Dental crowns are often used in restorative dentistry. As the devices cover the natural crowns of the teeth, they fortify the underlying dental structures and prevent bacteria from accessing the interior chambers.
Dentists apply crowns after procedures that leave little remaining tooth material, such as filling a large cavity or removing a tooth's pulp. Providers also use crowns to hold fixed dental bridges in place. The bridge crowns attach to the bordering abutment teeth for stability.
Although crowns are protective devices, they can also be cosmetic. Since the crowns conceal the natural teeth, they can be used for numerous cosmetic improvements, such as the covering of cracks, chips, or discoloration.
Crowns are also quite durable. They can be made from many different long-lasting materials, such as ceramic, ceramic-over-metal, gold, zirconium, or resin. Although crowns may last for years, they are not indestructible.
Here are a few measures that you can take to keep your crowns in good shape.
Avoid Chewing on Excessively Hard Foods or Objects
Dentists often warn that chewing on hard items, such as ice or hard candy, can cause damage to your natural teeth. Biting down on the same items can also damage dental crowns.
Depending on the crown material, the excessive bite force may chip, crack, or warp the devices.
Protect Your Crowns During Sports
You can wear a sports guard to protect your crowns and teeth as you participate in sporting activities. The guards help absorb the force of a blow to the mouth, limiting the damage to your teeth and crowns.
Mouth protection can even prevent the inadvertent dislodging of a tooth. Keep in mind that when a crown-covered tooth is knocked from the mouth, the crown may require replacement even if the tooth is salvaged.
Wear a Night Guard if You Grind Your Teeth at Night
Bruxism is a condition in which sufferers grind their teeth or clench their jaws, especially at night. Because the activity usually takes place when a person sleeps, it can be difficult to avoid damage to the teeth and dental work without having some type of protection in place.
Dentists often prescribe night guards for people with bruxism. The customized guards fit over the teeth and dental work to protect them from excessive pressure and bite force.
Due to bruxism, dental crowns may become flattened or worn away on the bite surfaces. Additionally, metal crowns may become warped, and porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crowns may chip or crack.
To learn more ways to protect your dental crowns, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.