What are dental crowns?

A crown restoration is something that is done to a tooth when it needs to be fixed to a larger degree. If something small needs to happen to a tooth, usually it can be accomplished with a filling, but if there's a fracture or a big cavity or the tooth has had treatment with a root canal, it typically needs a dental crown. A dental crown is basically a filling that will surround the tooth 360 degrees, all the way around the edges of the tooth and the top.

What types of dental crowns are there?

There are different materials that we use for dental crowns. Most commonly three different materials are used, a type of porcelain, and that's typically what is done now in more of the modern offices. The crowns are made out of porcelain because it's very strong and it looks very natural. You could also have all gold crowns. Gold, for many reasons, is still a very good type of crown, particularly in back teeth. You can have a gold crown, completely gold, or you can have one that's kind of in the middle where the base of the crown is gold, and then there's porcelain that's stacked on top.

What different materials are used in dental crowns, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Well, traditionally, the crowns were made out of gold, different percentages of gold. The advantage of a gold crown is it does not need to be quite as thick. Gold crowns don't require as much tooth structure to be removed in order to place the crown. That's one advantage. It's a little more conservative. Another advantage is gold is a little softer, so it wears really nicely against other teeth. It doesn't beat the opposing teeth up quite as much as other materials. The disadvantage of gold is it cannot be made on site, so it requires two appointments. The second type of crown is a combination between porcelain and gold. The advantages in this type of crown is that if the gold is the part that is touching the opposing teeth, you get a little bit of that softness. The final type of crown is an all-porcelain crown. The advantages of an all-porcelain crown is it's the most aesthetic. It looks the most real.

Is a dental crown necessary after root canal treatment?

Most of the time, yes, but it largely depends on how much tooth structure is left after the tooth is fixed. After having root canal therapy, teeth are more brittle. They tend to break more, and some studies will show that teeth after root canal therapy are as much as six times more likely to fracture.

Can you explain the dental crown procedure?

Yes, the procedure of a dental crown is very simplistic. In a lot of ways, it's a lot like having a filling done or even having a deep cleaning done from the standpoint you need to get numb. Once you're numb, we prepare the tooth for the crown, again, about 20 minutes, and then you'll have a break for about an hour while we make the crown here in office. We try the crown, and at the end of that time, make any adjustments that are necessary and cement it in, and you get to go home with your brand new crown.

Does the dental crown placement hurt?

The only discomfort you should feel when having a dental crown made is the initial anesthetic, so the initial injections that are done to make sure the tooth is appropriately numb.

Are there any consequences for getting a tooth crown?

A crown should be recommended when it's necessary, either for aesthetic reasons or to treat disease or problems. The consequences of getting one would be, well, of course, it costs money. There's an expense to that. There's time invested in sitting with us, and again, it's about two, two and a half hours. It does require some removal of tooth structure, so we try to keep it very conservative.

Is it worth putting children's teeth in crowns?

There are reasons that you would want to put crowns on baby teeth or children's teeth, but the type of crown is very different. As I went through earlier in the video, if you want to look back at that on the various materials for crowns, those, what I was speaking of, are for adult teeth, teeth that we want to last for the rest of your life.

Do crowns look like normal teeth?

That is our goal. So, as a dentist, dentistry is not just treating disease and making people healthier. It's actually a lot of art, and that's one of the most fun things that we do in dentistry is the artistic side of things, and part of our challenge, what we strive for is to mimic the way teeth were created, mimic the way God made the teeth in the first place, the color, the shape, the various contours, and of course, the function.

Can you get cavities on crown teeth?

Thankfully, the crowns are made out of porcelain or gold. You cannot get a cavity on porcelain or gold. However, of course, there's still natural tooth there connected to the crown. So, where the crown meets the tooth, we call that the margin, right? Where that crown comes on and is cemented to the natural tooth structure, we call that the margin, and microscopically, that's an area where there can sometimes be little gaps or little ledges, and we try to make that as smooth as possible, but microscopically, there'll always be something there.

How should I take care of my dental crown?

Crowns need to be cleaned as natural teeth need to be cleaned. So, you brush them. Crowns can get stained, like teeth can, so you want to keep them looking pretty.

How long can you expect a dental crown to last?

Well, I wish there was a perfect answer that you could bank on, but it is largely individual. If you take good care of your crowns, and you're not grinding on the teeth, crown on crown, or teeth on crown, you're not chewing on ice, you're not opening letters with your teeth or things like that, then they should last a long time.

Does insurance cover dental crowns?

Well, most insurances would, but of course, you've got to pay close attention to your insurance policy. There's a lot of details that insurance policies write in, such as missing tooth clauses, and pre-existing conditions on teeth, those kinds of things.

How can I schedule an appointment for a dental crown?

The first thing I would encourage you to do is give us a call at Integrity Dental, 719-545-2468. And we will start with what we call a new patient exam, a comprehensive exam where you get to come in, you get to meet some of our staff. We give you a tour of the clinic. We get thorough x-rays, do a thorough exam, and then we can discuss any dental needs you would have. If a crown is one of those dental needs, we'll talk you through again how that process works.