Dental crowns are used to restore the size, shape, strength, and appearance of damaged teeth. They are custom-made to fit your teeth and are usually made of porcelain, metal, or ceramic material. Dental crowns may be recommended if you have a large filling in a tooth, extensive decay, a fracture or break in the tooth, or a severely worn down tooth.
The recovery period for a dental crown procedure typically lasts for a few days. It is normal for patients to experience some sensitivity, pain, or discomfort as their body recovers from the irritation and inflammation associated with the procedure.
There is typically an adjustment period to any crown. It often takes about two to four days for the new crown to be adjusted in your mouth. It is normal for it to feel uneven for the first few days post the procedure as you get acclimated to the crown. If there is still a feeling of unevenness after four days, this may be an issue that needs to be addressed by your dentist.
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A temporary crown is a tooth-shaped cap that protects an implant or natural tooth until the permanent tooth can be constructed and cemented into the patient’s mouth. A dental crown can be placed on your tooth in just two visits, depending on your dentist’s recommendation how cracked or decayed your tooth is. A temporary crown will be placed to protect the prepared abutment between the two appointments. While the permanent crown is fitted for the patient’s bite and jaw shape, the temporary crown will need special care to prevent any dislodgement or fractures, as it is more fragile than the permanent crown.
Generally, patients can eat and brush their teeth as normal; however, there are guidelines that they must follow regarding diet and oral care recommendations such as:
- Avoiding hard foods (may break the temporary crown)
- Avoiding sticky or chewy foods (may dislodge the temporary crown)
- Trying to chew most foods on the opposite side of the mouth to not disrupt the temporary crown.
- Avoid flossing around and next to the temporary crown (instead of lifting, slide the floss in and out gently).
Your dentist will remove the temporary crown during the second visit. The permanent crown will then replace the temporary one on the tooth.
Oral Care and Dietary Advice During Recovery
Once the numbing effect of the anesthesia has worn off, and the permanent crown has been placed on the tooth, patients should be able to eat any foods just as they normally would; however, it is recommended to avoid the type of foods previously mentioned. Within the first 24 hours after the procedure, you want to cement the crown; to do so, it is important to steer clear of any foods or other factors that may disrupt the process.
As their confidence in the permanent dental crown increases, it is okay for the patient to slowly introduce these foods back into their regular diet if they choose to.
Patients should continue exemplary oral care for the rest of their lives to prevent the need for another crown. They must be aware that crowns are still susceptible to decay, particularly along the gumline and the abutment. Therefore, it is important that patients brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and carefully floss daily.