What Is A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns caps that cover missing or damaged teeth. Crowns are natural-looking, tooth-shaped, and can restore your smile. Dental crowns are not only aesthetically pleasing but provide the strength of natural teeth. These restorative options are used when a tooth is so damaged that a filling would not be an effective solution.
Am I A Candidate For A Dental Crown?
If you have a tooth with serious decay, a deep crack, a large chip, or a previous large filling surrounded by new decay, a crown can save the tooth and return strength and function. If you’ve had a root canal on a tooth, especially a molar, you’ll probably need a crown placed on the tooth to protect it and return strength.
Crowns can also provide an aesthetic solution, covering a misshapen tooth or a tooth with deep staining or trauma. Also, if you’re looking to use a bridge to replace two or three teeth in a row, crowns will be used as anchors on the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Crowns?
When a patient has a severely damaged tooth, if the problem is not addressed the tooth will probably need extraction. In most cases, it’s preferable to keep a natural tooth rather than pulling it and replacing it with a dental implant or a bridge. That’s where dental crowns come in. Crowns are excellent solutions for dental problems such as:
- Chipped teeth
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Teeth with large fillings
- Severely worn teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Severely discolored teeth
- Teeth that have had a root canal
- Teeth with fractured fillings
- The teeth on both sides of a bridge
Types Of Dental Crowns
There are several different methods of crown restoration, each using a different crown material. Different types of crown material include:
Metal crowns are made of a metal alloy and can include gold, platinum, palladium, or other elements. In comparison to other crowns, metal crowns can preserve more of the tooth structure. Additionally, they can withstand the force from biting and chewing well. This reduces the chance of chipping or breaking.
PFM stands for porcelain-fused-to-metal. These crowns can be matched to the tooth’s natural color. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look like normal teeth, second only to all ceramic crowns. Unfortunately, PFM crowns don’t have the strength of metal crowns and tend to wear down opposing teeth more and are more likely to chip or break.
Resin crowns are the least expensive type of crown. However, they are more likely to break and wear down over time.
While not as strong as PFM or metal crowns, porcelain crowns offer the best color match to your natural teeth. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are commonly used for the front teeth since they are the most cosmetically pleasing.
Dental Crowns Before & After
Dental Crown Procedure
The dental crown process takes place in two appointments. At the first appointment, Drs. Sindledecker prepare the tooth by filing or reshaping. This is done so the crown can fit securely and comfortably on the tooth. Then we numb the area around the tooth and take impressions. We send your impressions to a laboratory to fabricate the custom crown. This process typically takes 2-3 weeks so we provide patients with temporary crowns. Once your crown is ready we schedule another appointment. At this second appointment, our staff will remove the temporary crown and cement the new permanent crown to the tooth.
“I highly recommend Sindledecker Dentistry. The office staff could not be more friendly especially Vicki. There was zero wait time, I only have a few fillings in my mouth and needed a crown and did not know what to expect. Amanda was extremely gentle, she explained what she was doing and was very caring. I highly recommend if you need a dentist you go to this office you will not be disappointed.” -Barbara S.
Dental Crowns Complications
Following the crown placement patients can experience heightened sensitivity. This is especially common if the crowned tooth still has a nerve in it. Other complications from dental crowns can include:
- Pain Or Sensitivity When Biting: This can usually be attributed to the placement of the crown. If it is too high on the tooth our staff can adjust it.
- Chip In A Crown: If chipping occurs we can use resin to repair the remaining crown or replace it entirely.
- Loose Dental Crown: Sometimes the cement washes out from beneath the crown. If this is the case patients can be at risk for decay. Our staff can resecure the crown in order to alleviate the problem.
What Results Can I Expect from a Dental Crown?
Once your crown is permanently cemented onto your tooth, you can eat any foods you like. The tooth will be beautiful. And it will be strong. The crown returns full function and beauty to your tooth.
Dental Crown Maintenance
Crowns don’t need any special care, just attentive brushing and flossing every day. With proper preventive care and twice-yearly exams and professional cleanings, your crown can last for a decades.
Dental Crown Alternatives
If you have a tooth with serious decay or other damage, if you want to keep the tooth there really isn’t an alternative to placing a crown over the damaged tooth. Inlays or onlays could be an option, but not if the amount of damage would compromise the basic strength of the tooth.
The real alternative to putting a crown on a tooth is to extract the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. Dental implants feel and function exactly like a natural tooth, and they can last the rest of the patient’s life.
If your proposed crown is being placed for strictly aesthetic reasons, such as covering a misshapen tooth or a tooth with deep staining, you may have alternatives. A porcelain veneer could cover the front of the tooth, rather than a full crown. If your crowns are anchoring a bridge, dental implants can be used instead. This is especially true when the patient is missing a number of teeth.