Services

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a cap, made from porcelain or metal, that your dentist places over a tooth in order to protect that tooth or improve its appearance. Your dentist may recommend a crown if you have had a root canal procedure performed, if your tooth has been weakened by a large cavity, or if your tooth has a serious chip or discoloration that detracts from its appearance. If you've experience any of these dental issues, use a dentist near me search to locate the nearest Castle Dental office for ways your dentist can help provide you with a dental crown. As long as you care for it properly, a dental crown can last 5 to 15 years, and often longer. The process of having a crown applied is simple and painless, and it usually takes place across two appointments.

Crowns are used for both cosmetic and restorative purposes. In other words, there are times when a crown is needed to protect a tooth and preserve its function, and other times when having a crown applied has no real benefit other than improving your appearance. Here are some of the most common purposes for which a dentist may recommend a crown.

Protecting Teeth With Weak Enamel

The enamel is the outermost layer of a tooth. If the enamel is too weak, that tooth may be prone to decay, cracks, and other damage. You can strengthen enamel, to some extent, with fluoride treatments and good oral hygiene, but sometimes these measures are not enough. If the enamel is not offering your tooth enough protection, your dentist may recommend covering the tooth with a crown to prevent the enamel from eroding further or leading to the development of cavities.

Supporting Decayed Teeth

Sometimes crowns are used when a tooth has already experienced excessive decay. Simply drilling away the damaged tooth material and filling the cavity may leave the tooth weak and prone to cracks and future decay. Covering the tooth with a crown will prevent contact between the tooth and oral bacteria, which will keep the decay from worsening while also preventing the tooth from cracking.

Rebuilding an Abscessed Tooth

If you have a tooth that was abscessed or infected, your dentist can perform a root canal procedure to remove the infected tissue. However, this requires that a large hole be drilled in the tooth, which generally leaves the tooth weak. Covering the tooth with a crown helps keep it stable and strong.

Providing a Tooth Replacement

If you lost a tooth, your dentist can replace the tooth with a dental implant, which is a metal screw inserted into your jaw bone. Since you can't chew directly on a screw, the implant will be covered with a crown that looks like a natural tooth.

Anchoring a Dental Bridge

Another tooth replacement option is a dental bridge. This is a false tooth that sits above the gumline rather than being inserted into the jaw bone. A bridge must be anchored to the neighboring teeth, which puts a lot of strain on those teeth. Covering the neighboring teeth with crowns strengthens them and also gives your dentist a better anchoring surface for the bridge.

Restoring a Discolored or Chipped Tooth

If you have a tooth that is badly discolored, chipped, or oddly shaped, having it covered with a crown is one of the safest and longest-lasting ways to improve its appearance.

If your dentist recommend having a crown placed over one of your teeth, you will need to work with your dentist to decide which type of crown is best suited to your needs. Crowns are classified based on the type of material used to make them. Some are made from metal, others from porcelain, and still others from porcelain fused to metal.

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are not as common as they once were since many patients do not like the look of metal in their mouth. However, they do tend to be more affordable than porcelain crowns, so some patients choose metal crowns for back molars that are not easily visible. The metals used to make crowns are non-reactive and safe for use in your mouth. Many dentists use palladium alloys to make metal crowns, though you can find gold alloy crowns, too.

Metal crowns are softer than porcelain crowns, so they cause less wear on the opposing teeth. If the tooth opposing the one to be crowned has weakened enamel, your dentist may recommend a metal crown to reduce the burden on this opposing tooth. The trade-off is that since the metal is softer, it wears down faster than porcelain, so you may need to have your metal crown replaced sooner than you'd need to have a porcelain crown replaced.

Metal and Porcelain Crowns

If you want a tooth-colored crown but need an affordable option, your dentist may recommend a porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown. PFM crowns feature a metal core covered in a thin layer or porcelain. Their texture makes them easy for your dentist to apply to both front and back teeth. In the right light, you may be able to see the metallic surface showing through, but in most cases, the tooth should look natural.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns are not quite as affordable as metal or PFM crowns, but the most natural-looking choice, and there is some evidence to suggest they are more durable than metal or PFM crowns. Your dentist can match the color of the porcelain to that of your natural teeth. New CAD/CAM technology allows dentists to create porcelain crowns faster than ever--often in a matter of minutes--though you will pay a premium for such quick service.

The Crown Application Process

Typically, you'll need to see your dentist twice in order to have the crown applied. During the first visit, your dentist will file down your tooth and shape it in preparation for the crown. You'll be fitted with a temporary crown to wear until the second appointment, during which the permanent crown will be put into place.

When you arrive for your first appointment, your dentist will start by numbing your mouth with some local anesthetic. You'll then be asked to bite onto some carbon paper to see how the crown needs to be placed in order to not interfere with your bite. Then, your dentist will insert a dental dam in your mouth before using a drill to reshape your tooth. You will feel some vibrations during this process, but no pain. An impression will them be taken of your tooth, and this impression will be sent off to a lab. Your dentist will then use a special plastic to make a temporary crown, which you'll wear until your next appointment.

You'll need to take a few precautions when wearing a temporary crown:

  • Chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Avoid sticky foods like caramel and taffy.
  • When flossing, slide the floss out from around the crowned tooth rather than lifting it.

When you return to have the permanent crown attached, your dentist will numb your mouth once again, remove the temporary crown, and then use cement to attach the permanent crown.

If you get a same-day porcelain crown using CAD/CAM technology, everything will be done in one appointment and you will not need to wear a temporary crown. It should only take your dentist about 20 minutes to make the crown.

Once your permanent crown is in place, you can care for it just as you would a natural tooth. Brush at least twice a day, and floss daily as recommended by your dentist. Make sure you see your dentist for regular checkups so they can keep an eye on the crown and detect any problems early on.

If you experience any of the following symptoms following a dental crown application, contact your dentist:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Pain in your jaw or head
  • A loose or wiggly feeling to the crown
  • Jagged or rough spots on the crown

It's normal for the crowned tooth to feel a bit sensitive to heat and cold after treatment. Contact your dentist if this sensitivity does not subside within a week or two.

The cost of dental crowns varies widely based on the type of crown you choose, the condition of the underlying tooth, and the economy in your local area. You may pay anywhere from $800 to $3,000 for a single crown. Metal and PFM crowns tend to be less expensive than porcelain crowns, and same-day porcelain crowns made using CAD/CAM technology are at the high end of the spectrum.

Keep in mind that if your crown is necessary for restorative purposes or to preserve your dental health, your dental insurance plan should cover all or part of the cost, making the crown much more affordable. However, insurance does not typically cover crowns applied for cosmetic purposes only.

If you are in need of a dental crown or have an older crown that may need to be replaced, search for a "dentist near me" and schedule a consultation. Your dentist can discuss the best type of crown for your unique dental needs and also give you an estimate of expected costs. Crowns are an excellent restorative option for weak, decayed, and damaged teeth, and they've also allowed many cosmetic dentistry patients to enjoy more beautiful smiles.

CARING FOR YOUR DENTAL CROWN

Once your permanent crown is in place, you can care for it just as you would a natural tooth. Brush at least twice a day, and floss daily as recommended by your dentist. Make sure you see your dentist for regular checkups so they can keep an eye on the crown and detect any problems early on.

If you experience any of the following symptoms following a dental crown application, contact your dentist:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Pain in your jaw or head
  • A loose or wiggly feeling to the crown
  • Jagged or rough spots on the crown

It's normal for the crowned tooth to feel a bit sensitive to heat and cold after treatment. Contact your dentist if this sensitivity does not subside within a week or two.

COST AT A DENTIST NEAR ME

The cost of dental crowns varies widely based on the type of crown you choose, the condition of the underlying tooth, and the economy in your local area. You may pay anywhere from $800 to $3,000 for a single crown. Metal and PFM crowns tend to be less expensive than porcelain crowns, and same-day porcelain crowns made using CAD/CAM technology are at the high end of the spectrum.

Keep in mind that if your crown is necessary for restorative purposes or to preserve your dental health, your dental insurance plan should cover all or part of the cost, making the crown much more affordable. However, insurance does not typically cover crowns applied for cosmetic purposes only.

If you are in need of a dental crown or have an older crown that may need to be replaced, search for a "dentist near me" and schedule a consultation. Your dentist can discuss the best type of crown for your unique dental needs and also give you an estimate of expected costs. Crowns are an excellent restorative option for weak, decayed, and damaged teeth, and they've also allowed many cosmetic dentistry patients to enjoy more beautiful smiles.