Dental Crowns

What Is A Dental Crown?

A Dental crown is a cap that covers missing or damaged teeth. Dental crowns are natural-looking, tooth-shaped, and can restore your smile. Crowns are not only aesthetically pleasing, but provide the strength of natural teeth. These restorative options are used when a tooth is so damaged that a filling would not be an effective solution.

Am I A Candidate For A Dental Crown?

If you have a tooth with serious decay, a deep crack, a large chip, or a previous large filling surrounded by new decay, a crown can save the tooth and return strength and function. If you’ve had a root canal on a tooth, especially a molar, you’ll probably need a crown placed on the tooth to protect it and return strength.

Crowns can also provide an aesthetic solution, covering a misshapen tooth or a tooth with deep staining or trauma. Also, if you’re looking to use a bridge to replace two or three teeth in a row, crowns will be used as anchors on the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.

What Are The Advantages Of Dental Crowns?

When a patient has a severely damaged tooth, if the problem is not addressed the tooth will probably need extraction. In most cases, it’s preferable to keep a natural tooth rather than pulling it and replacing it with a dental implant or a bridge. That’s where dental crowns come in. Crowns are excellent solutions for dental problems such as:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Teeth with large fillings
  • Severely worn teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Severely discolored teeth
  • Teeth that have had a root canal
  • Teeth with fractured fillings
  • The teeth on both sides of a bridge

Types Of Dental Crowns

There are several different methods of crown restoration, each using a different crown material. The different types of dental crown material we offer at Green Oak Dental include Porcelain and Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

Porcelain Crowns

While not as strong as PFM or metal crowns, porcelain crowns offer the best color match to your natural teeth. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are commonly used for the front teeth since they are the most cosmetically pleasing.

PFM Crowns

PFM stands for porcelain-fused-to-metal. These crowns can be matched to the tooth’s natural color. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look like normal teeth, second only to all ceramic crowns. Unfortunately, PFM crowns don’t have the strength of metal crowns and tend to wear down opposing teeth more and are more likely to chip or break.

Dental Crown Procedure

The dental crown process takes place in two appointments. At the first appointment, Drs.Witkowski and Rowntree prepare the tooth by filing or reshaping. This is done so the crown can fit securely and comfortably on the tooth. Then we  take impressions. We send your impressions to a laboratory to fabricate the custom crown. This process typically takes 2-3 weeks so we provide patients with temporary crowns. Once your crown is ready we schedule another appointment. At this second appointment, our staff will remove the temporary crown and cement the new permanent crown to the tooth.

Crown Procedure:
Post Operative instructions for temporary crown:

Dental Crowns Complications

Following the crown placement patients can experience heightened sensitivity. This is especially common if the crowned tooth still has a nerve in it. Other complications from dental crowns can include:

Pain Or Sensitivity When Biting: This can usually be attributed to the placement of the crown. If it is too high on the tooth our staff can adjust it.

Chip In A Crown: If chipping occurs we can use resin to repair the remaining crown or replace it entirely.

Loose Dental Crown: Sometimes the cement washes out from beneath the crown. If this is the case patients can be at risk for decay. Our staff can re-secure the crown in order to alleviate the problem.

Once your crown is permanently cemented onto your tooth, you can eat any foods you like. The tooth will be beautiful. And it will be strong. The crown returns full function and beauty to your tooth.

Dental Crown Maintenance

Crowns don’t need any special care, just attentive brushing and flossing every day. With proper preventive care and twice-yearly exams and professional cleanings, your crown can last for decades.

Dental Crown Alternatives

If you have a tooth with serious decay or other damage, if you want to keep the tooth there really isn’t an alternative to placing a crown over the damaged tooth. Inlays or onlays could be an option, but not if the amount of damage would compromise the basic strength of the tooth.

The real alternative to putting a crown on a tooth is to extract the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. Dental implants feel and function exactly like a natural tooth, and they can last the rest of the patient’s life.

If your proposed crown is being placed for strictly aesthetic reasons, such as covering a misshapen tooth or a tooth with deep staining, you may have alternatives. A porcelain veneer could cover the front of the tooth, rather than a full crown. If your crowns are anchoring a bridge, dental implants can be used instead. This is especially true when the patient is missing a number of teeth.

Schedule A Consultation

To learn more about dental crowns, contact Green Oak Dental today at 281-358-6330 to schedule an appointment.