Thankfully, you were wearing your seatbelt when you had that car accident. Still, you hit your mouth on the steering wheel, cracking a lateral incisor. Your dentist in Tucson, AZ, Dr. Christopher McFarland, recommends a dental crown to strengthen and protect that tooth. Realistic and durable, crowns add years of life to failing or ailing teeth.
To crown or not to crown
When an infection, multiple fillings, injury, or deep decay jeopardize the health of a tooth, Dr. McFarland often advises placement of a ceramic cap, or crown. Tooth-colored and shaped, a dental crown from your Tucson dentist replaces damaged tooth structure above the gum line, conferring lifelike strength and appearance. Dating back to the 1980s, porcelain crowns are great alternatives to tooth extraction and also can restore dental implants, finish root canal therapy, and anchor multi-tooth bridgework.
To decide if a crown is right for you, Dr. McFarland will look at your tooth carefully and X-ray it to see its roots and supporting bone. Then, if all is well, he will numb the tooth and remove the damaged portions with a high-speed drill and other small tools. Oral impressions give the lab an imprint of the tooth from which the technician creates a lifelike dental model. Patients wear temporary restorations as they wait for their permanent crowns.
Typically, porcelain is today's material of choice. Other materials, such as porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or gold, have application in limited circumstances.
Getting a new crown
Dr. McFarland removes the temporary cap and places the new one over the tooth. He uses a special cement and a curing light to create a super strong bond. Also, he checks the fit in relation to surrounding teeth and makes sure the crown bites, or occludes, properly with the opposite arch.
Keeping your crown
Likely, you'll enjoy your beautiful crown for at least a decade or longer. To keep it shining and strong, brush twice a day and floss daily, too. Avoid hard foods--such as caramels and ice--and if you grind your teeth, the American College of Prosthodontists recommends wearing a simple night splint to absorb the extreme forces of bruxism.
Finally, continue to see Dr. McFarland and his team every six months. They often can head off the need for restorations such as fillings and crowns by checking the condition of your teeth and keeping them free of plaque and tartar, the causes of decay and gum disease.
Find out more
If you're ready to crown that fractured tooth, contact Dr. McFarland's office today for an appointment in Tucson, AZ. You'll love how your tooth looks and feels when your new crown is in place. Call (520) 298-4270.