If you have a cavity that is too large for a filling, it may be time for a dental crown. Dental crowns are great restorations for saving a natural tooth besides having it removed (extracted). Unfortunately dental crowns usually get a bad rap because of how expensive they can be. To better understand what you would be investing in by getting a dental crown, we have compiled a list of popular questions people have before getting started. This information will help you understand the signs you may need a dental crown, the advantages of porcelain dental crowns, the entire crown process, and how to maintain a crown. That way, you can make the best decision before choosing what to do with your tooth. So let’s begin!
Besides needing a crown to treat a large cavity, crowns are used to treat other dental problems such as a broken tooth, cracked, weakened, and severally worn teeth. A crown is also advised after a tooth has been root canal treated to give the now fragile tooth more stability and protection. When teeth are missing, crowns are also used to make a bridge and to cover dental implants. Crowns (Veneers) are used for cosmetic purposes too and treat discolored or badly shaped teeth. When large tooth decay is present, crowns are great alternatives for restoring teeth besides removing the tooth.
People may need a crown for a number of reasons, but it’s not uncommon for people with older restorations to need multiple crowns to restore their teeth. Even dental fillings have a certain lifespan and combined with age, destructive habits (like clenching and grinding), and less than great oral hygiene, fillings eventually will need to be replaced. To protect the entire external portion of the tooth, crowns are recommended to replace the old restoration and to keep the existing tooth healthy. Anytime you have the option to save your natural tooth with a restoration like a crown, it is worth every penny.
Here at Sloan Creek Dental, Dr. Feng closely exams your teeth to ensure they are in good health, which is why she recommends bi-annual check-ups. If you do have any dental problems which requires dental treatment such as a crown to treat a discolored front tooth that has affected your smile or a crown to protect a worn down molar that has seen better days, Dr. Feng has you covered.
At Sloan Creek Dental, Dr. Feng uses all-porcelain crowns. All-porcelain crowns produce a better natural color match than any other crown type. The great thing about dental porcelain is that it can be crafted to closely recreate the look of natural tooth enamel while providing resilience and strength. Porcelain dental crowns are an ideal choice when replicating a damaged tooth’s function and form because a crown basically restores the entire external portion of the tooth down to the gum level. Crowns are not limited to solely replacing the original tooth but can be designed to create an even better esthetic appearance.
Also, porcelain crowns are ideal for people with metal allergies.
As long as your treatment doesn’t require seeing a dental specialist before, our process takes two visits to our Fairview, TX office. Within those two visits, these five steps take place to complete a dental crown procedure.
An impression of your tooth will be made, showing the upper and lower dental arch in the area where the crown will need to be placed. This model will be used in the creation of your porcelain crown and a temporary crown. The temporary crown is placed on the treated tooth to protect it while waiting for the permanent crown. To determine the color of your enamel (outer layer of the tooth), a shade guide of different teeth colors is used to match the surrounding teeth natural tooth color. This shade information will be sent to the lab for your porcelain crown to be made in the natural color of your teeth.
The next step is to prepare the tooth for the future crown. Since Dr. Feng uses the Lightwalker laser for dental restoration, adjusting the tooth for the porcelain crown is a very comfortable procedure. With the dental laser, Dr. Feng will remove some of the tooth’s enamel to make way for the crown to cover. This step is to help the tooth not look too bulky and unnatural. Out of all the steps, this process is the most involved and most time-consuming.
Once the tooth is prepped, a final impression is taken to ensure the creation of a perfectly fitting porcelain crown. This record and other detailed information are then sent to the off-site laboratory that is making your custom crown.
After the final impression has been made and the tooth is prepared, a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth. Temporary crowns are for more than just cosmetic reasons. This provisional crown forms a barrier that protects the tooth’s exposed area where the enamel was removed. Also, this prevents the prepared tooth from shifting out of place in the mouth. Before you leave, a follow-up appointment is scheduled for you to come back to have the permanent crown placed.
The creation of the porcelain crown usually takes about 2 weeks to complete. At the delivery appointment, the temporary crown will be removed, and Dr. Feng will do a thorough cleaning of the tooth. Dr. Feng will then check the placement of the permanent crown and the teeth neighboring to avoid possible issues. Dr. Feng will then place the new crown where some slight adjustments might be made to guarantee the best fit to ensure aesthetics, longevity, and proper bite. Finally, instructions will be given regarding the care of your porcelain crown to ensure a successful restoration.
Maintaining a porcelain dental crown is quite simple. Much like your original teeth, they require routine brushing with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing. Using a Waterpik is also advised to ensure flushing out food particles and bacteria from around the crown. Another great way to help porcelain crowns have a good lifespan is to wear a nightguard. Many people clench and grind their teeth while sleeping; using a night guard as a barrier for your teeth to make contact will help maintain restorations like porcelain crowns. If you’re interested in a custom night guard or think you may have sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Feng to discuss treatment options.
Below we’ll answer some of those common questions you probably have about your upcoming appointment about dental crowns to help put your mind at ease.
A: Getting a dental crown should be a virtually painless process from the first visit to the last. Your mouth will be numbed before any filling or fitting is done by Dr. Feng. After the treatment, you may feel mild to moderate discomfort for a day or two as the anesthesia wears off, but Dr. Feng will instruct you to take an over the counter pain reliever to manage the pain.
A: With proper dental hygiene, the amount of wear and tear, dental crowns last on average between 5 and 15 years.
A: Dental crowns are a good long-term option because they are durable, on average last for at least 5-15 years, protects your oral health, and improves your smile.
Dental crowns can be used to treat decayed primary teeth (baby teeth). Depending on the situation, stainless steel crowns are recommended as it requires minimal dental visits to fit and cement the crown.
If you’re interested in missing teeth replacement like implants or bridges, cosmetic crowns like veneers, or would like to figure out your options to treat a large cavity, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Feng’s staff would be happy to book something for you and help address your dental needs. Sloan Creek Dental is located in Fairview, TX and is a laser-equipped cosmetic dental office. For more information about other services offered at our office like laser teeth whitening, please visit our services page by clicking here.