With a Crown or Bridge
We offer a variety of options for dental crowns. There are many reasons why you may need a dental crown, which Dr. Sislow will discuss with you
Frequently asked questions
What is a dental crown?
A crown (sometimes known as a ‘cap’) is a custom made dental prosthesis which covers the entirety of the tooth. It can be made from several different materials including gold, or tooth colored options, such as zirconia, Emax, and porcelain.
Why do I need a crown?
There are many reasons why we might suggest a crown. They may be suggested for either functional or esthetic reasons.
If a tooth has a very large cavity, a portion has fractured off, or if the tooth shows signs of cracks, a crown may be the best option to save the tooth. A crown acts like the metal bands on a barrel. The crown wraps around the whole tooth and helps keep it whole. This can help prevent cracks from getting bigger, maintain the remaining tooth structure, and help shield the tooth from biting pressure.
If you have a tooth which has had a root canal, a crown is often recommended. After a root canal, the tooth can be weaker, as quite a bit of tooth structure is removed in order to perform the root canal. To protect the tooth, a crown is recommended. In some instances, such as some front teeth, a crown is not
Some teeth can become highly discolored such that conservative options (such as whitening, composite fillings, or veneers) are not an option. A crown can help mask unwanted colors or non-esthetic features of teeth without the fear of chipping.
What are the steps to get a crown?
The first appointment we will discuss what kind of crown we recommend and discuss treatment and financial options. Next, we will take an initial mold of your tooth. This will help us when we make a temporary crown. After that we will make sure you are comfortable with numbing medication. We then use a drill to shave off a small amount of the tooth so that there is room to place the crown . Usually this is only ~2mm of tooth structure , but it may feel like more to your tongue!
We will then take a mold of the tooth after it has been prepared and fit you with a temporary crown. You then return for another appointment in ~2-3 weeks and we can cement your final crown.
What should I know about my temporary crown?
Your temporary crown is not made out of a very strong material, and we use a temporary cement to put it in – we want to make sure we can get it out! Because of this, you need to be careful with how you treat your
- Avoid sticky foods, no chewing gum
- Avoid hard/crunchy foods
- Continue to brush your teeth as normal
- When you floss, gently glide the floss between the contact of your teeth, hold one end of the floss, and then pull the floss out. Do not pop the floss back through the contact point as this can pull the temporary off.
If your temporary crown comes off, please contact our office. For temporary relief for some sensitivity, you can place a small amount of toothpaste into the temporary crown and place it back onto the tooth. If it easily falls out, please leave it out of the mouth and we will recement it for you.
What materials can my crown be made of?
We use a variety of materials in our office for you to choose from, including tooth colored materials. The following materials are currently available:
- Lithium Disilicate (Ceramic)
- Porcelain fused to Metal
- High Noble Gold
Different materials are indicated for different teeth. Ceramic materials (such as Emax and Lithium Disilcate) are extremely esthetic and great for front teeth, but not very strong. Materials like Zirconia and Gold aren’t as esthetic, but very strong and great for back teeth!
My final crown feels different from my old tooth!
We do our best to create the best crown for your tooth. Sometimes we are unable to make it look and feel exactly like your previous tooth. It may feel smoother or more rounded. Your tongue will soon adapt.
If you feel like you are having problems with your bite, please let us know. Your mouth is capable of noticing changes in your bite as small as 8 microns, that’s 0.008 millimeters! Small adjustments can make a big difference.
We also make sure you like the appearance of your crown before we do the final cement, so let us know if you would like any changes!
How long will my crown last?
Longevity of your crown will depend on many factors, including your hygiene habits, the material chosen for the crown, if you clench or grind your teeth, or if you have any medications which cause dry mouth. Some crowns last less than a year, while other crowns can last for several decades. On average, crowns tend to last ~5-7 years, however that is not a guarantee. We do our best to ensure that your crown lasts as long as possible.
How should I take care of my crown?
It is important that you brush and floss your teeth regularly. For the first two days after your crown is cemented, it is important to treat it like your temporary crown (see advice above). After that, you can treat it much like a normal tooth. Feel free to eat like normal. Still be careful of very sticky food items (such as taffy candy) as they have been known to pull off crowns!
Does every tooth that gets a crown need a root canal at some point?
This is a very common misconception. There are many reasons why a tooth may need a root canal. But not all teeth which get a crown will eventually need a root canal. Here are some reasons why you may need a root canal after a crown:
- Cavity formed under the crown
- Crack formed under crown
- Large cavity prior to crown, eventually causing the nerve to die
- Reaction to the cavity preparation
The good news is that many times we can perform a root canal through the crown and not replace it. Sometimes, however, it is the best option to replace the crown.