What Are Dental Crowns?
In cities like Edison, Metuchen, & South Plainfield, NJ, dental crowns are definitely one of the most effective solutions in restoring and improving a patient’s smile. The anatomy of the tooth defines the crown as the part that can be seen or is visible in a person’s mouth. A dental crown is essentially a cap that is shaped like a tooth that your dentist will place over your damaged tooth to be able to cover the imperfections and improve its overall appearance and to restore its strength and function. Once the dental crown is cemented in place, it can either partially or fully cover the visible part of your tooth, depending on the damage to your tooth surface.
Why Are Dental Crowns Needed?
If a patient has a tooth that will require a large filling and there is not much tooth to work with, then a crown can cover the tooth and provide support to its structure. For a weak tooth that is too worn down, fractured or is already threatening to fracture, there would be a need to hold the fractured parts together to be able to save the tooth, then crowns would be the best restoration to do this. Dental crowns can also be an option to cover a dental implant or hold dental bridges in place. They are also recommended for installation right after a root canal is done on a tooth because this procedure may result to weakened tooth structure, thus making the tooth more prone to breaking. Dental crowns can be used to protect baby teeth from getting any further damage or decay, and also to protect teeth when they become severely damaged and are no longer capable of supporting a filling.
When Would I Need A Dental Crown
Dental crowns are usually used to return strength and function to teeth that have serious damage, such as extensive decay or a crack, and would otherwise possibly need extraction. The purpose of a crown is to restore the strength in a tooth and can also be used for aesthetic benefits to improve the look of your smile. At Gentle Dental, we utilize crowns for the following problems:
- 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
We use dental porcelain for our crowns due to its strength and stain resistance.
Candidates For Dental Crowns
A crown enables our Gentle Dental patients to keep a tooth that has serious damage. It also is an effective way to change the appearance of a single tooth. There really isn’t an ideal “candidate” for crowning a tooth; it’s more a matter of need. You can think of a crown as an alternative to a dental implant or a bridge because without a crown the damaged tooth will likely need to be extracted and then replaced.
“The staff at Gentle Dental always goes above and beyond for me. I have major anxiety/fear at the dentist office. They have patience and always take the time to answer any questions/fears that I might have. They are gentle and always make sure that I am comfortable and never have any pain. Dr. Strober and Jen are the best. I 100 per cent recommend them especially if you are fearful of the whole dental experience.” – Patricia F.
What Problems Could Develop with My Crown?
After receiving your new dental crown, you might notice a bit of discomfort or sensitivity. This can happen because the nerve of the treated tooth is still there and has been slightly disrupted by the vibrations of the dental drill. You might find that the tooth aches when you consume something that's hot or cold. To alleviate this common side effect, you can brush with toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.
Another problem that could occur with a dental crown, usually a new one, is that you feel sensitivity or pain when you bite down using that tooth. If this happens, contact the office. It could mean that the crown is too high, so is not contacting the opposing tooth as intended based on your treatment plan. This problem can be fixed with a quick adjustment in the office.
Crowns are made to be very durable and long-lasting, but they could chip. A small chip in a porcelain dental crown might be repaired using composite resin color-matched to the crown. A severe chip may require the crown to be replaced. A crown may also become loose. This can happen if the cement that holds the crown in place becomes weak or worn down. If the crown is loose, it needs to be replaced or reinserted with new cement. This problem requires prompt care to prevent bacteria from moving into the space beneath the crown. Rarely, a crown may fall off. This also requires a call to the office and an appointment to clean and replace the crown, provided it is still in good condition.
Why is a Porcelain Crown a Good Choice for Me?
Dental crowns can be made from a variety of different materials, from gold to porcelain fused to a metal alloy material. We work with all-porcelain crowns for several reasons. These include:
- Porcelain looks most like natural enamel. The porcelain used for dental restorations is durable but also lifelike in the way that the material reflects light. Dental porcelain is also more translucent than most other materials used for crowns, making it ideal for anterior teeth.
- Porcelain is gentle. Some materials can be abrasive to adjacent teeth. Porcelain is less likely to be so, supporting long-term oral health.
- Treatment is customized. Using strong porcelain material, the dentist can blend new, repaired tooth into the smile with a combination of texture, color, and shape.
- Stain resistance. Porcelain is non-porous. Your teeth are porous. This is why teeth become yellow or stained over. Porcelain does not absorb the molecules that cause stains, so you can expect your repaired smile to also look brighter and whiter for longer!
- Consistency. Because there is no metal aspect to a porcelain crown, you won't have to worry about a gray line showing up near your gum line even after years of wear and tear.
What Should I Expect From A Dental Crown Procedure?
To be able to complete the whole procedure of installing dental crowns, patients would usually have to come in multiple times to their dentist’s office. During preparation, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and will lay the groundwork for the installation of the dental crown. These preparations will vary depending on the current condition of the tooth. For example, if the tooth is fractured, then a buildup is made to bring back as much tooth structure to attach the crown to. A dental impression is made and reference for the patient’s dental color is taken. Your dentist will be providing all of these to the dental technician who will fabricate your dental crown and will install temporary crowns for you to use until your crown is available. When your crown is ready, adjustments for a perfect fit is made prior to cementing it permanently into place.
If you’re in the Edison, Piscataway Township, New Brunswick, Metuchen, and Woodbridge Township, NJ areas and are in need of a dental crown, fill out our online contact form.
Dental Crowns Before & After Photos
How Long Will My Crown Last?
Porcelain crowns can last for decades, but their endurance is often tied directly to your home hygiene. After all, the porcelain won’t decay, but the tooth underneath it still can. Other bad habits such as chewing ice and biting your fingernails can shorten the lifespan of a crown.
Porcelain Crowns Vs. Porcelain Veneers
Crowns and veneers are really not even related as procedures. Porcelain veneers are simply cosmetic improvements to aesthetic flaws with teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are applied to the front surfaces of one or more of your visible teeth. Veneers do not address existing problems with a tooth, such as decay or a crack. Veneers last from 10-15 years.
Porcelain crowns are meant to return strength and function to damaged teeth. They also act as anchors for dental bridges. Instead of being placed on the front of the tooth, a crown overlays the entire tooth. Crowns can last for decades.
Recovery After Receiving Dental Crowns
The procedure for having a tooth crowned involves two appointments. Neither involves any recovery. During the first appointment, we prepare the tooth for the crown by shaving off a portion of the tooth on all sides and on top. This makes room for the crown to overlay the tooth. We take impressions and send them off to the dental lab to use when fabricating your crown. We place a temporary crown on the tooth until the permanent crown is ready.
The second appointment involves checking the crown’s color and fit and then permanently cementing it onto your tooth. As soon as you leave our Edison offices, you can use your crowned tooth. There isn’t any recovery.
How Do I Take Care Of My Crowns?
Your beautiful new crown requires no special care, just attentive brushing and flossing every day.