A crown is a dental restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size. The crown’s purpose it to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are placed for a variety of reasons. Crowns can:
- restore a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for large fillings
- attach bridges to the teeth on either side of a missing tooth
- protect weak teeth from fracturing
- restore fractured teeth
- cover badly shaped or discolored teeth
- cover dental implants
Which material is best? The appearance and function of a crown are considered when choosing the materials most suitable for you. Your dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth and its function. Crowns are made from a number of materials. Gold alloys or non-precious alloys, porcelain or ceramic or combination of these materials may be used. Full metal crowns are generally stronger but not esthetically pleasing. Porcelain crowns are not as strong but more closely resemble your natural teeth. It is important to consult with your dentist as to which crown materials are best suited to your situation.
How is a crown placed? The placement of a crown is a precision procedure. Several steps are involved and your dentist will most likely require two visits for completion. The dentist will prepare the tooth by removing its outer portion to accommodate the thickness of the crown. An impression is made to provide an exact model of the prepared tooth. A highly trained dental laboratory technician will then make the crown from the model with specific instructions and detail of the dentist. Bearable Dentistry dentists have high standards for the crowns they place. For that reason, we use established dental laboratories in the Pacific Northwest to fabricate your crowns.
A “temporary” crown is placed while the permanent crown is being made. The temporary crown is made at Bearable Dentistry and protects your tooth during the interim. The temporary crown is cemented with a removable cement so the dentist will recommend that you avoid sticky foods while it is in place. Your Bearable Dentistry crown is generally ready for permanent placement within 2-3 weeks of the initial appointment.
How do I care for my crowns? It is especially important to brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss or other interdental cleaners. Brushing and flosing remove a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Be sure to clean carefully in the area where the gum meets the base of the crown (your dental calls this the “sulcus”). When plaque accumulates in the sulcus, it can cause dental decay or gum disease. To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard food, ice or other hard objects. It is also important to maintain regular dental visits.
How much does a dental crown cost? The cost of a dental crown varies depending upon the type of material used and the locating of the tooth in your mouth. Your Bearable Dentistry financial consultant will guide you through the appointment and cost estimate so that you know the costs involved prior to beginning treatment.
If you want your smile to be its best, you need healthy teeth. When they are cracked, stained or damaged your teeth can detract from your dental health and your appearance, too. To restore them, your dentist may recommend a crown. A Bearable Dentistry dentist can help guide you to the best restoration which may be a dental crown.