Cleaning Those Teeth with Crowns

Do you remember in hygiene school when your instructor taught about scaling around crowns? I remember distinctly hearing, “don't touch veneers, they WILL eat you,” and, "If you touch the porcelain, the tooth WILL explode." Then, the very next day, you get a patient with crowns on every tooth and you start planning your funeral. Let me assure you that crowns will not harm you in anyway. :) Caring for the supporting structures around crowns is VERY important. Thus, our top 5 tips on caring for crowns.

#1-Probe it like you would a regular tooth. I have found that the margins of crowns are great spots for that evil bacteria to hide and have parties when you are not looking. Thus, they can easily develop pockets and caries if not properly cared for.   

#2-Feel free to scale around it with hand instruments and power driven scalers, just stay down around the margins. Check out our clinical video on this technique below.

#3- It may be difficult to detect if you removed that big piece of calculus or cement around the crown, that presented on the radiograph. Feel free to take a post op radiograph to double check your work.

#4- It is not recommended to polish crowns with regular prophy paste. I know what you are thinking, “I just do it anyway.” Well, textbooks now teach that we are not supposed to. Have you ever polished a gold crown with prophy paste and saw some of the gold come off as a dark gray slurry on your cup? Ya, that is why it is best not to polish them and luckily manufactures are with the times and have invented paste just for crowns. Check with your supply company to get some.

#5- Make sure your patient knows they can floss it because I hear all the time from patients that they don’t floss it as they don’t want it to come off. If they are nervous about it then have them pull the floss out through the side. Also, review how to brush it; gently, right along the margin.

Now get out there and become the best!