Dental crowns are specially created tooth-shaped caps that are used to cover and restore damaged teeth. A crown will improve your damaged tooth’s appearance, shape, colour or alignment, as well as providing protection and support. Here’s what you can expect when receiving a dental crown on your tooth or teeth.
At your initial visit, the dentist will examine the tooth in question and perhaps take X-rays to determine the health of the tooth and surrounding bone. If the tooth is decayed or diseased, this will need to be treated first before a crown can be fitted.
The tooth to be crowned then needs to be reduced in size slightly to allow a proper fit for the crown. This will be performed under local anaesthetic , as the tooth will be filed down along the chewing surface and sides. However, if your tooth is not large enough to support a crown, perhaps due to decay or damage, it will be built up with filling material in order to be able to support the crown.
Your dentist will need to take an impression of your tooth, which will be sent to a dental lab so that a perfectly fitting crown can be created. It will then be colour matched to your existing teeth. At Lentini Dental, a digital impression will be taken and a crown will be designed and constructed using computer milling processes.
Once all the preparation has been carried out, the procedure is relatively quick and simple.
You will be fitted with a temporary crown made from a resin or acrylic material while your permanent restoration is being created. This will help the dentist determine if the crown fits properly, as well as covering and protecting the damaged tooth. In the case of a computer designed and constructed CEREC crown, it will be ready the same visit in most cases.
Once your permanent crown is ready, you’ll return to the dentist to have the temporary crown removed and be fitted with the permanent crown. This will be cemented to your tooth with dental adhesive.
The time required for the whole procedure is minimal, and will usually only involve two to three visits to the dentist. Keep in mind that this may increase if you have decay, disease or other problems to be dealt with first.
The pain level
The preparation, as well as the placement of the crown itself, is usually done under local anaesthetic, so you shouldn’t feel any pain throughout the procedure. Once the anaesthetic wears off, you might feel some sensitivity, tenderness, discomfort or swelling for a few days after the procedure. This is usually fairly minimal and shouldn’t last for too long, and can usually be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
Crowns are a great solution to covering and repairing teeth which are chipped, cracked, broken or otherwise beyond repair. A crown will improve the appearance, size, shape or strength of your tooth, and can be colour matched to your existing teeth so that it blends in seamlessly. You can expect a tooth that looks better in shape, colour or size, and consequently an improved and more self-confident smile.
Crowns are a highly successful restorative method, and are a long-lasting and durable solution to dental imperfections. Patients usually adjust to dental crows quickly and easily, and you will hardly notice it after a while. The crown should feel and function just like a regular tooth within the space of a few weeks.
While you have your temporary crown, it’s best to avoid eating chewy or sticky foods which might pull the crown off. Try and chew on the other side of your mouth as much as you can, and also avoid chewing hard foods (such as raw vegetables, toffee or apples) that could
potentially dislodge the temporary crown. And be careful when flossing to avoid pulling off the crown as well.
Once you have your permanent crown, you’ll be able to treat it just like a normal tooth within a few weeks. Dental crowns can last between 10 and 20 years with proper care. Although the crown obviously can’t suffer from decay, the edge of the tooth underneath the crown can if not looked after properly. You won’t need to do anything special however, just commit to maintaining consistently good oral hygiene, including:
- Daily brushing at least twice a day
- Daily flossing
- Visiting your dentist regularly for cleaning and check-ups
All of these things will ensure the longevity of your crown. As well, it’s wise to avoid chewing on hard objects or food where possible, as this could possibly damage your crown.
The cost of getting a crown can vary widely depending on the materials used, the experience of the dentist and the amount of preparation work needed. It’s best to consult your dentist to determine the exact cost. Many dentists offer payment plans to help spread the cost of procedures for patients, and this may help you achieve the smile you want. However, when you consider how long a crown will last and the benefits it will bring, it’s actually a very cost-effective solution to your dental problems.
Medical and health insurance will often cover part of the expense of getting a crown, but check with your provider to determine what is covered.