Family Dental
Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards, DDS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Dental Crowns and Bridges

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We get many questions about dental care and our Amherst, NH dental practice. We have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions here. Please feel free to browse to find the answers you are looking for. Maybe we can even answer a question you didn't realize you had!

If you have other questions not covered here, don't hesitate to contact our office. We'll be happy to answer them!

Dental Crowns and Bridges

woman getting a root canal in amherstMost of the time, crowns and root canals go hand in hand, and there are many good reasons. Often by the time decay has reached the point of requiring a root canal, it is simply too extensive to fill with a filling, and a filling that large would be likely to fall out or require frequent replacement. Amherst dentist Dr. Edwards recommends dental crowns as the most reliable long-term solution to a tooth treated with a root canal.

After a root canal, your tooth can also become more brittle and subject to cracking and breaking. There's no longer a root providing blood flow to the tooth, which does make it weaker. A dental crown offers protection from cracking and chipping of the vulnerable tooth.

The Purpose of a Dental Crown

Dental crowns can also protect the tooth from recurring decay. A recurrence of decay in a tooth with a root canal will not manifest as a toothache since there is no nerve in the tooth. This means decay can make its way deep into the tooth, sometimes compromising it to the point of requiring extraction.

There are occasional exceptions, but in most cases, a dental crown is your best option to restore your tooth after a root canal. Crowns are beautiful, strong, and offer protection and structure to keep your tooth happy and healthy after your root canal. If you have questions about dental crowns or would like to make an appointment, call our Amherst dental office today.

image of a dental crown in amherst nhTake good care of your dental crown, and you can expect it to take good care of you for at least 15 years. However, well-cared-for crowns can last as long as three decades—or even longer. There are a number of different factors that will impact the lifespan of your dental crowns in Amherst, and these include your oral hygiene and eating habits.

Extend The Life of Your Crown

There are things you can do to try to maximize the life of your dental crown, including:

  • Take care of your entire mouth by brushing and flossing every day. Be sure to floss around the dental crown near the gum line. You want to protect the area under the crown from decay.
  • Visit your dentist often each year for dental examinations and teeth cleanings. Your dentist will be able to make sure the crown is not showing signs of trauma.
  • Avoid chewing hard candies and ice, as well as any other hard objects. This can injure or chip your natural teeth in addition to the dental crown.

When To Replace Your Crown

If your crown has become chipped or cracked, you will probably want to talk to your dentist about replacing it. Although the crown itself cannot become decayed, the area below it can. Most insurance companies will support a crown replacement for those that are over five years old. Talk to your dentist in Amherst to figure out if a dental crown replacement is needed for you. Call us here at the office of Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards for further questions.

woman getting dental crowns in amherst nhIf your dental crown is old, broken, discolored, or worn down, it may be time to replace it. Most dental work is not capable of lasting a lifetime. It wears out over time and needs to be replaced. Most porcelain crowns will last an average of 5 to 15 years, though some can last longer. Amherst, NH dentist Dr. Edwards has plenty of experience in safely replacing old, worn-out crowns.

If your crown isn't actually broken, just has some minor wear or small chips, we may be able to reshape the crown and remove the rough edges without completely replacing it. Keep in mind that any time a drill is applied to a porcelain or resin crown, there is a risk of it cracking. If the crown cracks, it will need to be replaced.

Preventing a Broken Crown

While some crowns can last 20 years or longer with proper dental care and good oral health, it's important to keep an eye on older crowns. Regular examinations at our Amherst dental office will allow Dr. Edwards to keep an eye on your older crowns and ensure there are no margins or decay developing beneath the crowns. Exposed margins give bacteria an excellent place to dwell, and untreated decay in these places can lead to failure of the tooth, requiring an extraction.

If you have an older crown that is broken, chipped, or worn and in need of replacement, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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