A dental crown, sometimes called a cap, is a covering that surrounds a tooth. It restores the tooth’s natural function and protects it if its damaged. A crown also strengthens a tooth that has been structurally compromised, and it can replace a missing tooth as component of dental implant procedure.
Receiving a dental crown is not a minor or inexpensive procedure. Traditional crowns require two visits to the dentist days (or weeks) apart and can cost upward of $3,000 or more before insurance.
Considering its function and cost, it’s easy to understand why so many people want to know how to take care of their dental crown.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to care for a crown. In fact, dental crowns don’t require much more attention than natural teeth. Besides daily brushing and flossing, dentists recommend rinsing with a nonalcoholic mouthwash to care for a crown. The mouthwash will clean the area at the base of the crown, which is the only place where the natural tooth is at risk. With these procedures in place, a crown should last between 5 years and a lifetime (depending on the material used).
Caring for Temporary Dental Crowns
More attention is required for temporary crowns. These crowns are what dentists apply at the end of the first visit to hold the patient over until their second visit, when they’ll receive their permanent crown. Temporary crowns allow a person to eat and otherwise function, but these crowns come with restrictions. Namely, a person with a temporary crown should:
- Avoid sticky or chewy foods. Temporary crowns are not placed with the same cement as permanent crowns, and they’re much more liable to come loose, exposing the damaged natural tooth underneath. If your temporary crown comes off, contact your dentist to set up an appointment to have it reinserted or replaced.
- Minimize use. Dentists actually suggest eating with the opposite side of the mouth when a person has a temporary dental crown in order to lessen the chance that the crown might come loose.
- Avoid hard foods. You should avoid anything that might crack the temporary crown, which also is not as strong as a permanent one. Ice, popcorn, nuts, seeds, steak, and raw fruits and vegetables are all foods that can damage temporary crowns.
- Be careful while flossing. Don’t lift the floss straight up when flossing around the tooth with the temporary crown. Instead, glide it out the side so you don’t accidently pop off the crown.
Even with the best care, crowns come loose or crack. When that happens, contact your dentist right away in order to get a replacement. Never attempt to replace the crown yourself. Glues can actually damage teeth, and some are toxic. The crown might also not fit well and cause other issues in the mouth.
To schedule an appointment for your regular cleaning (another must-do task to care for a crown), call us or follow the link below.