What are dental crowns and why do we use them?

Dental crowns are coverings for teeth to help protect them, like a helmet for a football player. We put a dental crown on a tooth when it's already weakened and compromised to help you keep it for a long time.

What's an alternative to a dental crown for my tooth?

When teeth have big cracks or a lot of trauma, there's not much else we can do to help protect that tooth from breaking. Dental crowns, when they're recommended, are the best option for your tooth so that you don't lose it. Otherwise, you could look at doing extraction and removing that tooth, which we can discuss at your visit.

What does a dental crown look like?

There's several different materials that we can use to make your crown. Some are metal colored, either silver or gold toned. Others are all porcelain, where it looks like a natural tooth. Each of these can be used in different situations. Sometimes we need to use the metal crowns way in the back teeth, or if a crack or trauma has gone underneath the gum tissue. But we use the porcelain crowns towards the front teeth. These porcelain crowns look very natural.

Is a crown necessary after a root canal?

Yes. On back teeth, when a root canal has been done, the tooth is much weaker and can actually break in half. So we need to put a crown in it to prevent that from happening.

What does a dental crown procedure look like?

In our office, it consists of two visits. The first visit is when we prepare the tooth for the crown. We use a scanner instead of impressions to work with the lab to have your final crown made. Before you leave that first appointment, we'll put a very nice temporary crown on the tooth. You'll wear that for about two weeks. Then you come back for the second visit, that'll be a short visit to put the final crown on.

Is placing a dental crown painful?

No. We make sure you're very numb and comfortable before we start, and we also put a medicated temporary cement on the temporary crown so that the tooth is protected, insulated, and so you don't have any sensitivity when you come back.

Are there any consequences to getting a crown placed on your tooth?

Sometimes, a tooth can need a root canal after a crown if the tooth becomes symptomatic. The reason we put a crown on a tooth is because it's already compromised, and it may have really big cracks. Most often, there aren't any needs afterward, but it's something to keep in mind.

Can you get cavities on crown teeth?

Yes. With proper daily hygiene, flossing, brushing, extra fluoride on your teeth, you can keep your crown for a very long time, decades even. But in order to keep it for that long, you need to take really good care of it, just like every other tooth in your mouth.

How should I take care of my crown?

Coming in for your routine cleanings is very helpful, because we can show you where maybe you're missing areas when brushing and flossing.

Why would a dentist recommend a dental crown?

A dentist would recommend a dental crown to protect your tooth from breaking. Teeth with very little tooth structure left need protection. Without a crown, such teeth may break, leading to a need for a root canal or even the loss of the tooth.

How are dental crowns different for different types of teeth?

Different materials are used for crowns on different types of teeth. The most common is a porcelain crown, which looks like a natural tooth and has no metal. However, back teeth may benefit more from gold crowns, which are not entirely made of gold but are a high-quality metal combination. This type of crown helps to protect the tooth and is softer to protect your jaw joint.

Can front tooth crowns look natural?

Yes, crowns on front teeth can look very natural depending on the color, shape, and type of porcelain used.

Will I need a dental crown after a root canal?

Yes, after a root canal, the live part of the tooth is removed to make the tooth healthy again. However, this leaves the tooth vulnerable to breaking. A crown is placed on the tooth to protect it, acting as a helmet to prevent breakage.

Can a root canal and crown be done in one visit?

It is possible to have a root canal and crown done in one visit if the root canal goes smoothly, the patient is comfortable, and there is no large infection present.

What is the procedure associated with getting a tooth crown?

Getting a tooth crown typically involves two visits to the dentist. The first visit involves preparing the tooth for the crown. A temporary plastic crown is placed to protect the tooth until the final crown is ready, typically in about a week and a half. The final crown is cemented during the second visit.

Is it painful to have a dental crown placed?

No, we ensure that you are comfortable and numb before we start the process. We use anesthetic, and you can use headphones, watch TV, and even have a blanket.

How long does a dental crown last?

The longevity of a dental crown depends on your oral hygiene. With proper care, crowns can last for 20 to 30 years.

What can be done about cavities under a dental crown?

If a cavity develops under a crown, the entire crown must be removed to eliminate the cavity and the bacteria causing it. A new crown is then placed on the tooth.

Does dental insurance cover crowns?

Most dental insurance plans do contribute towards the cost of crowns. However, coverage details depend on your specific insurance plan.

When should I schedule a dental crown procedure?

The sooner a cavity is treated or a tooth is protected from breaking, the better. It is best to get a dental crown as soon as possible to protect the tooth.

Repair And Protect Damaged Teeth With Dental Crowns

If you have a tooth that has been damaged by an issue like tooth decay, grinding, or oral trauma, it’s important to get treatment from your dentist as soon as possible to restore your smile and prevent further.

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The Basics Of Dental Crowns

A dental crown is, essentially, a false tooth that is designed to attach to your natural tooth. Our dental crowns are made out of a durable porcelain material that will be customized and matched to the exact color of your teeth. In preparation for the procedure, your damaged tooth will be trimmed to remove any decayed enamel and create a strong, stable platform onto which the crown can be attached. Next, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab where your crown will be made. This usually takes 2-3 weeks, so you’ll be sent home with a temporary crown to protect your tooth in the meantime.

Once your crown has been completed, you’ll come back into our office to have it permanently attached with dental cement.

Do I Need A Dental Crown?

Commonly-Treated Issues

There are a few reasons that your dentist may recommend a dental crown. If you have a large cavity or a large filling that is starting to fail, a crown is usually the best way to restore and protect the tooth from further decay. ‍ Dental crowns are also a good option if your tooth has been seriously cracked and damaged due to oral trauma. Crowns can help prevent damaged teeth from becoming infected and restore their shape and structure.

Similarly, dental crowns are usually required after a root canal is used to treat an infected tooth. By covering up the remaining enamel with a crown, the tooth’s interior is protected, which prevents it from becoming reinfected.

Crowns may also sometimes be used for primarily cosmetic purposes. Very small or misshapen teeth may not be treatable with veneers, or a severely stained tooth may need to be completely covered up. Porcelain crowns are ideal for restoring these teeth because they can easily improve a tooth’s appearance and function.

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What Is An Alternative To Getting A Dental Crown?

If you have a severely damaged, decayed, or infected tooth, there is no alternative to a dental crown. 

While it may be possible to extract your tooth and replace it, Dr. Bancroft practices conservative dentistry. She will not recommend tooth extraction unless there is no other option, so a crown is typically the best choice for restoring your damaged tooth.

However, if you have a minor cavity, it may be possible to get a filling or a dental inlay or onlay instead of a crown.

Advanced Dental Care For Crowns

We use high-quality materials such as ceramics from Empress Restorations, ensuring that your tooth looks completely natural and that your restoration remains strong and durable for years to come. Stop by our office at 12750 Carmel Country Road Suite 206,San Diego, CA 92130, or call us at 1-858-755-3780 to get started.

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