Dental crowns are one of our most common and versatile treatments. These tooth-shaped prosthetics fit snugly over the visible part of a tooth to restore form and functionality. But when do you need a dental crown?
A dental crown is necessary for a variety of reasons, including to:
- Protect a weakened tooth and prevent it from breaking. Or to hold the tooth together if parts of it are cracked.
- Support and cover a tooth that has a large filling and little structure remaining.
- Cover teeth that are badly stained or misshapen.
- Restore an eroded or broken tooth
- Cover a tooth following root canal treatment.
- Hold a dental bridge in place.
- Cover a dental implant.
Types of dental crowns
Dental crowns come in a variety of guises which include:
- Porcelain fused to metal
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain
- Pressed ceramic
When you do need a dental crown, your dentist will discuss your best options based on dental needs, aesthetics, lifestyle, and budget.
What to expect during the dental crown procedure?
Traditional crowns typically require two or more dental visits, although in some cases, a dental crown can be made in the dental clinic and fitted the same day (more about that later).
The first visit
The first dental visit starts with an examination of the affected tooth. The dentist will take x-rays of the tooth and the bone around it. They may have to perform a root canal before the dental crown procedure if there is:
- Tooth decay
- Injury to the tooth’s pulp
- Risk of infection
(pulp is the soft tissue at the core of your teeth that contains a network of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue)
When you do need a dental crown, the dentist will file down the top and sides of the tooth receiving the crown to make room for it. How much tooth is shaven off depends on the type of dental crown you have. All-metal dental crowns are thinner than porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) or all-porcelain crowns and don’t need as much of the tooth removed. If too much of the tooth is missing due to injury or decay, the dentist will build up the tooth structure using a filling material that the crown can cover.
After reshaping the tooth, the next step is for the dentist to take an impression using dental putty. The dentist also takes impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth that is receiving the crown to ensure the bite is unaffected by the crown.
The dentist then sends the impression to the dental lab that will be making your bespoke dental crown. While you wait for your permanent crown, the dentist will fit you with a temporary crown to protect the tooth and prevent infection.
The second visit
At the second visit, your dentist will remove your temporary crown and replace it with a custom crown. The crown is then ‘dry tried’ to check for colour and fit. Finally, if all is well, the new crown is cemented in place.
Same-day dental crowns
Remember we mentioned earlier that some clinics offer same-day dental crowns? Welcome to Beyond Dental Care. We have invested in CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic) technology to make it easier and more convenient for patients needing dental crowns.
The dental crown procedure starts similarly to that of traditional crowns. First, our dentist removes any decay from the tooth and shapes it for a perfect fit inside the crown. Following these steps, the making of the crown takes a different direction.
In the same-day crown procedure, our dentist uses a hand-held wand or scanning device in your mouth to take digital images of the tooth. The CEREC software uses these images to create a 3D model of the tooth. The digital model is then delivered directly to the CEREC milling machine conveniently located in our clinic. Patients can watch while the machine creates their bespoke crown from a single block of porcelain. In less than 20 minutes, the crown is ready to be fitted and cemented in place by the dentist.
Patients benefit from a hassle-free dental crown procedure that takes up far less of their time than with traditional crowns.
How long do dental crowns last?
Patients can expect their crowns to last between 5 and 15 years. How long your crown lasts depends on the level of wear and tear it receives, how well you maintain oral hygiene, and any habits relating to your mouth, including:
- Biting your fingernails
- Chewing on hard food like ice
- Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
- Using your teeth to remove bottle tops or open packaging.
Hopefully, this article has answered the question of ‘when do you need a dental crown?’
If you suspect you may need dental crowns or you require a replacement crown, then why not schedule an appointment with the team at Beyond Dental Care. We utilise the latest technologies and techniques to deliver high-quality dentistry at all times.
Call Beyond Dental Care today on (07) 3067 9086 or use our online booking service.