Dental crowns can provide protection for teeth that become fragile due to extensive decay or damage. Dentists often utilize dental crowns following root canal therapy. Crowns can allow dentists to preserve teeth that might otherwise need to be extracted. However, there are some things that patients should know about the dental crown procedure. Here are four things that patients should do when planning to get a dental crown:
1. Plan to attend multiple dental appointments.
The dental crown procedure is usually performed over two or more appointments. During your first appointment, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth. This impression will be used to create a mold for your dental crown. Next, your dentist will perform the necessary dental work on your tooth, such as root canal therapy. Your dentist will place a temporary dental crown on your tooth, which will protect it until your permanent crown is ready. Make sure you return to your dentist to have your permanent crown installed in a timely manner.
2. Seek treatment for bruxism.
Bruxism is also known as teeth grinding. Some people grind their teeth unconsciously as a reaction to stress, especially while they're sleeping. Bruxism can damage dental crowns when left untreated. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist for a mouthguard that can protect your new dental crown.
3. Adjust your diet.
Dental crowns are durable, but they can still break under adverse conditions. If you want to protect your dental crown, you can do so by making slight adjustments to your diet. Plan to avoid foods that are particularly hard or sticky. Chewing these foods can cause your dental crown to crack or become dislodged. When you protect your crown, it can last for a decade or longer. Talk to your dentist and ask for a list of foods to avoid if you're unsure about what you can eat following your procedure.
4. Mention any sensitivity or discomfort to your dentist.
Once your permanent crown is put in place, you should be able to bite and chew normally. It's normal to feel some sensitivity for a few days following your dental crown procedure as your mouth heals. However, if your discomfort persists, you should call your dentist. Sensitivity or pain can be a sign that your dental crown doesn't fit properly. Your dentist can adjust the fit by carefully reducing the top of your crown. It's important to have high dental crowns adjusted as soon as possible to prevent tooth injuries.