If your tooth has lost its shape, size, or function, our team may recommend a dental crown be placed over the existing tooth. A crown, also known as a cap, helps to improve the shape of your tooth, increases its strength and durability, and returns its functionality. Crowns fully encase the visible portion of your tooth and are cemented into place, right above the gumline. Our team at Pacific Maxillofacial Center may recommend a crown for you if we feel your tooth needs added support and structure.
When Is a Dental Crown Needed?
Dental crowns are advised for people who have weak, unstable teeth. There are multiple situations in which a crown is undeniably a helpful and necessary dental procedure. If you have a tooth that is suffering from severe decay or a cavity that cannot be fixed by drilling it out and adding a filling, a dental crown is suggested. This is meant to prevent the tooth from breaking and protect it from bacteria that can eventually require a complete tooth extraction. Teeth that are cracking, broken, or completely worn down require a cap to return the tooth’s functionality and prevent any further damage. Crowns are also used to hold a dental bridge in place and as a covering for dental implants. Occasionally, crowns are used during a cosmetic procedure, rather than standard veneers, if the teeth are severely discolored, too small, or deformed.
What Are the Different Types of Crowns?
There are six crowns commonly used in dental procedures. Our job is to help narrow down your selection, using variables such as pricing and appearance, to find a dental crown that is best for your specific case. These types of crowns include stainless steel, metals, all-ceramic, all-porcelain, all-resin, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Each crown has its own pros and cons associated with it, which must all be used as variables when figuring out which one is ideal for your specific case.
What Is the Procedure for Getting a Dental Crown?
A crown is usually a two-step process, requiring at least two dental visits to complete the treatment. This is important to know beforehand, so you can plan your time accordingly and can go to your scheduled appointments as needed to finish the treatment. The wait time between each dentist visit is typically one to two weeks and will be discussed by our staff before beginning the procedure.
We begin your procedure by first making a mold of your tooth to provide the exact dimensions and shape closest to your original. We may need to digitally scan the tooth if you have severe damage to the tooth, where a molded impression may deteriorate the tooth even further. Your tooth is then shaved down on the top and sides so the crown can comfortably fit over it. If you suffered severe decay or damage, additional support may be built on the core of the tooth to support the crown.
A temporary crown is placed on top of the tooth while a permanent crown is made. You will have to be cautious while you have a temporary crown, as it is not considered a stable structure.
How to Take Care of Your Temporary Crown or Bridge
During the process of receiving a temporary crown you will probably have received some anesthesia. It is important to refrain from eating for at least two hours after receiving anesthesia, or until the effects have worn off. The purpose of the temporary is to protect the dentin (inner core) of the tooth from sensitivity and from bacteria within the mouth. Without enamel to protect the tooth it is very sensitive and extremely susceptible to decay. The temporary also acts as a placeholder for the tooth, preventing the movement of the surrounding teeth into the area that your new crown or bridge will be placed.
The temporary is placed using a cement that is not as effective as the cement we use on the final crowns and bridges. We recommend you avoid chewing gum or eating anything sticky that can loosen the crown or even make it completely fall out. You will also experience extreme sensitivity to both hot and cold, so you will need to be careful that most food and beverages you consume are close to room temperature, in order to avoid any painful sensations.
It is not necessary to change the way you brush to accommodate the temporary crown. When you floss with a temporary crown, try not to pull the floss up through the gap between your tooth and the temporary. Instead, bring the floss down into the gap between your tooth and the temporary. When you are finished, let go of one end of the floss and pull it through to the other side. Pulling up can potentially pull the temporary crown off the tooth. If at any point your temporary comes off there is no need to panic. Simply put the temporary back on your tooth and call our office at 808-585-8455
so we can re-apply the cement for you.
It is very common for your tooth to be sensitive to hot and cold following treatment. It is wise to avoid extreme hot or cold for a few days following the procedure. Further it is normal to experience some degree of minor discomfort following a crown or bridge procedure. Many times the discomfort will follow the anesthesia wearing off. If your gums or teeth are tender, you can rinse with warm salt water to help relieve the tenderness. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are fine to take as well.
Final Dental Crown or Bridge
Once your permanent crown is sculpted, you will come in for your second dental appointment, where it is fitted into your mouth. When both you and our staff are content with how it feels and looks in your mouth, the dental crown is cemented into place to secure it.
Once we set the final crown or bridge on your tooth it will likely take a few days for it to feel normal in your mouth. It will probably feel a bit tender but it should feel comfortable to bite with. If you find your teeth are not fitting together properly, please call us and come in for some minor adjustments. It is important that your bite feels natural and correct.
After getting your crown, the functionality of your teeth will return back to normal. It is important to practice good oral hygiene since the tooth underneath can still get cavities and your crowns are still able to break like your natural teeth. Our team will advise you on the best methods of aftercare.
If you think a dental crown may be necessary, Pacific Maxillofacial Center is composed of experienced staff members, dentists, and oral surgeons that can help guide you through the process. Contact us today at 808-585-8455
to schedule an appointment for your crown procedure.