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Dental Crowns Services for a Beautiful Smile

What is a Dental Crown

A dental crown, often called a snug cap or covering, takes the form of a tooth. This essential dental prosthetic protects and restores teeth that are cracked, broken, decayed or weakened. Dental crowns can be composed of metal, ceramic, or both. They are essential for preserving oral health and ensuring teeth keep their natural shape, esthetics, and function.

When are Dental Crowns Needed

Dental crowns are needed if an individual has the following dental problems. A dental crown can protect the following from further stress:

  • Cracked tooth
  • Root-canal-treated tooth
  • Dental Implant

A dental crown can stabilize:

  • Dental Bridge
  • Denture

A dental crown can restore the integrity and color of:

  • Severely stained tooth that doesn’t respond to teeth whiteners.
  • Broken tooth
  • Weak or worn-down tooth
A women having her teeth cleaned at the dentist.

Advantages of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns offer many advantages, making them a versatile solution for various dental concerns. Consider the following benefits:

  • Prolong the life of natural teeth: Dental crowns act as protective shields, preserving the longevity of natural teeth by providing an additional layer of defense against external stressors.
  • Improve appearance: Beyond functionality, dental crowns enhance the aesthetic appeal of teeth, ensuring a natural and pleasing smile.
  • Improve chewing: Dental crowns help people chew food more efficiently and comfortably by having a sturdy and solid design that allows people to enjoy a wider variety of foods available.
  • Protect teeth from future wear and tear: Dental crowns act as protective barriers, preventing further deterioration of teeth by shielding them from wear and tear.
  • With proper care, can last 20-25 years: Providing longevity with proper maintenance, dental crowns can last between 20-25 years, offering a durable and reliable solution for dental restoration. This life-span can be extended by proper daily  oral care and routine professional dental cleaning at you dentist’s office.

Risks of Dental Crowns

While dental crowns have many advantages, it’s essential to be informed of possible risks. Consider the following considerations:

  • Procedure includes removing a minimal enamel to fit the crown: The process of fitting a dental crown may involve removing a small amount of enamel, which is essential to ensure a proper fit.
  • Removal of enamel can cause tooth sensitivity: Individuals with thinner layers may experience temporary tooth sensitivity following the removal process.
  • If fitted improperly, it can cause bacteria to be trapped inside the tooth: Improper fitting can lead to the entrapment of bacteria inside the tooth, potentially causing decay and other oral health issues, therefore at “Bellevue Dentist” the fit of the crown will be confirmed and verified both clinically and radiographically at the day of delivery.
  • Depending on the tooth’s location and the number of crowns, it can be expensive: The cost of dental crowns may vary based on factors such as the location of the tooth and the number of crowns required.

What are the Types of Dental Crowns

Selecting the right type of dental crown is a personalized decision based on your preferences and specific dental needs and the dentist’s recommendation after evaluating several esthetics and functional factors. At “Bellevue Dentist”, all crowns are fabricated with digital dentistry for a better patient’s experience, more accurate outcome, and less to no adjustments at the day of delivery and cementation.

PFM crowns are versatile. They blend metal durability with ceramic’s aesthetic appeal. They can match the color of adjacent teeth, lasting nearly as long as metal crowns. However, it can reveal the underlying metal as a dark line near the gum line when it wears down.

Metal Crowns

Crafted from golden or other metal alloys, metal crowns boast exceptional durability. They are known for their resilience against biting and chewing forces. Despite their longevity, metal crowns may be priced higher, and their distinctive color makes them more suitable for back molars.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns

PFM crowns are versatile. They blend metal durability with ceramic’s aesthetic appeal. They can match the color of adjacent teeth, lasting nearly as long as metal crowns. However, it can reveal the underlying metal as a dark line near the gum line when it wears down.

All-Ceramic Crown

An all-ceramic crown is often made of highly durable zirconia. It balances strength and aesthetics. Compared to other crowns with ceramic content, it causes less wear on opposing teeth and closely matches the natural enamel color.

All-Resin Crowns

Cost-effective and budget-friendly, all-resin crowns are the least expensive option. However, they are more susceptible to wear and fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns. They are often made as temporary crowns.

Is It Painful to Get a Dental Crown?

No. The preparation and installation of a dental crown involve a painless process. Your dentist will make sure you’re comfortable during the entire process. They will do this by administering local anesthesia to numb the tooth and gum area. After the anesthesia wears off, you may experience mild discomfort or tooth sensitivity. To manage this, your dentist will prescribe appropriate pain medications and provide detailed home care instructions to support your recovery.

What are My Alternatives to Dental Crowns?

Exploring alternatives to dental crowns that may better suit your needs is essential. Consult with your dentist to determine if you qualify for the following options:

  • Veneers: Ideal for enhancing the front surface of a tooth, veneers offer a cosmetic solution to improve appearance.
  • Dentures: Dentures provide a versatile and traditional option for those seeking removable false teeth.
  • Dental Bridge: Used to remedy a missing tooth, a dental bridge replaces the tooth and restores the function and aesthetics of the adjacent teeth.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last

The lifespan of dental crowns varies based on the material used, with an average range of 20-25 years. Different materials offer distinct durability, but with proper daily oral care, routine professional dental cleanings, and a comprehensive thorough dental cleaning instruction at the end of the cementation visit, this lifespan can be extended.

After-Procedure Care and Recovery

Following the dental crown procedure, being aware of the post-procedure care and recovery process is essential. Expect some soreness or tenderness in the gums and surrounding tissue once the anesthesia wears off. Typically, this discomfort subsides within a few days. Your dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain medicine to alleviate any lingering discomfort.

What to Expect Before the Procedure

Traditionally, your initial visit focuses on preparing your tooth for the upcoming crown procedure. The comprehensive process involves the following key steps:

  1. Teeth examination: Your dentist will examine your teeth to assess their overall health and determine your eligibility for dental crowns. X-rays may be taken to evaluate the roots and surrounding bone structure.
  2. Enamel removal for precise fit: To ensure an accurate fit, a small amount of enamel will be carefully removed from your tooth. Local anesthesia is administered for your comfort during this step.
  3. Building up a broken tooth: If your tooth is broken, your dentist may use filling material to build it up (AKA. core build-up), providing a stable foundation and infrastructure for the crown.
  4. Impression with mold or digital scanner: An impression of your teeth is taken using either a mold or a digital scanner. Then, it is sent to the local dental  laboratory to create your customized tailor-made crown.
  5. Temporary crown placement: Your permanent crown typically takes 1-2 weeks to be completed. During that time, your dentist will provide a temporary crown to wear, maintaining the functionality and aesthetics of your tooth.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Upon completing the custom crown in the lab, your second dental appointment will be scheduled. During this crucial stage of the dental crown procedure, here’s what you can anticipate:

  • Notification of the second visit: Your dentist will inform you once the laboratory has crafted your custom dental crown.
  • Fitting the crown: Local anesthesia will be applied to your tooth and surrounding gums to ensure a painless experience. To fit the permanent crown, your dentist will carefully remove the temporary crown.
  • Examination of crown and tooth: Your dentist will meticulously examine the new crown and your tooth, assessing factors such as shape, color, and fit. This step ensures that the crown seamlessly integrates with your natural teeth, providing aesthetic appeal,  functionality, and durability.
  • Cleaning and preparation: After a thorough examination, your dentist will clean the tooth, preparing it for bonding. Any residue from the temporary crown removal will be addressed to create an optimal surface for bonding.
  • Bonding with dental adhesive: Using a robust dental adhesive, your dentist will securely bond the custom dental crown over your prepared tooth. This adhesive ensures a strong and lasting connection (AKA. sealed margin), enhancing the stability and durability of the crown.
3D render of a dental crown being placed on a tooth.

When Should I Call My Dentist?

To ensure optimal post-procedure care, promptly contact your dentist if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • The crown feels loose or wiggly.
  • Cracks or chipping in the crown are noticed.
  • The crown has sharp edges that irritate your tongue or gums.

How to Care for Your Dental Crown

It takes careful maintenance to keep your dental crown solid and long-lasting. Here are essential dental maintenance tips:

  • Maintain oral hygiene: Use antimicrobial mouthwash, floss once daily, and brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily to help fight germs and plaque accumulation.
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings and examinations: Ensure ongoing dental health by attending monthly dental cleanings and examinations.
  • Address teeth grinding: See your dentist about getting a personalized mouthguard if you grind or clench your teeth to safeguard the dental crown and your natural teeth.

Dental Crowns: Restoring Your Smile to Sparkle On

Dental crowns are a versatile solution for addressing issues with broken or weakened teeth. With various types available, dental crowns play a pivotal role in revitalizing your smile.

Beyond providing dental care, Bellevue Dentist is committed to making you feel comfortable at every step. Collaborating closely with you, we craft personalized treatment plans to meet your unique dental goals. Book your appointment today to begin your journey of restoring your smile.

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