Dental Crowns Aftercare: How to Get the Most Out of Your Restoration
When it comes to repairing damaged or decayed teeth, dental crowns are an excellent restorative option. Designed to protect and strengthen a tooth, a crown fits over its entire structure. These restorations can be placed over natural teeth, or combined with dental implants or dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Dr. Danny O’Keefe’s Jackson, MS, dental team guides patients in proper dental crowns aftercare so they can properly maintain their restoration for years to come.
At our practice, Dr. O’Keefe offers same-day and traditional dental crowns. If you choose to have your crown fabricated in-house with our CEREC® technology, you will have your final restoration placed in about one hour. If you choose a traditional crown, your case will be sent off to a trusted dental lab for the fabrication of your restoration, a process that generally takes about one to two weeks. In the meantime, a temporary crown will be placed.
No matter which type of crown you choose, you may experience slight temperature sensitivity. This is normal, however, and should diminish within a day or two. If you experience any pain after your crown placement, it may be due to high placement. If you suspect this may be the case, contact us right away so we can adjust your bite.
How to Prevent Decay
Crowns are crafted from high-quality dental materials, such as ceramic porcelain and zirconia. These surfaces are impenetrable to decay. However, this does not mean the tooth structure underneath cannot suffer a cavity. Some patients wrongly assume that teeth with restorations do not require as much attention. On the contrary, teeth with dental crowns require just as much care, if not more. If proper oral hygiene habits are not maintained, recurrent decay can develop underneath the crown. Once this occurs, the tooth weakens further, often leaving extraction as the only viable option.
To actively prevent recurrent decay, you should brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once per day. When cleaning between the teeth, gently pull the floss all the way through the spaces, rather than snapping it down. This will help keep the crown from loosening or falling off. Some patients find that specialized hygiene tools, such as interproximal brushes and dental picks, are beneficial as well. Our team can help you determine an at-home regimen that will work for your needs.
How to Prevent Damage
Dental crowns are strong, durable, and resilient, much like your natural tooth enamel. However, when exposed to excessive force or pressure, crowns can chip or fracture. To prevent this, avoid chewing on hard objects, such as pens, pencils, ice, or your fingernails. It is also important that you never use your teeth to open packages.
Additionally, if you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), or if you play contact sports, you should wear an occlusal guard. These oral appliances protect your teeth from damage by gently separating and cushioning the upper and lower arches. If you think you may require a mouth guard, talk to Dr. O’Keefe about a custom oral appliance.
Contact Us to Learn More about Dental Crowns
If you have dental crowns or any other restorations, it is important to maintain them through proper care. To find out more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us online.