Dental Crowns: Procedures, Materials, and Implications
Are you missing a tooth? Or do you have problems with your existing dental restorations?
Well the chances are you have questions, and, with social distancing measures in place, you may be finding it difficult to get answers to the various queries and grievances you are currently facing. Indeed, with most dental practices only accepting those patients deemed ‘dental emergencies’, you may be putting various dental plans you had in mind to the bottom of your agenda. However, we want to remind you that this time in lockdown may in fact be a propitious time to plan ahead and be prepared for when restrictions are eased.
In order to help you with this, we have taken the liberty to provide you with further insight into one of our most popular dental procedures – dental crowns; detailing what they are, how they function and why they are a prosperous and cost-effective dental service.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. A crown may be appropriate for a large area of decay or breakage when the remaining tooth structure is not sufficient to support a filling.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not a lot of tooth left.
- To hold a dental bridge in place.
- To cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
- To cover a dental implant.
- To make a cosmetic modification.
- Restore Confidence and Self-Esteem.
Types of Dental Crowns
- Gold – A biocompatible noble metal. This is a good choice for molar restorations subjected to a great deal of bite force.
Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break and are a particularly popular choice for out-of-sight molars. However, the metallic color and the costly replacement of gold is the main drawback for this particular type of dental crown.
- Stainless steel – These economical dental crowns are sometimes used on children’s baby teeth.
Stainless steel crowns are “prefabricated crowns” that are used and fused on permanent teeth covering the entire tooth and protecting it for further decay. However, stainless steel dental implants are typically utilized as a temporary measure. Its main purpose is to protect the tooth or filling whilst a dentist creates a specific dental crown made from a different material. The major benefit of stainless-steel dental crowns is that they are suitable for children – primarily due to the fact that they do not require multiple trips to the dentist and are thus a more cost-effective solution for dental health!
- Porcelain – The most aesthetic option, a porcelain crown blends beautifully with natural teeth. This type may be made of solid ceramic, or porcelain fused to a metal core.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. Porcelain dental crowns have the added benefit of matching your existing teeth (unlike metal crowns), to the extent that they are almost unrecognizable to the naked eye. Typically, these types of dental crowns are a good choice for teeth positioned in the front of the mouth, as well as long bridges where the metal is needed for strength. Although porcelain crowns do not contain metal, these types of dental crowns are vulnerable to additional wear and tear compared to other materials.
What Problems Could Develop with Dental Crowns?
A problem that may develop with dental crowns often involves sensitivity immediately after the procedure has taken place and any anesthetics have worn off. If the tooth that has been crowned still has a nerve it in, you may experience some cold or heat sensitivity – in this case, we would advise you to veer away from hot or cold (fizzy drinks). We would also advise you to incorporate a toothpaste such as Sensodyne which contains potassium nitrate which aims to soothe the nerves inside your teeth from feeling pain from triggers. Although, all of these problems are fairly common and generally nothing to worry about. We would only advise you to seek further dental help if, when you bite down on your crown, you are experiencing discomfort. In the case, it is probably because the dental crown is too high on the tooth and will, therefore, need fixing by your dentist.
Can You Have an Allergic Reaction to Dental Crowns?
Yes, you can have an allergic reaction to dental crowns due to the mixture of metals utilized within the crown itself. However, this is extremely rare. As a dental practice, we go through extensive measures prior to any of our procedures to safeguard our patients from irregularities. Your health and safety is a priority to us.
It is important to note that even if you do have metal allergies you are still able to have dental crowns, albeit those without metal fillings such as porcelain.
Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?
You should always practice good oral hygiene and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Just because a tooth is crowned, it does not mean that the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. We would advise you to floss your teeth as well — particularly around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth.
How long do Dental Crowns Last?
On average, dental crowns last between five to fifteen years. The lifespan of a crown depends on the amount of wear and tear the crown takes, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices and your personal mouth-related habits. By grinding your teeth or chomping on hard objects your Dental Crowns may be susceptible to chips.
How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?
Costs of crowns vary depending on what part of the country you live in and on the type of crown selected (for example, porcelain crowns are typically more expensive than gold crowns, which are typically more expensive than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns). Generally, crowns can range in cost from $800.00 to $1,700.00 or more per crown. A portion of the cost of crowns is generally covered by insurance. To be certain, check with your dental insurance company.
At Procopio Towle Dental Office, we accept all PPO insurance programs, as long as they will allow you as a patient to choose any dentist to be your primary dental care provider without any obligation to see one of their dentists within their network. We also offer “in-house” Procopio Towle Annual Dental Membership for patients who are without dental insurance. Our prepaid dental membership savings plan that delivers additional value by eliminating monthly premiums and deductibles. To find out more about our various dental crown services or dental memberships, check out our website or call one of our Front Office Team Members at (925) 933-5677 today!