All About Dental Crowns

General Dentistry

All About Dental Crowns

Are you considering a dental crown to help get your smile back to its prime? Here at All Dental, we know you have a lot of questions about what a dental crown procedure looks like.

Let us take the mystery out of dental crowns!

We are a full-service dental practice ready to help your smile. If you live in Westborough, MA, you can reach us online or call to schedule a consultation and see if a dental crown is the right choice for you!

What Is a Crown?

Crowns can improve dental health in both children and adults. Teeth that have been structurally compromised can benefit from the strengthening power of dental crowns. A dental crown is a piece of porcelain, metal, or ceramic that sits on top of the underlying tooth and covers most or all of the tooth up to the gum line. Crowns can be used to hold weak, cracked teeth together, build up worn-down teeth to their prior glory, and protect cavity-damaged teeth from cracking or falling out after a large filling. Sometimes a crown will be used in conjunction with bridges and root canals to protect the teeth and provide extra support.

Is a Dental Crown Right for Me? What Are My Choices?

If a tooth is extremely cavity-damaged, a crown can be a better choice than a filling alone. In the case of a large filling, the pieces of remaining tooth might be too small to hold together. A crown provides protection to prevent cracking and the development of additional cavities in the tooth, saving you time and money in the dentist’s chair.

Teeth that have been worn down or cracked due to other health issues or tooth grinding can be saved by dental crown procedures. Having crowns done in these circumstances prevent further damage to the teeth and keep teeth from being lost completely if left untreated.

Dental crowns save teeth.

But what your options for crowns?

Crowns can be made from several different materials, and the one that’s right for you will depend on which tooth is being treated and your preference. Stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloys are some of the possible choices. Crowns tend to last five to fifteen years before needing to be replaced.

Stainless steel crowns are usually the best choice for children, because they are cost-effective, strong enough to last, and will naturally come out when the child loses the protected tooth. This type of crown is also great for permanent teeth that only need to be covered temporarily.

Metal crowns, including silver, are very strong and good choices for back teeth that will be out of sight and doing a lot of chewing.

Ceramic and porcelain crowns are the best choices if your main concern is color-matching, particularly with teeth that will show while smiling and talking. Porcelain-fused-to-metal can also be color-matched. The extra strength of the metal is great for supporting bridges.

Zirconia crowns are both strong and can be color-matched to your teeth. The big bonus of zirconia crowns is that they can be done in one single appointment, rather than two as with most other crowns.

Resin is another option. This type of crown is weaker than the others, but also cheaper.

But how do crowns compare to actual teeth?

Permanent crowns can be just as strong as regular teeth. In general, the crown will even be stronger than the damaged tooth it is replacing. It is recommended that you avoid chewing very hard food with crowns, but for the majority of circumstances, a dental crown will act just like a normal tooth.

There are other uses for dental crowns, too.

You can even use a crown to improve the look of your smile.

Dental crowns can be used to cap discolored or misshaped teeth to make them look exactly how you want.

What Should I Expect from the Procedure?

In the majority of cases, your crown procedure will take two visits.

First Visit

At the first appointment, your dentist will start with an examination of the tooth, sometimes including X-rays, to assess the extent of tooth damage. After the examination is complete, you will be given a local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding gum tissue. This will keep you free from pain during the procedure. Your dentist will begin filing and shaping the tooth to create a shape that’s ready to be capped and will best prevent further damage to the tooth. Once the tooth is finished being shaped, your dentist will take digital images or a physical impression to create the permanent crown. A temporary crown will be put on the tooth to protect your natural tooth while you’re waiting for your second appointment.

This first appointment should take between one and two hours. You may experience some sensitivity after the anesthesia wears off, but it should only be minimal.

Since the temporary crown isn’t cemented onto the tooth, it’s important to avoid sticky and hard foods while waiting for the second appointment. Some people also experience temperature sensitivities during this time as well, so be wary of eating very hot or very cold foods.

Second Visit

The second appointment will normally occur two to three weeks after the first. This visit will begin with the removal of the temporary crown. You’ll be anesthetized again, your permanent crown will be fitted and checked, and then it will be cemented into place. This visit should only take thirty minutes to an hour. Once again, you may experience minimal pain after the anesthesia wears off.

In total, the cost of the crown will depend on the material used, the tooth replaced, and how much your insurance covers.

If you need a dental crown put in and you live in the Westborough area, don’t wait to give us a call. All Dental provides expert, compassionate care at our full-service dental practice, and we are ready to help.

Make an appointment today!

Dentist Westborough, MA: General Dentistry
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