Teeth suffering from damage and decay can be protected and restored with dental crowns. A dental crown can cover, or cap, a severely damaged tooth that can’t be treated with a filling. In addition, teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy can be sealed with a crown. Sometimes, dental crowns are used for smile makeovers or other cosmetic treatments.
Dental crowns can last up to 15 years when securely placed and properly maintained.
Your dentist will begin by cleaning and numbing your mouth to prepare for the removal of decayed and damaged enamel. Sedation may also be provided if your dentist deems it appropriate for your procedure.
Once your dentist has thoroughly cleaned and numbed your mouth, a dental drill will be used to remove the decayed enamel, reshape your tooth, and prepare it for the final crown placement.
After the dentist has trimmed and prepared your tooth for a crown, they will administer an impression. Dental putty and trays or a 3D scanner will capture your teeth impressions, which will then be used to build your permanent crown.
Several images of your teeth will be captured in addition to your impressions or scans. These pictures will ensure that your new crown perfectly matches the exact shade of your existing teeth. This color-matching process allows your porcelain crown to look just like a natural tooth.
After your dentist collects all of the data, the information will be sent to a dental lab. Here, your crown will be built from durable porcelain ceramic. Although this process takes a few weeks, lab-made crowns are known as the most long-lasting and comfortable dental crown option.
Since your crown won’t be ready for a few weeks, your dentist will attach a temporary resin cap. This will protect your newly-trimmed tooth until your permanent crown can be placed.
Once your crown is created, you’ll return to the office for fitting and adjustments. Your dentist will take the time to ensure the crown is fully secured to your tooth and comfortable in your mouth.
After the final adjustments are made, your dentist will permanently affix the crown into place. A powerful dental cement will be applied, restoring your smile and bite.
Lab-made crowns are crafted in dental labs that specifically specialize in dental appliances and prostheses.
Your dentist will take impressions, scans, and photos of your teeth, which will be sent directly to the lab. At the lab, experienced technicians will use an advanced manufacturing process to build the crown with durable ceramic and metal materials. Once the crown is complete, it will be shipped back to your dentist for the final fitting and placement.
Lab-made crowns seamlessly blend into your smile and are known to feel just as natural as a real tooth. In addition, they are usually the most long-lasting and durable type of crown.
Teeth that suffer from damage and decay can be protected and restored with dental crowns. Patients with serious cavities, cracked teeth from dental trauma, or broken teeth from accidents and injuries can be dental crown candidates. Crowns create a cap over the entire tooth structure and protect it from further complications. In addition, crowns can restore the shape, appearance, and function of damaged teeth.
Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic cases if treatments such as veneers and dental bonding are not appropriate. After a root canal, dental crowns are applied to cover and protect teeth after treatment.
You may be a candidate for a dental crown if you have damaged or severely decayed teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist if your teeth are causing pain, discomfort, or are visibly damaged or discolored. Depending on the cause of your dental issues, your dentist may suggest a dental crown or another restorative treatment.
Dental crowns last up to 15 years when carefully made and properly placed. Maintaining strong oral health habits such as brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, and seeing your dentist every 6 months can enhance your crown’s longevity. Same-day crowns can be slightly less durable, but they can still last several years with proper care.
Treat your dental crown just as you would with a natural tooth. Be sure to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, ensuring that the full surface of every tooth is polished. Floss at least once per day for a few minutes, preferably at night. Make sure to floss against the tooth and below the gum line. Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up to make sure that your crown and surrounding teeth are in good health.
Dental crowns that are required for restorative purposes are typically covered by insurance. The exact amount of coverage you receive will depend on the deductible and yearly limits of your policy.
If you are receiving a crown for cosmetic purposes, the treatment may not be covered by insurance. Consult with your insurer to make sure your procedure is covered.