A dental crown is a kind of "cover" that can be placed on a tooth for a variety of reasons. These devices can help restore tooth shape, support dental bridges, protect fillings, or prevent discoloration. However, there are some problems that can arise from wearing a dental crown, most of which can be prevented.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing the Right Material
Step 1. Check the color
Before a dental crown is permanently inserted, the dentist will check to match the color of the crown to the tooth so that it looks natural. Your doctor should consult with you to get your agreement on his choice. Use a mirror to look at the mouth around the teeth and assess for color similarity. Don't be afraid to reject the dentist's choice; this is your mouth and you deserve to be satisfied with the appearance of the dental crown chosen.
It's also a good idea to check the color in natural sunlight. Also pay attention to the color of the dental crown outdoors. Sometimes the lighting in a doctor's clinic can be too bright and confusing. Take a look at a dental crown outdoors to see how it looks in everyday light
Step 2. Check the shape of the dental crown
Make sure the shape of the dental crown is correct. A properly shaped crown will touch the tooth on both sides so that no food gets stuck there. Dental crowns that are not made properly allow food to slip through the gaps. What's more, a crown that is too large can cause jaw trauma from being bitten by the tooth opposite it. This trauma can progress to painful pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp/nerves of the tooth).
Step 3. Choose a strong cement
Your dental crown may fall off due to weak cement. With new dental crowns, the cement tends to be very strong, but the old crowns are more likely to fall off because the cement is weak.
If the cement is no longer sticking together, look inside your mouth and see if there are any teeth and fillings in it. The dental crown itself will appear hollow, and only the crown material will show inside
Step 4. Do not use porcelain dental crowns
Porcelain is very fragile, and full porcelain dental crowns come off more easily than metal ones. Choose a zirconia metal dental crown that is stronger and usually has a ceramic coating so that it looks like natural teeth. Other options include gold gear which is extremely friction-resistant and strong.
- Most porcelain crown problems are unavoidable. Porcelain may not be made correctly in the lab, or it may not be thick enough.
- In addition to crumbling or falling off, porcelain crowns can wear away the adjacent teeth if the surface becomes rough.
Part 2 of 3: Eating Right
Step 1. Avoid certain foods
It's best not to eat hard and sticky foods. Examples of hard foods include raw vegetables, candy, and mint which can crack dental crowns. Examples of sticky foods include caramel, sticky rice, or chewing gum.
Step 2. Be careful when eating very hot or cold food
Especially with metal dental crowns, you will experience some pain or sensitivity in the teeth with the crowns installed. This sensitivity is usually felt in the gum line.
Sensitivity to cold should only last for 6 weeks. Sensitivity to heat usually lasts only a week. If this sensitivity exceeds the estimated time, you may need to return to the dentist's office
Step 3. Chew gently
Dental crowns can be sensitive to pressure. You have to chew, do it slowly and gently. If you experience pain, even if it's mild, stop chewing and eat less.
- Chew with the side of the mouth off the crown whenever possible.
- Do not use a toothpick to scrape or remove food debris from the gaps in the teeth. You can accidentally loosen or remove the dental crown.
Part 3 of 3: Play Safe
Step 1. Maintain oral hygiene
One of the most common problems with dental crowns is that the teeth inside begin to decay. You can prevent this by maintaining good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth and flossing regularly.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. You are still at risk of plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease on and around the tooth with a dental crown.
- The big difference between maintaining normal oral hygiene and having a dental crown is in the way you floss. If a tooth is crowned, do it sideways instead of up and down. In other words, floss between your teeth as usual, but then move it from right to left instead of up and down. This will prevent you from removing the crown with the dental floss.
- You can also use a dental irrigator when flossing, which is great for massaging the gums.
- Visit the dentist's clinic regularly to ensure that dental crown problems can be detected and treated early.
- The buildup of plaque and tartar around the dental crown can cause irritation of the surrounding soft gums and inflammation of the gums. Prolonged inflammation of the gums can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis, which is usually recognized by loosening of the teeth.
Step 2. Purchase a bite guard
A bite guard (or occlusal) is a special guard that is placed on the teeth. This device is popular among sports athletes who are at high risk of dental injury and those who grind their teeth or jaw frequently at night. A good mouth guard is comfortable, strong, and easy to clean. Here are some of the types:
- Stock mouth protectors can be purchased at sports stores or medical supply stores. This tool is not very adjustable and is rarely recommended by dentists.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors can be purchased at sports stores and are more customizable than stock mouth protectors. This tool is put in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth until it is quite "imprinted" on the teeth.
Custom mouth protectors are made by professionals in a dentist-affiliated laboratory. After examining the teeth, the dentist can create a mold that perfectly protects the mouth.
The fourth type of bite guard is also specially ordered by dentists and is designed to be worn at night for those who like to grind their teeth while sleeping. This device, called a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint, will prevent jaw damage during sleep
Step 3. Try not to undergo unnecessary dental surgery
If a new type of filling or dental crown is being developed, don't feel the need to replace your old dental crown. The teeth adjacent to the dental crown should not be disturbed unless necessary. For example, don't force your dentist to remove a filling next to a dental crown just because you don't like how it looks. Every time your teeth and jaw are adjusted, you can damage a dental crown that is already very fragile. You may need a root canal, or at least have painful inflammation.
Step 4. Adjust the bite
An uneven bite occurs when a dental crown touches the opposite tooth before all the teeth in the row. This can lead to dental problems later in life, such as TMJ, jaw pain, headaches, and even stomach upset. You can adjust the bite with surgery, orthodontic treatment, or certain modifications.
- This particular modification is done by changing one part of the jaw that causes pain or disturbs the dental crown. Dentists can sand the teeth to smooth out areas where the teeth are not neatly arranged, much like using sandpaper to smooth rough wood. This is the easiest and safest option for customizing the bite problem.
- A dental orthodontist (orthodontist) can correct a bite with braces. Braces fix the teeth so they move into their proper position. Your dentist can refer you to an orthodontist if you think you may need braces.
- You can also have jaw surgery. This option is very expensive and should only be taken in extreme cases, such as a dislocation or tear of cartilage.
- If you believe the bite was uneven before getting a dental crown, tell your dentist.
Step 5. Rub gently
Gum recession due to toothbrush abrasion or natural aging can reveal metallic substructures in porcelain dental crowns. If you see a gray line just above the gums but under the crowned teeth, it's probably a metal substructure. Although natural recession due to aging cannot be prevented, you can take steps to prevent toothbrush abrasion.
- Do not brush your teeth for more than 2-3 minutes. Do not rub long horizontally on the gums. Instead, use a rolling technique, where you move the brush head in a circle around your mouth from the tip to the base of the tooth, where it meets the gums.
- Use mouthwash to prevent gum inflammation, which usually occurs at the junction between the gums and the dental crown, or between the teeth.
Step 6. Monitor the condition of the teeth
Pay attention to the feel of the dental crown on the tooth. Loose crowns can be swallowed or obstruct the esophagus. If the dental crown feels loose after being lightly nudged with the tongue, contact your dentist immediately.
- Do not throw away a loose dental crown. Remove debris from around the teeth and inside the dental crown. You can scrub, scoop, or rinse debris from the inside of a dental crown. Place the dental crown firmly on the tooth until it clicks. Close the mouth slowly without pressing to ensure the dental crown is positioned correctly. Re-glue the loose dental crown using dental adhesive. Use as much as needed and wipe off the rest.
- Dental crowns that have not been worn for a long time after being removed can cause the teeth to shift, but crowns should only be worn if they are in the right position. If you cannot identify the correct position of the dental crown before removing it, do not install it. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for help.
- Call your dentist as soon as possible after your teeth develop temperature sensitivity. This can be a symptom of a bigger problem.
- Your dental crown may fall off due to tooth decay. If this happens, you can confirm it by looking inside the dental crown. If there are teeth and fillings that are still in the socket, you should get a new dental crown. Visit the dentist to clean rotten teeth and install a new dental crown.