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How to Care for Your Dental Crowns: Tips and Tricks from Amarillo

July 2, 2024
How to Care for Your Dental Crowns: Tips and Tricks from Amarillo

Millions of dental crowns are placed every year in the U.S. Dental crowns are durable, natural-looking, and extremely effective at protecting damaged teeth. Although they look and function like natural teeth, dental crowns deserve a little extra special care. Here are tips and tricks for caring for your dental crowns from the experienced team at Amarillo Dental Associates.

Caring for Temporary Dental Crowns

The process of getting a dental crown requires two appointments. During the first appointment, the tooth being crowned will need to be prepared to hold the crown. Teeth that have not lost significant structure, will simply need to be prepared so that they are smoother, smaller, and able to support the crown. 

If the affected tooth has lost significant structure, your dentist will need to perform a crown buildup. A crown buildup involves adding material to a severely damaged tooth so that it can support a dental crown.

After the affected tooth is prepared, you’ll have a series of digital X-rays and impressions that will be used to design and make your crown. These images will all be sent to a lab to custom-create your crown.

You will then be fitted with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is returned from the lab. Your temporary crown will not be made of the same, premium-quality material as your permanent crown. 

To care for your temporary dental crown, follow these steps:

  • Chew on the other side of your mouth
  • Avoid sticky, gummy, or extremely chewy foods
  • Avoid hard foods such as candies, ice, carrots, crusty breads, popcorn, etc.  
  • If you normally use a water flosser, switch to dental thread or floss
  • When flossing pull the floss through rather than lifting it up between the teeth
  • Limit sugary and sweet foods 
  • Brush twice daily (gently around the temporary crown)

Caring for Your Permanent Dental Crown

Once your permanent crown has returned from the lab, you’ll return to your dentist to have it placed (AKA “seating” the crown). At this appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, and the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. Then, the crown will be placed on the tooth. Your dentist will adjust the size, and shape to ensure that it fits snugly and completely covers the natural tooth beneath it.

Your dentist may place the crown multiple times, making minor adjustments in between. Once the crown is the perfect size and shape, the crown will be cemented in place. Lastly, any excess cement will be removed, and additional digital X-rays will be taken.  Your treatment will then be complete.

Your dental crown will be very durable, but you still need to follow best practices in caring for the crown.  

  • Brush at least twice daily
  • Floss daily using thread, floss, or a water flosser, such as a WaterPik
  • Continue to see your dentist every six months for exams and cleanings
  • Use a custom mouthguard when playing sports
  • Use a custom night guard if you grind or clench your teeth at night
  • Do not smoke, vape, or use smokeless tobacco
  • Do not use your teeth as tools (opening packages, tearing items, etc.)
  • Do not chew on fingernails, pens, ice cubes, or other items
  • Avoid extremely sticky food (gummies, taffy, etc.)

Dental Crowns: Durable Dental Restorations

Dental crowns are extremely effective dental restorations. They are more durable and natural-looking than ever. By taking good care of your dental crown, you’ll find it lasts at least 10 years, and often much longer before needing to be replaced.

Although dental crowns are strong, they are not invincible. Be sure to notify your dentist ASAP if your crown becomes loose, cracked, or lost.  It is important to have a crown repaired or replaced quickly to prevent decay or infection on the natural tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Crowns 

Will my dental insurance pay for a crown?

Dental plans are all a little different, but all of them typically pay for a portion of dental crowns that are medically necessary. Dental crowns used for cosmetic purposes are not covered.

How long does it take for a dental crown to come in from the lab?

It generally takes about 2 weeks to receive your permanent crown from the lab. 

Schedule a Dental Appointment in Amarillo

If it’s been six months or longer since your last dental exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment at Amarillo Dental Associates today, by calling 806-355-7463. If you prefer, send us a message to request an appointment and we’ll get back to you promptly.

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Amarillo Dental Associates
4525 Van Winkle Dr
Amarillo, TX 79119
Fax: 806-355-6014
Monday | 7:30am -2:30pm
Tuesday | 8:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday | 8:00am-5:00pm
Thursday | 8:00am-5:00pm
Friday | 8:00am-2:30pm
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Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

4525 Van Winkle Dr
Amarillo, TX 79119
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