Dental Crown: Everything You Need To Know

By GB Dentistry

Whether due to decay, damage, or cosmetic reasons, dental crowns play a vital role in restoring the functionality and appearance of your teeth. Situated in Memorial, Houston, GB Dentistry prides itself on providing expert dental solutions to meet the specific needs of each patient.

This blog will walk you through everything you need to know about dental crowns, from their purpose and types to the procedure of getting one.

What exactly is a dental crown?

A dental crown, often simply called a “crown,” is a custom-made cap placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. When a tooth is cracked, decayed, or damaged, a crown can be fitted to cover the tooth, encasing it entirely right down to the gumline.

Think of a dental crown much like a helmet for a damaged or weakened tooth. Just as a helmet protects the head from injuries, a dental crown shields your tooth from further decay and restores its strength, which is crucial for maintaining overall dental health. It’s tailored to fit snugly over the top of your existing tooth, blending seamlessly with your other teeth to create a beautiful, natural smile.

When and who needs a dental crown?

Dental crowns are not just for restoring the appearance of your smile; they serve crucial functional roles in dental healthcare. Understanding when and who needs a dental crown can help you determine if it’s the right solution for you.

When is a dental crown needed?

Dr. Bharwani recommends dental crowns in several scenarios, including:

  • To protect weak teeth: Teeth that are weakened by decay or damage can be fortified with crowns.
  • To restore broken teeth: Crowns provide a means to restore functionality and aesthetics to teeth that are chipped or broken.
  • To enhance cosmetic appearance: For teeth that are severely discolored or misshapen, crowns offer a cosmetic solution.
  • After root canal therapy: Teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment are often capped with crowns to protect the delicate work and to strengthen the tooth.
  • To anchor bridges: Crowns are used as anchor points on adjacent teeth to support dental bridges.
  • To cap implants: After dental implant surgery, crowns are used to complete the procedure by serving as the visible part of the tooth.

Who needs a dental crown?

Anyone experiencing the following dental issues may consider getting a dental crown:

  • Individuals with damaged teeth: If you have teeth that are cracked, worn down, or otherwise damaged, crowns can restore their strength and prevent further damage.
  • Those with severe tooth decay: When a tooth has decayed to the point that fillings are no longer viable, a crown becomes necessary to preserve the tooth’s integrity.
  • Patients with cosmetic concerns: For those looking to enhance their smile due to misshapen or severely stained teeth, crowns offer a durable cosmetic solution.
  • Patients undergoing a dental bridge or implant placement: Crowns are integral to the success of these procedures, providing the necessary structural support and aesthetic continuity.

At GB Dentistry, Dr. Bharwani and his team of expert dentists specialize in determining the precise dental treatments needed to address these concerns. At GB Dentistry, you are entrusting your smile to a team that prioritizes your dental health and aesthetic satisfaction.

Procedures for getting a dental crown

Getting a dental crown typically involves a multi-step process that ensures your new crown is perfectly created to your tooth’s shape, size, and function. At GB Dentistry in Memorial, Dr. Bharwani and his team are committed to providing a smooth and comfortable experience, using advanced techniques to enhance the efficacy and durability of your dental crowns. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the procedures for getting a dental crown:

Initial consultation and evaluation

  • Dental exam: Dr. Bharwani will first examine the tooth in question, possibly using X-rays to assess the roots of the tooth and surrounding bone. This helps determine if additional dental work, such as a root canal, is needed before placing the crown.
  • Discussion of options: Depending on the health of your tooth and your cosmetic preferences, you’ll discuss the different types of crowns and what might be best for your situation.

Tooth preparation

  • Anesthetizing the tooth: To ensure the least discomfort, the tooth and surrounding gum area are numbed with a local anesthetic.
  • Reshaping the tooth: The tooth is reshaped along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown itself. This involves removing a portion of the tooth so the crown can fit securely.
  • Impression taking: Once the tooth is reshaped, an impression of the tooth (and surrounding teeth) is taken. This can be done with traditional dental putty or digitally. These impressions are crucial for crafting your crown to ensure it fits seamlessly with your bite.

Temporary crown placement

  • Fitting the temporary crown: While your custom crown is being made in the dental lab, a temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth and maintain the aesthetic of your smile. This crown is usually made of acrylic and is not as durable as the permanent crown.

Permanent crown fabrication

  • Lab work: The impressions of your tooth are sent to a dental lab where your crown is made. This process can take a few weeks, during which the dental lab fabricates the crown to match the color and shape of your natural teeth.

Final crown placement

  • Removing the temporary crown: During your follow-up visit, the temporary crown is removed.
  • Fitting of the permanent crown: Dr. Bharwani will then place the permanent crown, checking the fit and color, and making any necessary adjustments.
  • Cementing the crown: Once everything is satisfactory, the crown is fixed into place, fully encasing the tooth above the gum line.

Things to take care of after getting a dental crown

Once you have received your dental crown, it’s crucial to follow proper care guidelines to ensure its longevity and maintain your oral health. At GB Dentistry in Memorial, Dr. Bharwani and his team emphasize the importance of effective post-procedure care. Here are several key considerations to keep in mind after getting a dental crown:

Immediate aftercare

  • Sensitivity management: It is common to experience some sensitivity to temperature and pressure after your crown placement. Use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth if this occurs and avoid very hot or cold foods for a few days.
  • Eating habits: Directly after the procedure, until the anesthesia wears off, avoid eating chewy, hard, or sticky foods that can dislodge or damage the new crown. It’s best to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.

Long-term care

  • Oral hygiene: Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily, being careful around the crown to prevent dislodging it. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help maintain clean and healthy gums.
  • Avoid hard foods: While dental crowns are designed to be durable, they are not indestructible. Avoid chewing on hard objects like ice, hard candies, and unpopped popcorn kernels, which can crack the crown.
  • Wear protection: If you grind your teeth at night, consider asking Dr. Bharwani for a night guard to protect your crown and surrounding teeth from excessive wear.

Regular dental checkups

  • Routine visits: Regular checkups are vital to the longevity of your dental crown. During these visits, Dr. Bharwani can examine the integrity of the crown, ensuring that it remains well-seated and free from potential decay underneath or around it.

Signs to watch for

  • Loosening or damage: If you feel your crown is loose or notice any cracking, contact GB Dentistry immediately. A loose crown can allow bacteria to infiltrate and cause decay to the remaining part of the tooth.
  • Pain or discomfort: Any persistent pain or discomfort around the crown area should be addressed promptly to ensure there isn’t an underlying issue that may require immediate care.

Maintaining aesthetics

  • Stain avoidance: Crowns made from porcelain can stain similarly to natural teeth. Avoid or limit consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to keep your crown looking bright and clean.

By adhering to these care guidelines, you can extend the life of your dental crown and enjoy a healthy, functional smile for a long time.

Benefits and drawbacks of a dental crown

Dental crowns are a significant investment in your oral health and aesthetics, offering numerous advantages along with some potential drawbacks. At GB Dentistry in Memorial, Dr. Bharwani ensures that all patients are fully informed about what to expect from their dental crown treatment. Here’s a detailed look at the benefits and drawbacks of choosing a dental crown:

Benefits of dental crowns

  • Restoration of functionality: Crowns restore functionality to damaged or decayed teeth, allowing for normal eating and speaking.
  • Protection: Crowns provide a strong, protective cover, shielding the underlying tooth from further decay, erosion, and damage.
  • Aesthetic enhancement: With materials that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, crowns improve the appearance of your smile by covering discolored, cracked, or misshapen teeth.
  • Durability: Made from robust materials like porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloys, dental crowns are durable and can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, or even longer with proper care.
  • Customizable: Crowns are tailored to fit the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, ensuring they blend seamlessly into your smile.

Drawbacks of dental crowns

  • Initial sensitivity: Post-procedure sensitivity to temperature and pressure is common but usually temporary.
  • Risk of damage: While strong, crowns are not indestructible. Hard foods and impact can crack them, and poor dental hygiene can lead to decay under the crown.
  • Cost: Depending on the material and complexity of the placement, crowns can be a significant financial investment.
  • Irreversible procedure: Preparing a tooth for a crown involves permanently removing a portion of the tooth’s original structure, which cannot be reversed.
  • Potential for complications: Though rare, complications such as improper fit or allergic reactions to crown materials can occur.

It’s important to weigh these pros and cons carefully with Dr. Bharwani during your consultation at GB Dentistry. Understanding both the benefits and the potential downsides can help you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your oral health goals and lifestyle needs.

Let Dr. Bharwani help

Choosing to get a dental crown is an important decision that impacts not just your oral health but also your overall confidence in your smile. If you are considering a dental crown or need expert guidance in making the best decision for your dental needs, Dr. Bharwani is here to help. At GB Dentistry in Memorial, we understand the significance of personalized, informed dental care.

Why choose Dr. Bharwani for your dental crowns?

  • Tailored solutions: Dr. Bharwani takes the time to understand your specific dental situation and recommends solutions that are tailored to your individual needs.
  • Advanced technology: Utilizing modern dental technology, Dr. Bharwani ensures that every crown is crafted and placed with precision, providing a fit that is comfortable and natural-looking.
  • Comprehensive care: From your initial consultation through to the final placement of your crown and beyond, Dr. Bharwani ensures comprehensive follow-up to maintain the health and aesthetics of your dental work.
  • Comfort and confidence: The team at GB Dentistry prioritizes your comfort and confidence throughout the entire process. We strive to make your visits as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

If you are looking for a trusted dentist in Memorial to get a dental crown, Dr. Bharwani at GB Dentistry is the right choice. Request an appointment and take the first step towards a healthier, more beautiful smile.

Frequently asked questions

When considering a dental crown, patients often have questions about the process, the types of crowns available, and what to expect from the treatment. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions at GB Dentistry in Memorial, answered by Dr. Bharwani to help you better understand dental crowns and their benefits.

What is the lifespan of a dental crown?

The lifespan of a dental crown typically ranges from 5 to 15 years, but it can last much longer with proper care. Factors that influence the longevity of a crown include the material used, the crown’s placement in the mouth, and your oral hygiene habits.

Are dental crowns noticeable?

Modern dental crowns are designed to look like your natural teeth. Dr. Bharwani ensures that the color, shape, and size of the crown match your surrounding teeth, making it virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Will the procedure for getting a dental crown be painful?

Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the crown procedure. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area around the tooth, ensuring that you feel no pain during the reshaping and placement process.

Can a dental crown improve the appearance of my teeth?

Absolutely. In addition to restoring the function of damaged or decayed teeth, dental crowns are frequently used for cosmetic improvements, such as enhancing the shape, alignment, and color of teeth.

What should I do if my crown becomes loose or falls out?

Contact GB Dentistry immediately if your crown loosens or falls out. It’s important not to delay this as it can affect your bite and cause other teeth to move. GB Dentistry will provide you with instructions on how to care for your tooth and crown until you can be seen in our office.

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