If you’ve received new dental crowns from a dentist in Toronto, you already know that crowns are a versatile dental restoration for accomplishing cosmetic dentistry goals, protecting vulnerable teeth, and even bridging gaps left behind by tooth loss. Modern dental crowns are manufactured with specialized and advanced materials and, with proper care, can last for 15 years. No one wants to undergo dental procedures more often than necessary. To avoid that, just how can you preserve the life of your crowns?
Avoid grinding your teeth
Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can cause a wide variety of dental and medical symptoms, as well as damage dental work — including to dental crowns. Dental crowns near you are designed to withstand a great deal of pressure, but not the sustained and extreme pressure exerted on them by persistent clenching of your jaw and the grinding of your teeth.
Sleep or awake bruxism — the conditions characterized by clenching and grinding — can also contribute to symptoms of TMJ disorder. Those symptoms, as well as damage to dental crowns, can often be remedied simply by wearing a night guard to prevent the clenching of your jaw or the grinding of your teeth.
Eliminate some bad habits
It would be unkind to refer to clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth as a bad habit; that’s a legitimate medical condition. But the reality is that many people have bad habits that can contribute to damage to dental work. Three classic examples are: chewing your fingernails, chewing pencils, and chewing ice. Odd as it may seem, each of those behaviours can cause damage to and shorten the life of dental crowns. The same is true about porcelain veneers. Both are sturdy restorations but simply not up to the pressures exerted by those bad habits. To prolong the life of your dental crowns in Toronto, try to break those habits.
Develop good dental habits
While crowns surround and completely encapsulate a tooth right down to the gumline, that crowned tooth is vulnerable to tooth decay just like any other. So, too, are the gums around that tooth, and the root of that tooth, as well. Decay that undermines the health of that underlying tooth will gradually destroy the very structure on which the crown depends.
To prevent deterioration of that underlying tooth, follow daily dental hygiene practices diligently: brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush; floss at least once daily; and have your teeth professionally cleaned annually.
Along the same vein, be sure to attend dental checkups every six months. Your dentist will be able to remove any plaque and tartar that escapes your daily dental hygiene and also watch for any early indications of tooth decay or that your crown may be vulnerable for any reason. Your dentist will be able to spot those issues long before you would notice them and be able to respond quickly enough to protect your teeth and your crown.
Respond to emergencies effectively
If you ever notice that your crown is loose or, in the worst case scenario, if your crown falls out, contact a dentist immediately to arrange to have the crown repositioned. Because enamel was removed from the underlying tooth to accommodate your crown, a loose or entirely missing crown leaves that tooth significantly vulnerable to tooth decay and bacterial infection.
If the crown has come off completely, preserve it safely and take it to the dentist with you. Alternatively, you may consider using some temporary dental adhesive that you can purchase at many drugstores to temporarily restore the crown pending your dental appointment. While you await that appointment, avoid chewing on anything hard or very chewy.
If you opt to temporarily replace your crown pending your dental appointment, use only recommended temporary dental adhesives. Never use household glues, “crazy” glues, “super” glues or anything of that ilk. Those products will damage your underlying tooth significantly.
With careful attention to these recommendations, your crowns may remain effectively in place for well over a decade. If you notice any weakness or wobbliness in your crown or are concerned about any conditions that may undermine the integrity of your crown, contact a dentist in Toronto for advice and support.