Have you heard of the term “dental crown” before and wondered what it means? As it happens, these are special treatments that can help not only protect your teeth but also restore their appearance. Let’s explore this in more detail.
What Do Dental Crowns Do?
Dental crowns are designed to cover the tooth and provide a standardized, natural shape. This is important when you have teeth that are heavily decayed or damaged. Dental crowns are usually installed when a standard filling cannot cover the entire affected area of the tooth. What’s great about this treatment is that a dental crown doesn’t need any special care – you can treat it just like a regular, healthy tooth with twice-daily brushing and flossing!
How Do Dental Crowns Work?
Think of dental crowns as putting a “helmet” or cap onto your tooth – one that you’ll forget is even there as it looks and feels like the real thing. In order to install a dental crown, the affected tooth needs to be carefully reshaped by your dentist. A local anesthetic can be used to numb the affected area. The good news is that you don’t need to have much of the tooth remaining for a crown to be installed.
Once the tooth is filed down accordingly, an impression is made of what remains, along with those for the teeth around the affected area. These impressions are made to ensure that the crown doesn’t negatively impact your bite. Afterwards, a temporary dental crown is installed over the reshaped tooth, covering it entirely, while the impressions are sent off to a laboratory. A lab technician will then fabricate a custom crown and send it back to our dentist. Two weeks later, the temporary crown is then removed and replaced by the permanent one. Your bite will be checked at this point, and adjustments can be made if required.
The completion of a dental crown requires two visits. The first consists of all the steps above leading up to the temporary crown installation. The second appointment is for the installation of the permanent dental crown.
Why Should I Get Dental Crowns?
There are several reasons why it might be best to get a dental crown installed. The most common one is to restore a heavily decayed or damaged tooth that cannot be addressed with a normal filling. Other reasons include keeping a weakened tooth safe from further decay or avoiding cracking, chipping, or other forms of fragmentation. You may also prefer to cover heavily stained or discoloured teeth with dental crowns, though other forms of cosmetic dentistry may be an option, such as teeth whitening. Alternatively, crowns can be used to cover areas where large fillings have been dislodged, as there may not be enough of the surrounding tooth left to make a filling treatment feasible. Or, if your teeth are misaligned or unevenly sized, you may also wish to consider a dental crown treatment to idealize the shape and alignment.
Dental crowns are generally a great choice if you want a long-lasting, confident-boosting cosmetic solution. These are strong, durable treatments that you can count on. When teeth are heavily decayed, weakened, or damaged, reshaping the affected tooth and fitting a dental crown can provide peace of mind and a perfect smile.
How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?
The cost of a dental crown will vary depending on the material used in its construction, the complexity of the work required, and other similar factors. Some materials, as we’ll explore further down, offer a more natural appearance than others and are more durable. Depending on the crown you decide on, it will wear down differently.
With all of this in mind, the cost of a dental crown has a wide range. That said, it’s best to consult with your dentist and have your teeth inspected so that an approximate quote can be created for a dental crown treatment.
If you don’t mind how a dental crown will look and care only about how many years you can get out of one, then you may be able to get a more durable option for less made with a metal such as gold or copper. This may be preferred for teeth at the back of the mouth that won’t be as easily noticed. Alternatively, if you’re not someone who suffers from bruxism (the grinding of teeth) and are careful with how hard you bite down on food, you may prefer ceramic dental crowns.
How Do I Prepare for a Dental Crown?
Ahead of coming to your initial appointment to be fitted for your crown, you don’t need to do much preparation. The night before, we recommend getting a good night’s sleep so you can come fully rested to your appointment. Eat whatever foods you prefer as you usually would, and brush and floss prior to leaving the house so your teeth are in the best condition possible to be seen by the dentist.
After your first appointment, our team will give you some specific guidelines to follow before you return for your permanent crown fitting in a week or two. You can prepare for your next booking by sticking to these rules to ensure your teeth are ready for the final procedure.
What is the Dental Crown Procedure Like?
Many dental professionals consider a dental crown procedure minimally invasive and relatively straightforward. However, it is important to note that you will need two separate appointments for a dental crown, so there will be a bit of time before your smile is fully restored to how you want it to be.
At the first appointment, your dentist will do X-rays to evaluate the tooth that will be capped and those around it. Once they have decided on the appropriate next steps, they will apply a numbing solution to the area so that you won’t feel any pain. You may also request sedation by gas to enhance your comfort level.
Next, your dentist will file down the tooth so it can better suit the cap that will go over it. Once complete, your dentist will take a mould of this area to send to the lab so they can properly fit your new crown in line with your other teeth. Finally, a temporary crown will be placed over the top of the tooth and lightly bonded to its surface to protect it before receiving the more permanent crown. You should expect anywhere between two to three weeks before your final appointment.
Once your new crown is ready, your dentist will take care to remove the temporary cap and replace it with the permanent one. It will be cemented in place, cured, and shaped to closely resemble your other teeth. And just like that, you’ve got an enhanced smile that you can be proud of.
What Sort of Aftercare Can I Expect for a Dental Crown Treatment?
Aftercare will be required after your first and second appointment to ensure this procedure has optimal results. During your initial booking, after completing the moulds, your dentist will apply a temporary crown that is placed over your tooth to protect it while we await your permanent one. This covering needs to be treated delicately as it is a short-term solution. Without proper care, it may fall out or become dislodged, exposing the filed tooth underneath.
We recommend doing your best to chew on the opposite side of the temporary crown and avoiding hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods that can put stress on your teeth. Also, when flossing, be cautious to stay away from the edge of the cap, as the floss may catch the outline and pull from underneath. In general, you should be able to tell if certain circumstances are putting strain on your temporary crown, so readjust as necessary to ensure it stays in place.
You should follow similar guidelines within 24 hours after your permanent crown has been bonded and cured. This will allow enough time for the adhesive to set, creating a bond that will not be moved by regular chewing and flossing. Some patients may experience gum sensitivity which should wear off after a few weeks. However, if you have ongoing pain, consult with your dentist.