When choosing a dental crown or other restorative procedures to fix a decayed or broken tooth, you should know exactly what you’re signing up for. Are there other procedures available that will restore my tooth? Is a dental crown the right dental treatment for me? These are some questions you might be asking yourself before going into our East El Paso dental office to restore a tooth. This blog post will answer these and other questions about dental crown treatment.
1. What is a Dental Crown?
Depending on the severity of the situation, there are a number of dental procedures that can address a damaged tooth. Here are some factors to consider and discuss with our dentist during your initial exam and consultation.
There are a few oral health situations where a dental crown can be used to restore damaged teeth. Sometimes, tooth decay can be addressed with a dental filling, but severely decayed teeth can sometimes be so bad that the filling may not properly provide enough support to the structure of the tooth. Leaving it vulnerable to breaking. In this situation, a crown will properly support and protect the tooth from damage in the future and also look more aesthetically pleasing.
So, crowns are useful for teeth that have been severely cracked, broken, or decayed. Crowns are used in other dental procedures, such as in capping a root canal or dental implant after treatment. Dental crowns can also be used in cosmetic dentistry to conceal discolored or misshapen teeth.
2. Is a Dental Crown My Best Option?
While dental crowns could be used for some restorative treatments, there can be other treatments that could be right for you. You might decide that a tooth filling or dental bonding is a better decision because of affordability. In these cases, it’s important to remember that a filling will not prevent you from needing a dental crown later on. If a substantial portion of your tooth needs to be filled, it will cost less to get the crown now because fillings do not give you the same kind of protection from future breaks the way a crown will.
3. What to Expect During a Dental Crown Procedure
A dental crown procedure will typically happen in two separate appointments. A common question we answer for our patients is, “Will getting a dental crown hurt? Our dentist will likely give you an anesthetic, the same as they would for a dental filling. While you may experience some sensitivity after the procedure, our dental staff will make sure that you are 100% comfortable during the procedure with different sedation options such as I.V. sedation.
Here’s what two expect from the two dental appointments.
Your first appointment: Our dentist will take X-rays of the tooth and surrounding bone and examine your tooth to prepare it for the crown. Preparation for the tooth involves filing down the enamel to accept the crown on top. The amount of tooth that is removed will depend on the amount of decay or damage the tooth has. In some cases, the patient may need a root canal to prevent the risk of infection, tooth decay, or injury to the tooth’s nerves or blood vessels.
After preparing the tooth our dentist will take an impression of the tooth that’s receiving the crown using paste as well as the surrounding teeth above the crown. This impression will be used so that the crown will correctly fit with your bite. The impression is then sent to a lab to create the custom crown. This process will take two to three weeks, during which time our dentist will have given you a temporary crown to wear to protect your teeth between your first and second visit.
Your second appointment: This is when the permanent crown will be placed by the dentist by removing the temporary crown. They will check the color, shape, and fit of your new crown to make sure they match and then permanently cement it in place. Again, our doctor might use an anesthetic to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.
4. Aftercare for a Dental Crown
Your aftercare regime for the permanent dental crown starts immediately after the procedure. For the first 24-48 hours you should avoid sticky and chewy foods and other actions that might dislodge it. After that, you can start to treat the crown as you would if it were a natural tooth because the cement will have completely dried.
Usually, experiencing some sensitivity in the days after the procedure will be common, but will fade over the next couple of weeks. Consult our dentist if you have lasting discomfort that does not seem to be improving after this time. You will be prescribed the proper pain killers in order to make sure you are comfortable during this recovery time.
5. Are Dental Crowns Durable?
Proper placement of the crown in your mouth may play a determining factor in the longevity of the crown. Some crowns can last a lifetime while others may crack and need to be replaced. Usually, a crown will last between 10 to 30 years when properly cared for through good oral hygiene.
Make Your Dental Crowns Last a Lifetime
Like natural teeth, crowns can break. And, the tooth under the crown can still get cavities. To prevent cavities or damage to your crown:
- Brush your teeth and floss twice a daily as you would normally to keep the crown from gathering bacteria. A good oral hygiene regime will assure that the tooth will last a long time after it has been installed.
- Avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects, such as pens, especially if you have tooth-colored crowns. Not using your crown as a tool will also help to make your crown last.
- Regularly scheduled dental exams and a professional teeth cleaning from our staff at Edgemere Dental will ultimately be the best deciding factor on the longevity of the new dental crown.
Schedule a Dental Crown Consultation Today!
Finally, patients that are interested in getting a dental crown should choose the option that fits their unique lifestyle and cosmetic goals. Our dentist can offer expert advice and guidance during the consultation process and answer any further questions the patient may have. Schedule a dental crown consultation today by calling 915-921-6200, or clicking the Book Appointments button above in the menu! You’ll be glad you did!