If you’re lacking the confidence to show off your smile, then crowns are an excellent option to revitalize your smile and give you back the confidence that you’ve been missing out on. Dental crowns can be recommended in a range of situations, from use for covering damaged teeth to correcting undesirable coloring or misshapen teeth. There is a selection of materials to choose from and multiple different styles – so you’ll always get the most natural finish possible.
If you’ve never considered a dental crown before or are unsure how the procedure will be able to benefit you, then it can help to familiarize yourself with just what dental crowns have to offer you and your smile.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a cap that fits over an existing tooth or part of a tooth. You might think of it like siding on a house: the house itself is made of wood and while you could have a wood house, the elements might wear it down pretty quickly. To save the structure of the house and keep the insides safe, we put siding on the house. The siding looks nice and maintains the shape and size of the house so it still looks like a house. It also protects what’s underneath. That’s essentially what a crown does.
What Does a Dental Crown Do?Dental crowns involved a special procedure where an existing tooth is capped with a crown made from the patient’s chosen material. The crown then acts as a casing, helping to restore the strength, size, and shape of the tooth – overall improving the look of the tooth. Crowns are normally fitted so that the entirety of the tooth is covered. The tooth-shaped crown then provides an entirely new appearance to the tooth, and the surrounding teeth. When the procedure is performed by a professional, you’ll achieve a beautiful natural look, and quickly be able to regain lost confidence in your smile.
Who might need a dental crown?
There are a number of different situations in which Dr. Sheehan may decide that you need a crown on one or more of your teeth. Here are some of those situations:
- If you have a tooth that is damaged, either from decay or maybe it is cracked or broken, a crown can be placed on the tooth to protect the tooth and enable you to chew normally.
- If you have a large area of filling on a tooth and there isn’t much tooth left, Dr. Sheehan may recommend putting a crown on the tooth to keep it strong.
- If you need a dental bridge, it can be secured by placing crowns on adjacent teeth.
- If you need a dental implant, a crown will likely be put in place to cover the implant.
- If you do not like the shape or color of your teeth, crowns may be something you want to consider.
Although most crowns are placed in the mouth’s of adults, in some cases, children may need crowns as well. For instance, if a child has severely decayed primary (baby) teeth, crowns may be in order.
When Are Dental Crowns Required?Both adults and children can have crowns fitted at Sheehan Dental, but commonly, the procedure is undertaken by adults. Dental crowns will be recommended by the experts at Sheehan Dental in Chicago in a number of circumstances. Every patient is different, but commonly, one or more crowns will be recommended in these situations:
- If there is very little of the original tooth remaining and you’ve required a significant amount of filling to be used. A crown will then be used to help keep the remaining tooth strong.
- If a dental implant is required, crowns can be used to cover and protect the implant.
- If the color and shape of your teeth is not what you desire, a dental crown can be used to refresh your smile and restore your confidence.
- If one or more of your teeth have been cracked, broken, or damaged due to decay, then a crown can help you to regain your normal chewing ability and provide protection for the damaged tooth.
- If you require a dental bridge then crowns can be used to secure the two adjacent teeth.
- In special situations, like in the event of the bad decay of baby teeth, crowns will be recommended for children.
How Is a Dental Crown Fitted?Like many dental procedures, it takes two appointments for a crown to be fitted. The first appointment is to prepare your mouth and the site where the crown will need to go, and the second appointment is to fit the crown.
Crowns are actually used in a variety of different dental situations, can be made of many different materials, and even come in a few different types and styles so there’s a lot to know about dental crowns! First, the basics:
What Do Dental Crowns Look Like?You have a wide selection of materials and styles to choose from when you have a crown fitted – allowing the dental crown to perfectly fit the shape of your teeth and match the color of your existing teeth. Crowns are very unique and there are a number of reasons why your crown may look different to another person’s, including:
- The reason you need the crown fitted
- The look that you want to achieve
- The budget that you have
- The material that you choose
Dental crowns come in a wide variety of materials and colors so, depending on your budget, the look you desire, and, in some cases, the reason you need a crown, your crown might look vastly different from someone else’s crown. There are a number of materials that are well-suited to creating attractive and functional dental crowns, these include: metal, resin, and porcelain.
Metal CrownsStainless-steel isn’t the only metal that is used for crowns; there are other metals that can be used for long-term crowns. These are commonly chosen for their durability – they don’t wear down quickly when they’re used to cap molars. While the durable material doesn’t provide a natural look, it’s difficult to see the crown when it’s being fitted to molars. There are multiple metals to choose from, including:
- Chromium Alloy
- Gold Alloy
- Nickel Alloy
- Resin Crowns
Porcelain CrownsIf you are most concerned about matching the color of your crown to your other teeth, you may want an all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown because porcelain can be shaded to match your teeth. Porcelain crowns are the best option for a crown that closely matches the color of your existing teeth. There are two main types of porcelain crown: porcelain that has been fused to metal and all-porcelain. There are a few drawbacks to these types of crowns, though. Porcelain is fairly delicate and can chip, unlike metal crowns. Also, porcelain tends to wear down adjacent teeth more than metal or resin crowns. If you are allergic to metal, you’ll want an all-porcelain crown. If you think you might need a crown or if you have another question about your dental health, we’re here to help. Give us a call and schedule an appointment today.
Stainless Steel Dental CrownsYour temporary crown will almost always be made of stainless steel. These crowns are prefabricated (meaning, they are not made to fit your particular tooth) and are simply there to protect the remainder of your tooth while your permanent crown is created. When children need crowns to cover baby teeth, dentists usually choose stainless steel crowns because they are inexpensive. When the baby tooth eventually falls out, the crown goes with it. This is also good for kids because it means it only takes one appointment, rather than the typical two appointments.
All Resin Dental CrownsAll-resin crowns are the cheapest variety of crowns, but they are hardly ever used for anything other than a temporary crown. This is because they wear down easily and fracture more easily than even porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns do.
How long does it take to get a crown?
The process of getting a crown takes two visits: one to prepare the site receiving the crown, and one to put the crown on.
During the first visit, Dr. Sheehan will shape your tooth to be able to fit the crown over it. In most cases, this means filing the tooth down. But in cases where the tooth is broken or has suffered serious decay, it may mean building the tooth up with the same material that is used to fill teeth after drilling for cavities. After shaping the tooth, Dr. Sheehan will take an imprint of it. This imprint is sent to a company that makes crowns, so your crown will be designed to specifically fit your tooth. Finally, Dr. Sheehan will place a temporary crown over your tooth.
All of this is done under local anesthetic, so you shouldn’t feel any pain. If you experience discomfort after the local anesthetic wears off, over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen will usually be enough to soothe your tooth.
About two to three weeks later, when your crown is ready and has arrived at our office, you will have your second appointment. After Dr. Sheehan has checked to make sure the color and fit of your crown are correct, he will again give you a local anesthetic. Once you are numb, Dr. Sheehan will permanently cement your crown into place. Again, after the procedure, when the anesthetic wears off, over the counter pain medication is usually all a patient needs.
So, the entire process can take two to three weeks, but only requires two separate appointments.
First Visit to Sheehan DentalWhen you first arrive at Sheehan Dental in Chicago, Dr. Sheehan will assess the condition of your existing tooth and see what needs to be done for the crown to fit perfectly and be of the most benefit. During your appointment, you may require different types of dental work doing, including:
- Your tooth may need to be re-shaped for the crown to perfectly fit. This can involve filing the tooth so that it’s smaller or building the tooth up (using the material used when filling cavities) if your tooth is badly decayed or broken.
- You’ll have an imprint taken of your tooth which will be sent off so that your crown can be tailor-made.
- A temporary crown will be fitted to cap your tooth.