Dental Crown Procedures: Your Quick Guide
Teeth can get damaged overtime for a variety of reasons. Some of the usual culprits are tooth decay, accidents, and injuries, which can cause teeth to lose their shape or size. For many of these dental and oral health issues, a dental crown procedure is often a good solution.
What are Dental Crowns?
Let us begin by defining what a dental crown is.
Dental crowns are like a cap that is customized to cover your tooth and restore it to its normal shape or size, and enhance its strength and performance. The crown is cemented into place and encases the tooth for full protection.
When is a Dental Crown Needed?
There are plenty of situations that might require a patient to undergo dental crown procedure, but these four are the most common scenarios:
- After a Root Canal
When the tooth becomes irreparably damaged and needs a root canal, dentists use a crown to restore strength to the weakened tooth.
- Cracked or Severely Worn-Down Tooth
When a tooth is close to breaking, dentists usually recommend a dental crown to rebuild the structure of the tooth, all the while making it stronger.
- After a Dental Implant
Once the dental implant is successfully placed into the jawbone, a dental crown may be used to cover the implant and replace the missing tooth.
- Cosmetic Reasons
Cosmetic dentists may recommend using a dental crown to enhance the appearance of damaged or discolored teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Getting a crown requires at least two trips to the dentist’s office. Even if your dentist offers same-day crowns, a pre-crown visit may still be necessary if your teeth need cleaning or other dental treatments.
During the initial visit, your tooth will be prepared for the crown. The dentist will administer anesthetic and then proceed to fill or shape your tooth to create the anchor point for the crown. When your tooth is ready for the crown, your dentist will take impressions of it.
If the dental office has its own laboratory, it’s likely that they will mill your dental crown while you wait and finish the procedure on the same day. If your dentist has to send the impressions to a lab to have your crown milled, you will need to wear a temporary crown and return to the dentist to have your permanent crown fixed in place once it’s ready.
Types of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are available in a range of materials. When determining the best styles and types of dental crowns for their patients, dentists usually consider several variables such as:
The position of your teeth
The color of adjacent teeth
The condition of the tooth
The tooth’s necessary functions
The following are the materials used to create dental crowns nowadays:
Surgical Stainless Steel – usually used on children’s teeth to safeguard them from further decay.
Metal Alloys – typically made of gold/platinum alloys or base metal alloys such as cobalt-chromium and nickel chromium.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal – excellent choice for front teeth or when a bridge requires the strength of metal. Porcelain can be matched to the color of existing teeth, making it look more natural.
Zirconia – a relatively new style of dental crown that recently gained popularity because of its attractive appearance, strength, and durability. It’s the hardest and strongest dental crown available
All-Resin – less expensive than other types of dental crown, but also has the tendency to fracture and wear down faster.
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain – easily the best cosmetic option because these dental crowns offer a more natural color match. They’re also the go-to options for people with metal allergies.
Cost of Dental Crown Procedures
The cost of a dental crown can vary drastically. The procedure can range from anywhere between $800 to $ 3500, depending on where you live and the type of dental crown you wish to have.
If you have insurance, your insurance company may cover a portion of the cost of your dental crown. To be sure, check with your insurance provider if this is included in your policy.
Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns
How long your dental crown will last largely depends on your dental hygiene and care habits. Over time, your dental crown will erode and weaken due to normal wear and tear. However, if you make it a point to take good care of your teeth, your dental crown can last for as long as 25 years or more.
Most insurance companies cover part of the cost of replacing dental crowns older than five years. Again, you’ll have to check with your insurer to be certain.
Are You Ready to Fix Your Smile?
Badly damaged or decaying teeth can not only cause you pain, they can also ruin your smile and make you feel uneasy in social situations. A dental crown is a simple procedure with minimal pain and inconvenience, but it can have significant positive impacts on your health, appearance, and self-esteem.
Feel more confident about your smile. Schedule an appointment with us today.