Ever heard someone refer to a crown on their tooth and just smiled and nodded wondering what they were actually talking about? You’re not alone. Just so you know, these people don’t have a tiny jeweled hat on their tooth. The crowns they’re talking about are much more practical—for your teeth at least. They’re used for both medical and cosmetic purposes, and are as common a dental procedure as cavities and root canals. Except those sound way less fun—and way less royal.
So what is a crown?
Simply put, it’s a cap that goes over a tooth. It can be made using any number of materials depending on its purpose. And what are those purposes? Well, they fall into two major categories—medical and cosmetic.
Medically speaking, crowns are used to:
- Keep a large filling in place that your tooth may otherwise not be able to support;
- Attach a bridge;
- Prevent a weak tooth from breaking;
- Repair an already-broken tooth.
Cosmetically, people opt to use crowns to make their pearly whites appear whiter. Others use them to reshape their teeth for that perfectly straight look—that royal look, if you will.
How do you know if you need one?
You’ve got to ask your dentist. If you’re experiencing dental pain from an old cavity, a cracked tooth, a bridge, or anything else, a crown may be a good option. They’ll be able to tell you.
Looking for a brighter, more even smile? A crown may be a great option for you too. Again, talk to your dentist. They’ll be able to help you choose which route to take to get the smile you’re dreaming of.
Does it ever need to be replaced?
Yes. Depending on your crown and its material, it can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Kind of a wide range. But as long as you go in for regular dental checkups and cleanings, your dentist will keep an eye on it and make sure it’s doing well.
Now how about a big ol’ cheers to one of the most versatile (and most royal-sounding) dental procedures out there?