Dental crowns also called dental caps help protect a damaged tooth from further damage. Dentist use crowns to help protect damaged or decayed teeth. The cap protects the tooth from infection and disease. Your dentist will also recommend dental crown if you have a weak tooth that needs support or a tooth that has undergone root canal. Some patients request dental crowns for cosmetic reasons especially those with discolored teeth. Therefore, dental caps improve the appearance and strength of teeth. Before you visit your dentist, for the procedure, here are some things you should know about dental crowns. 
The types of crowns
Crowns are made of different materials. The materials have their advantages and disadvantages in terms or cost, longevity, and degree of success. Some of the common materials for dental caps include;  
● Porcelain/ceramic
Porcelain crowns are very common and frequently used for the front teeth. The advantage to porcelain crowns is that they look very natural. 
● Porcelain fused to metal
Most crowns are made from bonding porcelain with a precious metal. The metal forms the base where the porcelain is applied. 
● Full metal crowns
Metal crowns are very durable and cost effective. Gold crowns are very common especially for ornamental purposes and hardly cause wear on opposing teeth. Metal caps are very prominent and not suitable for visible teeth. 
Dentists use special dental cement or adhesive that forms a seal to hold the dental cap in position. 
Duration of procedure
The procedure requires at least to visits to your dentist. The initial visits will involve the dental team preparing your tooth, taking the impressions and record the shade of your teeth. The visit culminates with dentist fixing a temporary crown. During the second appointment, your dentist will now fit a permanent crown. 
Is there pain when the dentist prepares your tooth? 
No, there is no pain during this preparation. Your physician will administer a local anesthetic to prevent pain. If the extent of damage to the tooth destroyed the nerve, you might not need anesthetic. 
The crown feels different 
You may be aware of the crown during the initial days because its shape differs slightly from that of your tooth before it was crowned. You will cease to notice the difference as you adjust to the cap. However, if you feel uncomfortable while biting, please visit your dentist to check it and make necessary adjustments. 
The cost 
The cost of dental crowns varies with the type of crown you desire and the material used. Consult with your dentist and get a written quote for the entire treatment plan. 
Caring for the crown 
It is crucial that you maintain your oral hygiene and keep the dental crown as clean as you would your natural teeth. The dental cap never decays. However, decay can initiate and the edge between the crown and the tooth. Ensure you brush your teeth before retiring to bed and at least once during the day. Use a fluoride toothpaste and clean between the teeth with dental floss. 
How long will the crown last 
Dental crowns can last many years depending on how you take good care of it. With proper care and continued oral hygiene, your dental crown can last a lifetime. The type of material used also determines the life of the crown. 

Possible downsides
While crowns are durable and an excellent option, the can produce an undesirable result if not well done. Here are some rare events that may occur.  
● Crowns can fall out
A loose dental cap that does not fit correctly can fall out. The fall out can also occur when the cement washes way with time. When a crown falls, the best thing to do is put it in a plastic bag and rush to your dentist. Your dentist will suggest making a new one instead of reusing and old crown that does not fit correctly. 
● Possible infection
If the tooth is not carefully cleaned and sealed, an infection can develop. 
● Biting problem
If the surface of the crown is not properly shaved, you may experience some discomfort when you bite. 
● The crown can shift with time
As years elapse, the dental caps can become loose and even dislodge. In many cases, patients replace crowns after ten or fifteen years. 
● Tooth Decay
If the dental cap is not properly sealed or does not fit correctly, bacterial accumulate and cause tooth decay. The adhesive that holds the cement to the tooth can wash away giving bacteria space to invade the tooth. 
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