At times, it's necessary to place a crown on a front tooth. A front tooth crown is usually made of tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain or tooth-colored resin. These substances tend to be stain-resistant, but it's important to take precautions to ensure your smile will look its best over time and your crown will look as natural as possible.
Reasons for Crowning a Front Tooth
There are several situations in which you might need a crown placed on one of your front teeth. In most cases, front teeth are only treated with crowns for restoration purposes. Occasionally, a crown is used for cosmetic reasons.
Most commonly, according to the National Institutes of Health, a front tooth is fitted with a crown for the following reasons:
- The tooth has suffered severe damage, such as a serious crack.
- It is extensively decayed.
- It is broken.
- It has been treated with a root canal.
For molars, your dentist might recommend a porcelain fused to metal crown, but for front teeth, natural-colored ceramic crowns are much more popular, since they don't affect the overall look of your smile. As a general rule, front teeth also are subjected to less pressure than molars when you chew, so a durable metal isn't necessary.
Minimizing the Appearance of Your Front Tooth Crown
Natural-colored crowns are carefully matched so they won't look out of place next to your natural teeth. However, before you have your crown placed, consider the color of your other teeth. If you feel they need to be whitened, it's best to have this done before the crown is color matched. If the crown is matched to your teeth before you have them whitened, your crown will look darker than the rest of your teeth, because crowns are resistant to whitening, according to the American Dental Association.
The material used for your crown can also ensure it is less noticeable. Porcelain crowns are the most realistic looking since the porcelain reflects light in much the same way as natural enamel. By contrast, as explained by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health, metal bonded with porcelain tends to look more opaque and less realistic, as does tooth-colored resin. If you prefer a porcelain crown, be sure your dentist has experience in the proper procedure for the best possible results.
Caring for a Front Tooth Crown
Taking care of your crown isn't much different than caring for your other teeth. Brush and floss every day and visit your dentist regularly to ensure the crown remains stable and undamaged. A gel toothpaste like Colgate Total® Fresh Mint Stripe Gel Toothpaste will keep your whole mouth clean, healthy and free of cavities and gum disease. Though, be sure to select a toothpaste that is not too abrasive as it could damage your crown.
You should also take extra care not to damage the crown. Some seemingly harmless habits could chip or crack the porcelain, including:
- Chewing on ice
- Biting pens and pencils
- Biting hard candies or other objects
- Chewing your nails
Also avoid foods and beverages that could stain your teeth. Although porcelain does not stain easily, the adjacent teeth can become discolored, making the crown stand out.
Overall, don't be afraid that a front tooth crown will ruin your smile. It won't! With these facts, you can rest assured that if you do need a crown, your smile can still look healthy and natural.