Repair & Strengthen Your Teeth
A dental crown can offer a long-term solution to a missing, broken, or worn tooth or teeth. Crowns may also be used to improve the alignment of your teeth, also known as your “bite.” Unlike dentures, which are removable, crowns are cemented onto your existing teeth and can only be removed by your dentist. Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used by Advanced Dental Art’s dentists to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth.
Crowns are “caps” cemented onto an existing tooth which fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns are often preferable to silver amalgam fillings. Unlike fillings which apply metal directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns are essentially cosmetic restorations or “caps” which are cemented onto an existing tooth which is broken, worn, or has been destroyed by tooth decay. Crowns are strong and completely natural-looking. A damaged tooth or a tooth that is off-color, oddly shaped or out of alignment can be capped and strengthened with a crown. Crowns are also used to attach dental bridges, and crowns sit atop dental implants to provide natural shape and structure. Before a crown can be made, your tooth must be reduced in size so that the crown will fit properly. An impression of your mouth will then be taken to provide an exact mold for the crown. Your crown will be created just for you in a lab from your unique dental impression. This allows the dental lab technician to examine all aspects of your bite. A “temporary” crown will be placed while your permanent crown is being made.
What types of crowns are available?
Most crowns are made of porcelain or a ceramic material that is matched to the color of your natural teeth. They may also be made of gold and metal alloys which are stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for the back teeth or molars. Porcelain is sometimes bonded to a metal shell, making it both strong and attractive. Porcelain crowns are often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong. If porcelain is used, Dr. Martinez will determine the correct shade and match the crown to the color of your existing teeth.
How long do dental crowns last and how should I care for them?
Dental crowns should last from ten to twenty years, although they may last a lifetime if cared for properly. Crowns are still subject to fractures and cavities, so it is important to take extra care in brushing and flossing around them. The most important thing you can do to ensure that they last is to practice good oral hygiene. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing and flossing daily. Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings and avoid chewing on ice or other hard foods.
How much do dental crowns usually cost?
The cost of a dental crown can vary widely depending on the materials used, the extent of the problem with the existing tooth, and the expertise of the lab technician. You an expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $2,000 for a dental crown. Dental insurance will typically cover part of the expense.