Crowns cover a tooth to restore the normal function and appearance of the tooth. Crowns may be made as all metal, porcelain fused to metal, or all-ceramic. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.
Indications for crowns:
– Broken or fractured teeth.
– Cosmetic enhancement.
– Decayed teeth.
– Fractured fillings.
– Large fillings.
– Tooth has a root canal.
What does getting a crown involve:
– Local anesthetic
– Prepare and shape the tooth to receive the crown
– Take a highly accurate impression of the prepared tooth
– Make and fit a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately 2 weeks while the final crown is being fabricated by the dental laboratory
– Remove the temporary crown
– Clean the tooth
– Try in the new crown and adjust to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
– Permanently cement the final crown
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I was told I needed a “core build-up” before my crown, what does that mean?
If the tooth has a large cavity, significant missing tooth structure or a fracture. The tooth may need to be “built-up” with a composite material before the crown can be made. This procedure is very similar to a filling.
Q: I received my crown a week ago but it is still sensitive.
Sensitivity is very common after receiving a crown. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. If the sensitivity continues for 2 weeks after the crown was delivered and its not getting better, give me a call so I can take a look. 200-400mg of ibuprofen (1-2 tabs) 3x/day can help sensitivity. Patients also report relief by placing Sensodyne toothpaste around the crown for 5-10 minutes.
Q: How long will it last!?
This is the most common question I hear. Its also a very difficult one to answer because I have seen patients with crowns that are 25 years old, and I have also had to replace crowns that are only a few years old. I can, however tell you what the research says. After looking at thousands of crowns over 25 years ~90% were still in place at 10 years and ~80% still in place at 20 years. Please realize that one of the best things you can do to ensure your crown will last, is excellent oral hygiene, and seeing your dentist every 6months for a cleaning and exam.
Q: What do I do if my temporary crown comes off?
If you’re in town, give me a call and I can re-cement it, If you’re out of town you can either see a dentist (any dentist but preferably a prosthodontist…) or you can go to the drug store and look for temporary crown cement, place less 1/2 of a pea size amount in the crown and push it to place, and bite down while it sets up. Please see me as soon as you get back from out of town.
Q: Do I have to avoid anything while wearing the temporary crown?
Sticky foods like taffy and bubblegum and very hard foods like nuts and carrots. Feel free to enjoy these foods on the other side of your mouth.
Q: Do I have to avoid anything when I have my final crown?
If you have any other questions at all, please email me.