Dental crowns, also known as dental caps, are a fantastic option for our many patients. Whether you have severe tooth decay, a tooth that has been damaged or broken, or if you are simply feeling embarrassed by unsightly stains on your teeth, dental crowns can restore both the integrity of your tooth as well as your confidence. Crowns are not just cosmetic, however. We can also use them to repair a tooth that needs a root canal. They can act as an anchor for a bridge, or they can cover a dental implant. No matter why you need a dental crown, we here at A Smiling Heart Dentistry are happy to provide our patients with this vital dental service to help them get long-lasting relief from a myriad of dental concerns.
What are Dental Crowns and Why Do We Use Them?
Dental crowns can be comprised of a variety of materials, though most often people tend to think of porcelain crowns when they consider their options for one. The location and the purpose of the crown largely determine what type of material we use, but porcelain, ceramic, metal (like gold or silver), and even composite resin can be used in a crown. For more visible, front teeth, we may choose a more natural-looking, tooth colored material for your crown. For teeth that may be concealed in the back of your mouth, a metal crown may be just as effective.
Getting a dental crown generally takes two appointments to complete. During the first appointment, we will begin by preparing the affected tooth for the crown. Before we start, we will ensure that you experience no discomfort during the procedure by thoroughly numbing the site with local analgesics. We will then start shaping the tooth, either filing it down or building it up, depending on the extent of the damage and the purpose of the crown. If there is any existing decay in the tooth, we will remove all traces of it.
Once your tooth is prepared, we will then take an impression of it. This impression will be sent to our laboratory for manufacturing of your crown. This can take up to two weeks for it to return from the lab, so in the interim, we will place a temporary crown over your tooth to help protect it. Once your crown returns from our lab, we will then prepare your tooth for the final fitting. Once we are confident that the crown is to our standards and is a good fit, we will bond it to your tooth with dental cement and cure it.
Crowns are strong, but you still need to take good care of them. Avoid biting down on overly hard or sticky foods to avoid chipping or damaging your crown, and make sure you continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid any further decay or problems in your mouth. Regular checkups, every six months, are advised to help keep your mouth healthy.
If you are interested in learning more about dental crowns, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have about them. To learn more, or to schedule your next appointment with us here at A Smiling Heart Dentistry, please give us a call today at (425) 532-3200.