A crown is essentially a cap placed on top of a damaged or weak tooth to offer additional protection and durability. Not only can a crown increase the appearance of a tooth, but it can also help reinforce teeth that have been affected by cavities, infected pulp, serious chips and even extractions.
As part of our comprehensive offering of complete dental care services, Bright Now! Dental provides restorative treatments like dental crowns. Crowns are a simple and affordable way to ensure your teeth have all the support they need to remain healthy or to preserve any other treatments that may have been required. And, with multiple locations and a wide array of payment, insurance, and financing options, getting dental crowns at Bright Now! Dental is both convenient and cost effective.
How are dental crowns used?
Crowns are a type of restorative treatment, sometimes used to simply improve the appearance of a tooth. However, crowns are most commonly used out of necessity to restore the strength, function, and integrity of a tooth, or even to replace one.
Some common reasons you may need a crown or cap to protect or preserve a tooth might include:
- Supporting a Root Canal – Crowns are occasionally used after Root Canal Treatment. When the dental pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, it needs to be removed. This is done by drilling a hole in the tooth and clearing out any soft tissue that has been affected. The hole, although filled in with other materials, can leave the tooth weakened and susceptible to decay or damage. A crown provides additional support, stability and protection for the treated tooth.
- Supporting a Cavity Filling – Decay caused by cavities also needs to be removed from a tooth and the hole sealed with a filling. Depending on the size of the hole drilled in the tooth and amount of decay that had to be removed, the tooth may require additional support. Again, a crown placed over the filling can protect the tooth from bacteria and improve its durability.
- Supporting Weak Enamel – Enamel is the hard, outer covering of a tooth and while it is incredibly strong, it’s also very vulnerable to damage and decay, especially from poor diet and dental hygiene. Teeth with weakened enamel are more prone to damage such as cracks, chips or decay. Adding a crown to a vulnerable tooth as a preventive measure can save you from not only discomfort in the future, but also more costly restorative treatments in the future.
- Improving Appearance – Occasionally, crowns can be applied to teeth that may need aesthetic improvement. Though these are not necessary and are not typically covered by insurance, crowns as a cosmetic treatment can mask discoloration or restore the shape of a chipped tooth for a more visually pleasing and confident smile.
- Serving as a Tooth Replacement – Lost teeth can be replaced with a dental implant. Implants are metal screws that are inserted into the jaw bone and covered with a crown. The implant serves as replacement tooth roots while the crown becomes the new tooth.
- Supporting a Dental Bridge – Unlike dental implants, which are implanted deep in the jawbone, a dental bridge sits atop the gums. A bridge must be anchored into the neighboring teeth, which adds strain and pressure. Applying a crown to the teeth adjacent to a bridge helps reinforce and strengthen them, providing better anchoring for the dental bridge.
What are the different types of dental crowns?
There are multiple types of crowns, so there are plenty of options for you and your dentist to decide which is best for your particular dental needs. Some crowns are made from metal, some from porcelain, and others using a combination of both.
- Metal Crowns. While metal crowns are the most cost effective option, they are not the preferred option because they do not blend in with the natural teeth. Many people do not like the look of metal in their mouth and will only select this option if it is being applied in the back of the mouth where it’s more difficult to see. Because metal is softer than porcelain, metal crowns cause less wear and tear on the neighboring teeth, but they may also need to be replaced on a more frequent basis.
- Porcelain Crowns. Porcelain crowns are more expensive, but they tend to last the longest and have a more visually pleasing appearance. They are the most natural looking choice because your dentist will be able to match the shade of the porcelain to the shade of the surrounding teeth, making it nearly undetectable. Porcelain crowns are highly durable and are a good option for people with metal allergies.
- PFM Crowns (Porcelain Fused to Metal). PFM crowns are made of metal with a thin layer of porcelain applied over the top. These crowns have the appearance of a natural tooth except at the very bottom where a small bit of metal may be visible, allowing for a more aesthetic appearance and extra durability. This is the best option for someone wanting a natural look within a budget.
What is the process of placing a dental crown?
Dental crown placement typically takes place over the course of two appointments.
During your first appointment, your dentist will begin by numbing the tooth and surrounding tissue with a local anesthetic.
Next, you will be asked to bite down a small piece of carbon paper. These impressions allow the dentist to see where the crown needs to be placed to avoid interfering with your bite.
Then, a dental dam will be placed in your mouth to keep the tooth separated and the rest of the mouth clean.
Once the site is fully prepped, the dentist will use a drill to reshape and file down certain areas of the tooth. Because your mouth is numb, you may feel some vibrations from this, but no pain. If for any reason you do feel pain, let your dentist know immediately.
The last step is to take an impression of the newly formed tooth. This impression is sent off to a lab where the permanent crown will be created. Then a temporary crown will be placed until the permanent one comes in.
A special plastic is used to form the temporary crown that you will wear until the follow up appointment and will require a little extra care.
To avoid damage when wearing a temporary crown, be sure to:
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Slide the floss around the crown rather than straight up and down during flossing.
- Use the opposite side of the mouth as much as possible when chewing food.
When you return for your second appointment, your permanent crown will be installed. Your mouth will once again be numbed, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent one put into place using dental cement.
Once the permanent crown is in place, you will care for the tooth just as you do your other teeth. Routine daily maintenance will preserve its quality and durability. Brush at least twice a day and floss regularly to prevent any decay or infection. You should also be sure to visit the dentists at Bright Now! Dental twice a year to check the overall health of your mouth and to monitor the condition of the crown.
If for any reason, you experience any of the following symptoms following your crown placement procedure, let your dentist know immediately.
- Pain in your tooth during chewing
- Pain in the mandible bones
- Wiggling or shifting of the crown
- Sharp or rough spots on the crown
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks lasting longer than two weeks after the appointment
How much do dental crowns cost?
Crowns can range in cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the material selected and the location and the condition of the tooth needing treatment. Keep in mind that metal or PFM crowns will be the most affordable options, while porcelain will be on the higher end.
Crowns are often a necessary dental treatment and are covered by most insurance companies. Even if they aren’t, you shouldn’t skip a crown because of inability to pay. At Bright Now! Dental we are proud to partner with multiple insurance providers, so chances are we accept yours. If you don’t have dental insurance, you can take advantage of our OneSmile Dental plan which provides discounts on all dental services. We also offer flexible financing solutions and accept CareCredit, all to help you afford the essential dental care you need.
Affordable Dental Crowns at Bright Now! Dental
Dental crowns can take your smile from disappointing to dazzling. If you have missing, damaged, or disproportionate teeth, or you just aren’t happy with your smile, schedule an appointment at Bright Now! Dental for a consultation to find out if dental crowns are right for you. With multiple locations, flexible hours, and plenty of payment options, improving your smile can be easy and affordable. Find the Bright Now! Dental location nearest you and start smiling brighter today!