A dental crown is a prosthetic cap that the dentist affixes over the top of a tooth. It can be used to conceal imperfections in the tooth, such as chips or cracks, or to protect the tooth from further injury, such as following root canal treatment. The dentist removes a small amount of tooth enamel from the surface of the tooth before impressions are taken of the tooth and the adjacent teeth. From these impressions, a dental lab can create the crown, and the dentist then affixes the crown onto the tooth.
In the interim period, a patient might wear a temporary crown while the permanent crown is being manufactured. Temporary crowns aren’t as robust as permanent crowns, and so additional precautions should be taken when eating.
Hard foods, such as hard candies, nuts, and crunchy vegetables such as celery or carrots should be eaten with care; chewing should occur on the opposite side of the mouth to the temporary crown. Also, avoid sticky foods like chewing gum, caramels, jelly beans and toffees, as these could pull the temporary crown away from the tooth.
There may also be some increased sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods while wearing a temporary crown. Although the crown itself won’t be affected, there might be exposure to nerves from gum recession.
Once a permanent crown is in place, it should deliver adequate bite strength and chewing capability, and so the patient should be able to eat without limitations or restrictions. While the crowned tooth does not require special care, it is important to remember that the underlying natural tooth can still be susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, and so it is important to maintain a regular dental health program to keep the teeth healthy.
For more information about dental crowns, contact the office of Drs. Adam Tan and Stephen Crosby to schedule your visit.