compromised due to deep decay, a large filling, or oral trauma. Furthermore, the crown helps fortify the tooth structure, restoring normal eating and chewing ability.
- Enhances your smile aesthetics:
Dental crowns can be colour-matched to your natural teeth, providing an aesthetically pleasing result. High-quality crowns can seamlessly blend with your natural teeth, enhancing the overall appearance of your smile.
Various types of dental crowns are available, each offering different advantages. The type of crown used often depends on the specific needs and preferences of the patient:
- Ceramic crowns:
These are often used for restoring front teeth due to their excellent aesthetic properties. The material can be closely matched to the natural tooth colour, blending in for a seamless appearance.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns:
Durable and strong, these crowns offer a good match for your natural teeth, combining the resilience of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain.
- Base metal alloy crowns and gold crowns:
These crowns require less removal of the tooth structure and are highly resistant to wear. They can withstand biting and chewing forces well, making them long-lasting dental crowns.
The dental crown procedure, performed by dentists, involves several carefully executed steps:
- The dentist initially prepares the tooth by trimming the enamel and dentin layers. This is done to make room for the crown. Any decay is also meticulously removed to prevent the progression of the decay once the crown is placed.
- An impression of the tooth is then taken to create an exact model of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth. This will be used to fabricate a crown that fits well on the tooth and restores the patient’s bite.
- A temporary crown will be placed over the prepared tooth while the final dental crown is being made. This protects the prepared tooth and allows for normal eating and appearance.
- Once the final dental crown is ready, usually after a period of a couple of weeks, it is cemented in place. The dental crown placement process is performed with care and precision to achieve proper fit and comfort.
Understanding Dental Crown Damage: Causes and Consequences
The dental crown procedure is a common one employed by experienced dentists to protect and restore damaged teeth. It provides an artificial chewing surface, restores the tooth’s aesthetic appeal and prevents further harm. However, dental crowns are not permanent. There is always a risk of damage if diligent care is not taken.
Common causes of dental crown damage include:
- Biting on hard objects:
One of the most common reasons people damage their crowns is by biting on hard objects such as pens or fingernails or eating crunchy foods or hard candies. These can exert excessive force on the crown, leading to chipped or broken crowns.
- Poor oral hygiene:
An inadequate dental hygiene routine involving infrequent brushing and flossing can lead to gum disease. This can cause inflammation around the crown margin, affecting the stability of the entire tooth.
- Grinding your teeth at night:
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition many people might not even realise they have. It often occurs during sleep, causing excessive wear on your crowns. A custom-fit night guard, customised by your dentist, can help prevent the breakage of crowns due to bruxism.
Ignoring dental crown care and maintenance can lead to several negative consequences:
- Dental discomfort:
Discomfort may result from having a loose crown or a chipped or cracked crown. This can manifest as jaw pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot foods or cold drinks, or a persistent ache. Such discomfort often necessitates a dental crown replacement, requiring another round of dental crown treatment.
- Risk of infection:
A loose or cracked crown could create a gap where bacteria can seep in. This can lead to the accumulation of plaque and the development of tooth decay. If not addressed immediately, it may lead to severe decay and eventually require root canal treatment.
- Replacement costs:
Without proper dental crown care, the crown’s lifespan can be significantly reduced. This can mean more frequent replacements, involving higher costs and more time spent on the dentist’s chair. Cheaper or lower-quality crowns may seem appealing, but they may not be as cost-effective in the long run if they require frequent replacements.
Preventive care is crucial in avoiding these outcomes:
- Regular dental check-ups:
Regular visits to the dentist for check-ups gives your dentist the opportunity to detect early signs of wear or damage to the crown. It also allows for the professional cleaning of plaque around the crown, preventing decay from setting in.
- Good oral hygiene routine:
Maintaining regular brushing and flossing habits can prevent plaque and bacteria buildup. Careful brushing twice a day, using non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, combined with daily flossing, can keep the area around the crown clean, reducing the risk of decay under the crown.
- Protective gear for contact sports:
Participating in contact sports without the right mouth protection can lead to dental emergencies, including trauma that could dislodge or damage the crown. Using sports-specific protective gear can prevent such occurrences and maintain the integrity of your crown.
Dental crown health is a vital component of oral hygiene and requires dedicated care and attention. Regular check-ups with a qualified health practitioner and maintaining good oral health habits can help extend the lifespan of your crowns, protect your natural teeth, and save you from discomfort and additional dental expenses.
Strategies for Preventing Dental Crown Damage
Preventing dental crown damage is essential for maintaining your dental crown health and the overall longevity of your dental restoration:
- Avoid hard, chewy, and sticky foods:
These can cause damage to your crowns or even dislodge them. Especially for people with composite resin crowns, sticky foods can stick to the crown surface and potentially pull them out of place. Crunchy foods can put pressure on the crown, causing it to crack or chip. By avoiding these foods, you’re effectively preventing dental crown damage.
- Visit your dentist regularly:
Regular dental check-ups are integral to dental crown care. They allow for early detection and treatment of any issues. During these visits, the dentist checks the integrity of the crown, assesses its fit, and examines for signs of wear or damage. This practice of visiting the dentist is a proactive approach to dental crown maintenance and extends the crown’s lifespan.
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine:
Brushing twice a day with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can go a long way in preventing dental crown damage. This oral hygiene routine can keep the crown margin clean and prevent plaque accumulation, a common cause of dental crown issues. Regular brushing and flossing can reach food particles that might have gotten lodged near the crown, which, if not removed, could lead to gum inflammation.
In essence, the key to preserving dental crown health lies in diligent dental crown care, consistent dental crown maintenance, and taking active steps to prevent dental crown damage.
Dietary Habits and Dental Crown Health
Diet plays a pivotal role in dental crown health. Here’s how certain foods impact it:
- Tough foods:
Foods like hard candies and ice can cause strain and potentially chip or crack your crown, compromising dental crown health.
- Hot and cold foods:
Sudden temperature changes can cause discomfort, especially during the first few days after crown placement.
- Sticky or chewy foods:
These foods can dislodge a crown, especially a temporary crown.
Foods that aid in preventing dental crown damage include:
- Soft foods:
Foods like pasta, eggs, and yogurt are gentle on your crowns, especially just after dental crown placement.
- Balanced diet:
Consuming various fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can aid in overall oral health, including the health of your crowns.
- Non-acidic foods:
Acidic foods can wear down your crowns over time. Opting for non-acidic foods can help maintain your crown’s integrity.
Good hydration plays several roles in maintaining the health of dental crowns:
- Promotes saliva production:
Saliva helps neutralise acids and wash away food debris, reducing the risk of decay under the crown.
- Keeps oral tissues healthy:
Adequate hydration keeps your gums healthy, supporting the stability of your crowns.
- Prevents dry mouth:
Dry mouth can lead to increased plaque accumulation, negatively affecting your crowns.
The Role of Regular Dental Check-ups in Dental Crown Health
Regular dental check-ups are paramount for dental crown maintenance for the following reasons:
- Early detection:
Dentists can spot early signs of wear and tear or address potential issues before they become major problems.
- Professional cleanings:
During these sessions, dentists can remove bacterial plaque around the crown edges, preventing gum disease and prolonging the life of your crown.
- Routine assessment:
Regular check-ups allow your dentist to check that the crown is still fitting correctly and to assess the health of the underlying tooth and surrounding gums
Oral Hygiene Practices for Maximising Longevity of Dental Crowns
For dental crown maintenance, follow these daily oral hygiene practices:
Brush your teeth twice a day with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles.
Use an antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria that could potentially lead to decay.
Be gentle on dental crowns. To do this:
- Choose soft-bristled toothbrushes.
- Use non-abrasive toothpaste to prevent unnecessary wear on your crowns.
Proper oral hygiene habits can extend the life of a dental crown by:
- Preventing gum disease:
Regular brushing and flossing keep your gums healthy, providing a strong foundation for your crown.
- Preventing decay:
Good oral hygiene prevents bacterial accumulation and subsequent decay in the remaining natural tooth structure.
- Preventing crown loosening:
Maintaining the health of the tooth can prevent crown loosening.
The Role of Rest and Stress Management in Dental Health
Stress can lead to teeth grinding, known as bruxism, which can cause damage to dental crowns. Bruxism exerts an excessive and unpredictable force on teeth that may cause the wearing of the tooth and breakage of dental crowns.
Stress management techniques that can help in preventing dental crown damage are:
Regular meditation can help manage stress levels, reducing the likelihood of teeth grinding.
Yoga promotes relaxation and stress relief, which can prevent bruxism and consequent crown damage.
- Regular exercise:
Physical activity is a proven stress reliever and can reduce teeth grinding.
Maintaining dental crown health is a multi-faceted task requiring attention to dietary habits, regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene practices, and effective stress management. Each of these areas plays a crucial role in safeguarding the longevity and integrity of your dental crown.
It’s important to note that while these may seem like daunting tasks, dental crown maintenance can easily become a part of your daily routine. With time, these practices will become second nature, contributing to your overall oral health and the longevity of your dental crowns.
The team at Maylands Dental Centre is committed to helping you understand the ideal practices for dental crown care. Our experienced dentists are always ready to guide you through the process of maintaining your crowns and addressing any concerns you might have. Don’t wait for a dental emergency to take action.
If you’re due for a check-up or have any questions about dental crown maintenance, we encourage you to book an appointment through our website or call our clinic today. Your journey towards optimal dental crown health starts with a single step, and the team at Maylands Dental Centre is here to walk you through every part of it.