If you have a tooth that is severely decayed, weakened or broken, a dental crown may be recommended. Before you undergo any type of dental procedure, it is important that you understand what to expect. Here are some frequently asked questions surrounding dental crowns:
- What is a crown?
- A crown is a dental restoration that covers, or “caps,” the entire visible tooth above the gum line. It is designed to restore and strengthen a tooth to its original shape, size and integrity. In many cases, a crown will improve the appearance of a tooth as well, as it can instantly cover badly shaped or discolored teeth. If a tooth is too damaged to support a large filling or dental bridge, a crown will be recommended.
- How long will it take to get my crown?
- Our office proudly uses advanced CEREC® CAD/CAM technology, which means we can restore the natural strength and beauty of your tooth in a single office visit. First, we will take a picture of your tooth and then convert it to a 3-D virtual model. This virtual model is then used to create a custom crown that can be immediately placed on your tooth. Thanks to our CEREC® technology, all these steps can be completed in the same appointment.
- Will it look natural?
- Absolutely! The primary goal is to create a crown that restores the form and function of your tooth, but also one that mimics the appearance of your natural teeth. Today’s dental technology combined with a talented cosmetic dentist can provide a dental crown that looks natural in color, shape, bite and length.
- What is the difference between a crown and veneer?
- Crowns require more tooth structure removal and cover more tooth area than a veneer. Crowns are the treatment of choice for teeth that have lost healthy structure, either due to decay, disease or injury. Veneers, on the other hand, are considered more cosmetic in nature. They are only bonded to the front surface of the teeth, as opposed to “capping” the entire visible portion of the tooth like a dental crown does. Unlike veneers, crowns may be used as a dental implant restorations for patients with missing teeth.
- How long do crowns last?
- Crowns should last about five to eight years. However, with diligent oral hygiene and regular dental visits, your crown can last much longer. Habits such as teeth grinding, chomping ice or nail biting may reduce the longevity of your crown.
- How should I take care of my crown?
- Your dental crown is meant to withstand normal biting and chewing pressures. Therefore, it can fracture or loosen if not properly cared for. Besides visiting your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is a key step to maintain a healthy crown. Plaque between the crown and the gum line can cause dental decay and gum disease if not cleaned effectively.
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we want our patients to be well-informed and comfortable with their treatment plan. If you need a crown and have further questions, we are always happy to answer them.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,