We put our teeth through a lot, and sometimes they need a little extra support. Dental crowns can reinforce a tooth and improve its appearance. They can also be used to preserve prior restorations like fillings or root canals. When cared for properly, crowns can last up to 15 years or longer, providing your teeth with the help it needs to stay healthy for a lifetime.
Monarch Dental provides comprehensive dental services–including dental crowns–for everyone of any age. With flexible scheduling, multiple locations, and great financing options, Monarch Dental delivers the exceptional dental care you deserve.
Why would I need a dental crown?
When a tooth needs to be strengthened and reinforced, crowns can be an effective and affordable option. Though typically used for restorative purposes, they are occasionally used for cosmetic purposes as well.
A few instances where you might need or want a dental crown are:
- To Protect Weak Enamel. Occasionally, our enamel needs a bit of reinforcing to help prevent cracks, chips, decay or other damage. Even though enamel is strong and durable, weakened or eroded enamel is vulnerable to cavities. Placing a crown over a tooth with compromised enamel is a great way to prevent future issues.
- To Support A Filling. When enamel has decayed so much that it causes a cavity, your dentist will perform a filing. This treatment prevents infection but can leave the tooth weaker than it was before. Placing a crown on top of a filling prevents bacteria from decaying the tooth further while giving the structure of the tooth extra support.
- To Support A Root Canal. If a tooth and the pulp inside it become infected, you’ll need a root canal to remove the infection and preserve the tooth. Because the root canal procedure requires the dentist to drill a hole in the tooth to clean out the infection, the integrity of the tooth may be compromised, making the tooth weaker and more susceptible to cavities and decay. Again, adding the additional support of a crown increases the durability of the tooth and prevents reinfection.
- To Anchor A Dental Bridge. A dental bridge helps restore the function and appearance of a healthy smile when one or more natural teeth are missing. A bridge sits directly on top of the gum line and needs to be anchored to adjacent teeth. Placing a crown over the anchor teeth helps reinforce them so they can withstand the additional strain and pressure of the bridge.
- To Replace A Missing Tooth. Crowns are commonly used to complete a dental implant procedure. A dental implant is a screw that anchors into the jaw bone, essentially acting as the new roots. However, an implant needs something to cover the screw and restore the look and function of a healthy smile. In this case, the crown becomes the artificial tooth, replacing the natural one that fell out or had to be removed.
- To Improve Aesthetics. While crowns can be used strictly for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes, your insurance may not cover them, since they are not always considered essential or preventative. However, crowns are generally very affordable and can be well worth the expense if you want to correct a misshapen or discolored tooth and be more confident in your smile.
What happens when I get a dental crown?
Most people will need two appointments for a crown. The first is to prepare the tooth as needed and install a temporary crown. This appointment is often used to determine which type of crown will be the best fit for you, functionally and financially. At the second appointment, the permanent crown is installed.
Here’s what typically happens at the first appointment:
- You’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding tissues.
- You will bite down on a piece of carbon paper. This gives the dentist a picture to help determine where and how the crown needs to be placed to keep it from interfering with your bite.
- Your dentist will put a dental dam into your mouth to isolate the treatment area.
- The dentist will reshape the tooth to fit the temporary crown.
- Your dentist will then take an impression of the newly reshaped tooth. This impression will be sent to a lab to create a custom crown.
- A temporary crown will then be adhered to the tooth with dental cement to protect it while you wait for the permanent crown to come in.
Since temporary crowns are less durable than permanent crowns, there are a few things to keep in mind while you have the temporary crown. The following precautions can help protect both the temporary crown and the tooth, preventing any damage to the newly reshaped tooth:
- Avoid sticky foods such as candy, caramel or chewing gum.
- Chew on the opposite side of the mouth as much as possible.
- Flossing is essential for good oral care, especially with dental restorations like crowns, but you may have to make some adjustments to how you do it. Be sure to slide the floss around the crown rather than a lifting motion.
At the second appointment:
- You’ll again receive a local anesthetic.
- The temporary crown is removed.
- The permanent crown made of either metal, porcelain, or a combination of both–called a PFM–is permanently placed using a long-lasting and strong dental cement mixture.
What types of dental crowns are there?
Crowns are typically available in metal, porcelain, and porcelain fused to metal, or PFM.
- Metal crowns are durable, but not necessarily the strongest option available. They are, however, the most cost effective. These are a great option for patients on a budget as well as for crowns needed toward the back of the mouth, because they are more difficult to see.
- Porcelain crowns are the most naturally appearing option but also the most expensive. Porcelain is highly durable and the longest lasting.
- PFM Crowns, or Porcelain Fused to Metal, are essentially a metal crown with a thin layer of porcelain laying over the top. These offer the best of both worlds – slightly more cost effective and though a tiny bit of metal may show through, they have an overall natural appearance.
How do I care for my dental crown?
Once your permanent crown is in place, you can immediately return to your day to day functions. You may still be numb, so be mindful while eating.
You’ll care for your restored tooth just like all of your other natural teeth, so it’s important to maintain healthy dental hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day will not only preserve the crown but will protect teeth from harmful sugars and acids.
While you may experience some discomfort immediately after the procedure, your newly crowned tooth should not be painful. If you are experiencing extreme discomfort for longer than two weeks, severe pain, movement in the crown, or jagged edges on the crown, contact your dentist immediately.
How much does a dental crown cost?
Depending on the reason for the crown, most dental insurances will cover at least part–if not all –of the cost of a crown, but the cost will vary based on factors like the type of material used, the type of tooth it will be placed on, and the extent of the preparation the dentist had to do to reshape the tooth.
At Monarch Dental, we don’t believe cost should be a reason for putting off necessary dental care. In addition to accepting a long list of insurances, as well as CareCredit, we also offer a variety of financing options and our own OneSmile Dental Plan to help you afford the services you need.
Affordable Dental Crowns at Monarch Dental
Dental crowns are just one of the comprehensive dental services offered at Monarch Dental. From cleanings and fillings to crowns and fluoride treatments, we provide all of the restorative, preventative, and cosmetic treatments you and your family need for a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Visit one of our many convenient locations or contact us online to schedule an appointment. It’s time for the smile you’ve always wanted, and Monarch Dental is ready to help!