Has a dental professional recently told you that you need a tooth crown (also called a dental crown)? If so, then you might be wondering what a dental crown is, what to expect from the procedure, and how to care for your crown after placement. Fortunately, the team at Lakewood Dental Group is here to put all of your restorative dentistry fears to rest.
If you need to schedule an appointment for a tooth crown, then don’t wait. Request an appointment online, or call our Dallas, TX, dental office at (214) 827-1885 now. The sooner Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel can protect a damaged tooth, the more comfortable and healthy your mouth will be.
In the meantime, let our team address your questions and concerns about tooth crowns. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the process so that you can feel confident about the procedure from start to finish.
What is a tooth crown?
For many patients, fixing a tooth that has been damaged by trauma or decay requires a simple dental filling. Other patients, however, have extensive dental damage that cannot be fixed with composite resin or metal dental fillings. In these cases, patients must completely protect a damaged tooth with a tooth crown.
A dental crown is a tooth-colored cap that resembles the shape and function of a natural tooth. Our dental team can place this restorative device directly over an affected tooth, which offers unparalleled protection and support.
Not only do dental crowns protect and reinforce a damaged tooth, but they also improve the appearance of imperfect teeth. This means that a dental crown allows patients to enhance their smiles while also improving their oral health.
Why do I need a dental crown?
If you need a dental crown, then it’s likely that one of your natural teeth has been significantly damaged. However, there are several reasons why you might need a restorative tooth crown, including:
- Decay: Dental decay (also called cavities) wears away at tooth enamel and dentin. If left untreated, a cavity will burrow deeper into the tooth, eventually causing an infection in the sensitive, nerve-dense pulp inside teeth. If dental decay has progressed further than dental fillings can penetrate, then a tooth crown can stop a cavity from progressing further.
- Cracked or broken teeth: Teeth can crack or break due to trauma or stress. While a tiny dental crack may not seem like a big deal, it can lead to devastating consequences. For example, harmful bacteria can get inside a cracked or broken tooth, which can lead to painful infections that only a root canal can fix. A dental crown covers and protects damaged teeth, limiting the likelihood of infections, pain, and invasive treatments.
- Worn teeth: Our teeth sustain quite a bit of wear-and-tear over our lifetimes. So, it’s not uncommon for patients with severely worn teeth to need protective restorations. A tooth crown covers teeth with thinning enamel or low structural integrity so that patients can continue to eat, smile, and speak comfortably.
- Discolored or misshapen teeth: In some rare cases, whitening treatments and orthodontia are not enough to improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. Dental crowns can help patients get their dream smiles by covering slight color and shape irregularities in their teeth.
- Smile restoration: A tooth crown is a versatile restorative device that can fit on top of dental implants or secure a dental bridge in place. Our team also uses dental crowns to cover and restore teeth following root canal therapy.
What materials do dentists use to make a tooth crown?
Traditionally, dental professionals crafted tooth crowns from metal. While some dentists still use metal crowns, they are usually reserved for the little-seen back teeth (like molars). Today, however, dental professionals use more modern materials to craft dental crowns, such as:
- Resin: Dental professionals can craft inexpensive tooth restorations using a composite material known as resin. These dental crowns are particularly cost-effective, but they tend to wear down faster than other materials.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal: Dentists can cover traditional metal crowns with tooth-colored porcelain to protect damaged teeth. While these dental crowns are extremely effective, they do not look as natural as other tooth crown options.
- Porcelain: Dentists can create strong porcelain tooth crowns using durable dental-grade ceramic that looks and acts exactly like a patient’s natural teeth. This means that they are stronger than resin crowns but more aesthetically pleasing than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
At Lakewood Dental Group, Dr. Patel and Dr. Sigurdson exclusively offer porcelain dental crowns, which look, feel, and function better than other options.
What is the dental crown process like?
First, an initial appointment with our Dallas dentists will help us determine if a tooth crown is right for you. Typically, a thorough dental exam and x-rays will tell us the extent of the dental damage and which course of action to take.
If we believe that a tooth crown is necessary, then we will begin the process by shaping and preparing the affected tooth. This will require local anesthesia to mitigate any pain.
Next, Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel will take digital oral impressions of your mouth after the affected tooth is adequately prepared. Then, we send these digital impressions to a trusted dental laboratory to craft your distinct dental crown. While the dental lab is creating your restoration, we will protect the affected tooth with a temporary crown.
Once the dental lab completes your unique tooth crown, you will come back for a second appointment to permanently place the crown. Our team uses high-quality dental cement to keep the dental crown firmly in place. After the dental cement is adequately cured, you are free to continue eating, speaking, and smiling as you normally would!
How do I care for a dental crown?
Porcelain dental crowns are resistant to stains and decay-causing bacteria, but they still require minor maintenance. Patients with dental crowns should continue to brush after every meal (or at least twice daily). Additionally, patients should still floss every day and schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months.
With the proper care, a tooth crown can last for several decades. In fact, a 2018 study found that many porcelain dental crowns can last up to 50 years with the proper care and maintenance.
Ask us if a tooth crown is right for you!
If you have dental damage due to trauma or decay, then you need to contact the team at Lakewood Dental Group immediately. We can help you protect and reinforce damaged teeth with high-quality, porcelain dental crowns.
Request your dental crown appointment by messaging us online or by calling our Dallas dental office at (214) 827-1885.