UPDATE: Same-Day Crowns now available!
Penrod Dental Care uses the advanced CAD/CAM Technology of the CEREC machine to provide our patients with in-office, one-day crowns. No more worrying about your temporary crown breaking or falling off, having to come back in two weeks, or schedule two separate appointments!
Learn more here, or call us today to schedule your appointment!
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a cap (shaped to look like a natural tooth) that is placed over a damaged tooth. It covers all the visible part of the tooth and helps restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance.
Why Do I Need a Crown?
You might need a crown for lots of different reasons. These can include:
- protecting a weak tooth (or one that has decayed) from breaking
- holding together a tooth that has cracked
- restoring a tooth that is worn down or broken
- covering or helping support a tooth that has a large filling so there isn’t much natural tooth left
- holding a dental bridge in place
- covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
- or for cosmetic reasons.
What Does Getting a Crown Take?
Getting a crown on a tooth typically requires two visits to the dentist. The first appointment is for examining and preparing the tooth, and the second is for placing the permanent crown. At the first visit the dentist may take X-rays to check on the tooth and its surrounding area. Next, the tooth will be filed down or built up to help the crown have a good fit and support. After reshaping the tooth, the dentist will make an impression of the tooth that will receive the crown. These impressions will also ensure that the crown won’t affect your bite.
What Do I Do While I Wait?
Impressions will then be sent to a dental lab where the crown will be made. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary crown to protect the tooth during the wait. Your dentist will also give you some pointers on being careful with the temporary crown, such as being careful to avoid chewy, sticky foods that can pull of the temporary crown. This can take two to three weeks. You can find more advice on this on our “After-Visit Instructions” Page.
What If My Temporary Crown Breaks?
If your temporary breaks during this time don’t worry! But do save the temporary and call the office as soon as possible to have it replaced. Generally no harm will be done to the tooth for a couple of days if the temporary is not in place, although the prepared tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold. Please do not leave the temporary out of your mouth for more than two or three days because the teeth will move and the final restoration may not fit—making this an even longer process for you!
Getting My Permanent Crown
Once the lab finishes making your crown you can come back to get it permanently placed. At this second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If it all looks good, the new crown will be permanently cemented into place. Then the dentists will check the bite, the fit, and how it feels. Congratulations! Your crown is now finished.
A dental crown will last anywhere between 5 and 15 years, but the life span of a crown really depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to. You should still practice good oral hygiene practices (such as brushing and flossing) and be careful to avoid things like grinding, clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging.
Still have questions about dental crowns, or think you may need one? Give us a call today!
SOURCES: American Dental Association. KidsHealth: “Keeping Your Children’s Teeth Healthy.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: “Fast Facts 2011.” Seale, N. Pediatric Dentistry, 2002. WebMD Medical Reference http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-crowns © 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.