The Ultimate Guide to Dental Crowns: Your Path to a Confident Smile

Are you experiencing a dental issue that makes you hesitant to flash your pearly whites? Dental crowns might be the solution you need to regain your confidence and oral health. In this comprehensive guide, we\’ll explore what dental crowns are, why you might need one, debunk common fears surrounding them, and uncover the critical differences between a great crown placement and a less-than-ideal one. By the time you finish reading, you\’ll understand why dental crowns are nothing to fear and everything to smile about.

What is a Dental Crown

Dental crowns, often referred to as caps, are custom-made covers designed to fit over damaged or weakened teeth. These crowns serve both practical and aesthetic purposes, strengthening your teeth and enhancing your smile. They are meticulously crafted to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, ensuring a seamless blend within your oral cavity.

Why You Might Need a Dental Crown

There are various situations in which dental crowns become a crucial part of your oral health journey:

  • To Restore a Damaged Tooth: Dental crowns provide much-needed reinforcement to teeth that have been damaged due to decay, accidents, or normal wear and tear. They act as a protective shield, preventing further deterioration.
  • Addressing Extensive Tooth Decay: In cases of severe tooth decay, a substantial part of the natural tooth may need to be removed. Dental crowns are employed to restore the tooth\’s structure and safeguard it from future damage.
  • Post-Root Canal Treatment: Following a root canal procedure, a crown is often placed to strengthen the treated tooth and reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Cosmetic Enhancements: Crowns can be utilized for cosmetic purposes, correcting misshapen or discolored teeth, which in turn enhances the aesthetics of your smile.
  • Support for Dental Bridges: Crowns serve as anchoring points for dental bridges, which are used to replace missing teeth by connecting them to adjacent healthy teeth.
  • Preserving Large Fillings: Teeth with large fillings can be vulnerable to breaking. Crowns protect these teeth, ensuring the longevity of the dental work.

Dental Crown or Dental Filling

Many patients ask us why they need a dental crown or why they can’t just get by with a filling. As long as there is enough tooth left to place a filling, the choice to get a crown is with the patient. We will offer you the necessary information and advice to help you make an informed decision. Crowns are necessary after a root canal treatment to protect the integrity of the tooth. Root-canaled teeth can become brittle and weak because the nerve is no longer viable, and there is no blood supply to that tooth.

Tooth-colored vs. Gold Crowns

Most dental crowns placed today perfectly match the color and texture of your natural teeth. There are different material types for different types of restorations, and we will recommend what we believe will serve you best. 

Some patients ask for gold crowns. The main advantage of gold crowns is their strength and durability. However, gold crowns are not as popular as they once were due to their distinctive color and not matching the aesthetics of the rest of your teeth. Also, beware of any potential metal allergies.

About Dental Crown Placement

If you\’re apprehensive about getting a dental crown, rest assured, there\’s no need to be afraid. Here\’s why:

  • Painless Procedure: The placement of a dental crown is typically painless. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area, ensuring you remain comfortable throughout the process.
  • Efficient Process: Getting a crown typically involves two visits to your dentist. The initial appointment is for tooth preparation and impressions, while the second visit is for crown placement, which is a quick and efficient process.
  • Natural Appearance: Modern dental crowns are designed to closely resemble your natural teeth. They are indistinguishable from the real thing, effectively restoring both function and aesthetics.
  • Long-Lasting: Dental crowns are renowned for their durability. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years, making them a dependable solution for various dental issues.
  • Protecting Your Oral Health: By addressing dental problems with crowns, you can prevent further deterioration, which may lead to more complex and costly procedures down the line.

Getting Crown Placement Done Right: Distinguishing Excellence from Mediocrity

Not all dental crowns are created equal – neither are the dentists that place them. The quality of crown placement is paramount for your oral health and overall satisfaction. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for, but you can help protect yourself from a bad crown by going in well-informed. Let\’s explore what sets great crown placement apart from subpar work.

Excellent Crown Placement

  • Precise Fit: An accurately fitted crown ensures a comfortable bite and proper function, seamlessly blending with your natural teeth. There should be no big gaps between the crown and your gums.
  • Quality Materials: Premium materials, such as porcelain or ceramic, are used for crowns to provide a natural appearance and long-term performance.
  • Masterful Craftsmanship: A skilled dentist and dental technician collaborate to design and create your crown, paying meticulous attention to details like color, shape, and size.
  • Optimal Bite Alignment: A well-placed crown should not interfere with your bite. It should enable you to chew and speak comfortably.
  • Minimal Tooth Reduction: The removal of as little natural tooth structure as possible is a sign of an excellent crown placement, ensuring the long-term health of your teeth.
  • Comfort and Aesthetics: A well-placed crown should be comfortable in your mouth and appear identical to your natural teeth.

Subpar Crown Placement

  • Ill-Fitting Crowns: Poorly fitted crowns can cause discomfort, pain, and difficulties with chewing.
  • Inferior Materials: Low-quality materials can result in an unnatural appearance and a shorter lifespan for the crown.
  • Lack of Attention to Detail: Neglecting the aesthetic aspects of the crown can lead to an unattractive smile.
  • Bite Issues: A misaligned crown can disrupt your bite, causing pain and jaw problems.
  • Excessive Tooth Reduction: Overly aggressive removal of natural tooth structure can weaken your tooth and reduce its lifespan.
  • Discomfort and Inconvenience: An improperly placed crown can lead to persistent discomfort, necessitating repairs or replacement.

What should I do if my crown falls out?

1. Recover & Rinse Your Crown

We can reattach the crown at our dental office as long as your crown and underlying tooth are  still in good shape. This can save you both time and money compared to having a new crown made. If your crown is dirty or covered in food, rinse it off gently with warm water. Then, put it into a plastic bag or container. Bring it with you so your dentist can reattach it.

2. Call Your Dentist — NOW

Schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist like Dr. Wheatley. Our number is 405-857-6453. A pulled-out crown is a dental emergency. The underlying tooth is weak and unprotected, and it may feel sensitive or painful. To avoid further complications, it’s important to get your crown reattached swiftly. 

3. Protect your tooth until your appointment

We try to schedule our dental emergency patients as soon as possible. In the meantime, the underlying tooth is likely to be tender or hurt, because it’s no longer being protected by the crown. You can take the following steps to protect it: You can buy temporary dental cement from the drugstore. This product lets you create a protective coating that will protect your tooth, but is easily removed by your dentist. Another option is dental wax, which you can also get at the drugstore. Just form a lump of wax around your tooth, and it will temporarily be protected. However, you should still avoid chewing on this side of your mouth until you see a dentist. You may take over the counter pain medication to help with the discomfort.

4. Get your crown fixed

Once you arrive at our office, we will examine your tooth, and Dr. Wheatley will evaluate if the existing crown can be reattached. In some cases, a new crown needs to be placed. Sometimes the reason your crown came off was because the underlying tooth was infected, cracked, or decayed, in which case Dr. Wheatley will have to evaluate how to treat the problem.

Crowns are worth their cost

Dental crowns are versatile and effective solutions for various dental issues. They restore your smile, safeguard your teeth, and boost your oral health. There is often some level of cost associated with dental crowns, even when insurance pays a portion. This cost leads some of our patients to wonder if they actually need to get crowns or if they can just get by without it. We always recommend what is best for your teeth, whether that is a crown, a filling, or a dental implant. That\’s why it is important that you understand why one may be needed. We hope this helped dispel some of your concerns and furthered your understanding of crown placement and that you feel well-prepared to make informed decisions about your oral health.

Don\’t hesitate to consult Dr. Wheatley, as a well-placed crown is your pathway to a confident and beaming smile for years to come. So, leave your fears behind and take control of your oral health. Your radiant smile awaits!