The dental crown is potentially one of the most popular treatments in restorative dentistry. Aiming to improve the function and, at times, the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, crowns can be a long-lasting, effective solution against damage and decay.
But do you know everything there is to know about this common restorative treatment? Here are 10 surprising facts about crowns that you probably didn’t know.
1. It’s relatively quick to get a crown placed.
On top of our list of surprising facts about crowns, that might surprise you is that it might take no more than two visits to have one successfully installed. During your first visit, your dentist will examine your tooth, take the necessary impressions, and prepare it to receive the crown. On your second visit, your dentist will then fit the crown and make any necessary adjustments to guarantee a proper fit.
2. Dental crowns come in a variety of materials.
Ever seen an aunt or uncle with a golden tooth? Yup, that was probably a crown. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of different materials. Full-porcelain crowns look more natural, but they’re also more prone to breaking and staining.
There are also porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, which tend to look slightly less natural. The metal underneath the porcelain can’t be completely covered, so there will be a dark line resting across the gum line from where the metal meets the soft tissue. Then, there are metal alloy crowns. Far stronger than porcelain options, these can last for up to 30 years, but they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing.
3. Crowns can bridge any gaps.
A dental bridge is a restorative method that’s performed when there’s a gap in your smile caused by a missing tooth. Crowns can be used to bridge gaps by connecting two crowns with a false tooth. These two crowns are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap, and the false tooth in between recreates the illusion of a complete set of teeth.
4. They can last pretty long.
Depending on the type of material you’ve chosen, dental crowns can actually last a pretty long time. Porcelain types can stick around for five to 10 years, while those made of alloy typically last 20 to 30 years with proper care.
5. They’re used to top off implants.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know, more facts about crowns: When restoring beauty and function to a smile with a tooth or teeth missing, dental crowns are actually used to top off an implant. After your dentist fits the groundwork for your implant and they successfully fuse it to your jawbone, then they’ll install the crown. These custom-designed crowns have a special orifice through which the hardware is attached to fit it to your implant.
6. They can prevent an extraction.
You might be thinking that there’s no hope for your decayed, broken, or worn-out tooth, calling for the need to extract it. But your dentist might just be able to save it. If they find that there’s still a substantial amount of your tooth that can be shaved, shaped, and saved, then they might discourage an extraction and recommend a crown instead.
7. They’re typically covered in your insurance.
Don’t shy away from a crown because of the cost; your insurance will likely cover it anyway. Some insurance policies will cover more than half of the cost of a single crown. Most often, though, your coverage (even from your employer) will cover around 50% of the expense, making it a whole lot easier on your pocket.
8. They finish up a root canal.
If you were scheduled for a root canal, then you should know there’s a possibility you might get a crown after the procedure. Removing the pulp inside a tooth can weaken the structure, so placing a crown helps to reinforce your tooth by providing an extra barrier against different types of damage.
9. They come with unique care instructions.
Now that you’ve got a crown in place, it pays to make sure you’re caring for it in the best way possible. Up your flossing frequency, especially around the crown, to prevent bacteria buildup where the crown meets the gum line. Of course, you’re also expected to keep the crown itself clean with thorough routine brushing. Ask your doctor how you can care for your crown to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
10. They don’t easily break.
And lastly one our surprising facts about crowns, there’s always been a common misconception that crowns can break when you eat food that’s too hard. Even natural teeth can break under excessive pressure, and crowns are no exception. But they’re not as fragile as we tend to believe. Depending on the type of material your dentist recommends, your crown might actually be more durable than your natural teeth.
Of course, they’re not impervious to fractures, breakage, or chipping, but they’re definitely not going to give way that easily either. As a general rule, crowns can be used to eat any kind of food you could typically eat with your natural teeth. Avoid using them to rip open wrappers, pop bottles open, or anything similar, and you should be safe.