Dental Crowns

If you have a damaged or broken tooth, there are a number of ways to repair it, depending on the type of damage or breakage. Your dentist will recommend a procedure that will address the problem so you can restore your tooth and your smile. One common procedure to repair a damaged tooth is a dental crown. Not only does a dental crown restore the strength of your tooth, but it restores the look of the tooth, as well.

What are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is a manufactured “cap” that is placed over a damaged tooth to restore the natural shape and size of the tooth. It may also be used to hold a cracked tooth together and prevent further damage to it. The crown strengthens the tooth so you can eat normally. In addition, it restores the overall look of your tooth to restore your smile. Crowns are to repair the tooth above the gum line. When the crown is in place, it completely encases the damaged tooth and only the crown is visible.

Different materials are available for dental crowns. These include:

  • stainless steel
  • metal alloys
  • porcelain fused to metal
  • resin
  • ceramic or porcelain (with no metal)

The type of material used depends on the tooth being repaired as well as whether it is a temporary or permanent crown.

The Purpose of Dental Crowns

There are a number of reasons your dentist may recommend a dental crown, including:

  • to protect a weak tooth from damage (or further damage) or breakage
  • to hold a cracked tooth together to prevent further damage
  • to restore a tooth that has already broken
  • to restore a tooth that has been worn down significantly
  • to support a tooth with a large filling when only a small amount of the tooth remains
  • to cover a tooth that is misshapen
  • to cover a tooth that is discolored
  • to hold a dental bridge in place
  • to cover a dental implant
  • to restore a tooth after a root canal procedure

In most cases, dental crowns are used on adult teeth. However, there are a few instances in which pediatric dental crowns may be recommended.

Getting Dental Crowns

Typically, getting a dental crown requires two visits to your dentist’s office. This is because permanent crowns are typically manufactured in dental laboratories. After your initial visit, you will need to return once the crown has been manufactured. However, we offer same-day crowns in many of our locations.

At the first visit, the dentist will examine the tooth and prepare it for the crown. After numbing the area around the tooth, the dentist will reshape the tooth so that it is prepared for the dental crown. If a large portion of the tooth is missing, the dentist may use a filling material to build the tooth back up, which will help strengthen the tooth and support the crown once it is in place. A temporary crown will be put in place to protect the tooth until your crown is ready. The dentist will make an impression of the tooth, which will be used to manufacture the crown and ensure that it fits properly. After this first visit, the dentist will send the impressions to the dental laboratory. It typically takes between two and three weeks to manufacture a crown. At the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be put in place.

Considerations for Dental Crowns

If you think you need a dental crown or your dentist has recommended one, here are a few things to think about:

If the damage or decay is deep into the tooth, you may need a root canal procedure prior to the crown being put in place. If the cement holding the crown in place washes out, the crown can become loose. This is uncomfortable and can allow bacteria under the crown, which can damage the tooth. Crowns can occasionally fall off. This can happen if the tooth underneath the crown further decays and loosens the cement holding the crown in place. Porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crowns are at risk of chipping, just as regular teeth can chip. If the chip is small, it can be easily repaired by your dentist. If the chip is more severe, the crown may need to be replaced.

If the damage or decay is deep into the tooth, you may need a root canal procedure prior to the crown being put in place. If the cement holding the crown in place washes out, the crown can become loose. This is uncomfortable and can allow bacteria under the crown, which can damage the tooth. Crowns can occasionally fall off. This can happen if the tooth underneath the crown further decays and loosens the cement holding the crown in place. Porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crowns are at risk of chipping, just as regular teeth can chip. If the chip is small, it can be easily repaired by your dentist. If the chip is more severe, the crown may need to be replaced.

If the damage or decay is deep into the tooth, you may need a root canal procedure prior to the crown being put in place. If the cement holding the crown in place washes out, the crown can become loose. This is uncomfortable and can allow bacteria under the crown, which can damage the tooth. Crowns can occasionally fall off. This can happen if the tooth underneath the crown further decays and loosens the cement holding the crown in place. Porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crowns are at risk of chipping, just as regular teeth can chip. If the chip is small, it can be easily repaired by your dentist. If the chip is more severe, the crown may need to be replaced.

Frequently Asked Dental Crown Questions

A. In a filling, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed and then filled in with the material to restore the tooth. In a crown, a cap is placed over the existing tooth instead of filling in the damage.

A. If the dental implants fail, your dentist will probably be able to remove them and try again. Your dentist will make a recommendation based on your unique situation.

A. No. Crowns may also be used for cracked teeth to prevent further damage and protect your tooth.

A. If the tooth has decay or damage deep into the tooth, you may need a root canal procedure before the dental crown can be put in place.

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Dentist in Charleston, Summerville, & Camden

Dentist in Charleston, Summerville, & Camden

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