dental crowns: what are they, do i need one and do they hurt?

mARCH 22nD, 2021

dental crowns

A dental crown or sometimes called a tooth crown is one of the most common dentistry appliances. Although it is common, there is a lot of misconception regarding crowns.

If you or your child needs a dental crown, this article will help you understand everything there is to know about dental crowns and how we fabricate them in Frisco at our Thrive Dental location.

WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN AND DO I NEED ONE?

A dental crown is a substance that covers your tooth and protects your nerves and blood vessels. You do not always need a root canal if you receive a crown. Yet, if the cavity is too large, you will likely need a root canal treatment.

Crowns or caps are made from various materials, but the most common is porcelain or ceramic. Gold crowns used to be very popular, but as patients became more esthetically driven, this option has faded away with time.

There are multiple reasons you may need a crown:

A large cavity that is too big for a regular filling

Trauma to the tooth.

Recurring cavity underneath an old filling

WHAT IS THE DENTAL CROWN PROCEDURE?

Receiving a crown is typically a painless procedure and will likely take two visits. The first visit consists of your dentist numbing the area and preparing your tooth for the crown.

The dentist will remove the old fillings, cavities, and decayed tooth structure to ensure only healthy tooth remains. They will then take an impression or scan of your mouth to send off to the dental lab.

At the end of your first visit, you will leave with a temporary crown that will last two to three weeks.

The procedure should not be excruciating, yet you will likely have some gum soreness later in the day due to the impression.

When the crown is returned from the dental lab, your dentist will check the fit and color of your crown before final cementation. If done correctly, your dental crown should look very similar to your adjacent teeth.

CAN I WHITEN MY DENTAL CROWN?

No, you cannot whiten your crown or dental veneer. Crowns are made from porcelain or similar material, which does not respond to whitening treatments.

For this reason, we recommend whitening your teeth before finalizing your crown shade. If you anticipate whitening your teeth, then do that roughly two weeks before choosing your crown’s whiteness.

CAN I GET A CAVITY IF I HAVE A DENTAL CROWN?

Unlike dental implants, crowns still have tooth structure underneath them. Bacteria and acids can move into tiny crevices around the crown and cause decay underneath your crown.

Once you have decay under a crown, you will likely need a root canal or possibly to extract that tooth.

HOW LONG WILL MY CROWN LAST?

Like anything in our bodies, the amount of time something lasts can vary greatly. The better your oral health, the more gentle your bite, and the more care you give to your crown, the longer it will last.

In general, crowns can last anywhere from fifteen to twenty years. Gold crowns may last even longer than porcelain crowns as they can be shaped better and are more biomimetic.

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If you do not have insurance, a dental crown will cost anywhere from $750 to $1500. The cost will depend on how degraded the tooth is and the need for any additional treatments on that tooth.

Many insurances will cover 70% or more of your overall cost. Check with your insurance company or come into our office as we will verify your insurance for you. We accept most PPO insurances at our offices but for an exact list, check here.

The temporary crowns are made of a material that will degrade over time. It is only a matter of time before the temporary will fracture into multiple pieces.

Not only are the temporaries not as strong as the permanent crowns, but the seal is less effective as well. Your dentist cements temporary crowns with a different material than permanent ones as they will need to remove them in a few weeks. The weaker bond means that bacteria can more easily get underneath the temporary crowns and cause further decay.

If you do not return for your permanent crown within a few weeks, the dentist will likely need to take a new impression and potentially further prepare your tooth for a new crown.

HOW MUCH DOES A DENTAL CROWN COST?

CAN I JUST WEAR MY TEMPORARY CROWN FOREVER?

It may seem like a significant investment but receiving a crown is worth it. If you have extensive decay and do not crown your tooth, it will eventually need a root canal, or the tooth may need to be extracted. Once extracted, you will need to replace that tooth with an implant or bridge, which is more expensive than a crown.

If you do not replace a missing tooth, your other teeth will shift into that space and cause further damage and expenses.

We always advocate for prevention before the need for significant treatment as this is less expensive, and healthy teeth should last a lifetime.

IS A DENTAL CROWN WORTH IT?

You may need a dental crown due to trauma, large cavities, or discolored teeth. You will likely spend around $1000 for a crown, but it will depend on insurance and the severity of the issue.

If treated properly and maintained well, your dental crown can last twenty years, making it an excellent investment.

To learn more about our offices or to schedule an appointment, click here.

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