As a dental office in Redwood City, we treat patients who are struggling with a variety of oral health issues. In many cases, we use dental crowns to restore a severely damaged tooth or a tooth that has had a root canal. For example, if a tooth is cracked, chipped, or eroded, we can place a dental crown around it to protect the tooth. The dental crown will help the tooth become fully functional again and look perfectly natural. While this is a common procedure, many patients are unaware that a crown is not infallible. It can last for 15 years or more, but you have to take good care of it. If you do not brush and floss regularly or do not seek preventative dental care, the tooth underneath your crown will be at risk for experiencing decay. Additionally, it is possible to damage a crown by eating ice, chewing pencils, playing sports, or being in an accident. With that in mind, we recommend that you take care to ensure your crowns are safe.
Signs to watch for:There are a few signs you can watch for that a crown is damaged. Start by running your tongue along your teeth to see if there are any rough edges. If there are, you might have a chipped tooth. You should also watch to see if you have any crowns that are loose. If you do, we recommend seeking treatment immediately since a loose crown can fall off at night and be swallowed.
Steps we will take:When you visit our dental office, we will begin by conducting a visual examination of your teeth so we can determine the source of the problem. Next, we will take x-rays. This is essential because a dental crown surrounds a tooth like a cap, and an x-ray allows us to determine if there is an issue with the tooth itself.
When it comes to treating your tooth, we will need to determine if the crown itself is damaged or if the tooth underneath is also damaged or infected. If the problem is only with the crown, we might be able to smooth it out and apply a bonding material to it. If this works for restoring it, the process can be completed in one sitting. If, however, the crown is severely damaged, we might need to remove and replace it. This is a two-step process since the dental lab will need to create a new crown. Also, if the tooth underneath is infected or damaged, the crown will need to be removed so we can access it. We will remove the infected portion of the tooth before placing a new crown around it. This too will require multiple visits to our dental office. In rare cases, the tooth may be too damaged to save. If so, we can replace it with a dental bridge or dental implant.