When a tooth deteriorates, loses stability, or becomes infected, there usually are two options: Pull it or don’t. Tooth extractions are forever. Once it’s gone, you can never put it back.
But saving a tooth — even one that is in poor condition — is almost always the better choice. One of the most common ways to save a tooth rather than pulling it is to use a dental crown.
So, a dental crown is a kind of artificial tooth that fits over your existing tooth. In the past, it was always made of porcelain but today other more modern materials also are used.
Your dentist will usually gently file down the exterior of the affected tooth, then do an imprint of the area. Most often, a temporary crown is then glued onto the tooth while a permanent crown is custom-made so that it perfectly matches the rest of your teeth in terms of size, color, and shape. This process usually takes a couple of weeks.
When your permanent crown is ready, you will return to the dentist’s office for another appointment, during which the temporary crown will be removed, the tooth cleaned up again, and the permanent crown placed over your natural tooth. This time, a stronger, more permanent glue will be used to hold it firmly in place.
A dental crown usually lasts an average of about 15 years with proper care. But in some cases, a crown can last up to 30 years or longer.
At Bella Smile, we believe that keeping your natural teeth as long as possible is ideal. So if fixing your tooth with a crown is the better option than extraction, that’s what we will recommend. A dental crown will look, feel, and act just like your original tooth for possibly decades to come.