Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

Even if you don’t have one, you probably know people with dental crowns or have at least heard of them before. Crowns are a very versatile solution that can be used to address a number of different dental problems.

That said, you should understand what dental crowns are and how they’re implanted before you proceed with having one made for your tooth. Fortunately, everything you need to know is collected below.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Crowns get their name because they go over the top of your teeth. This is also why you may hear them referred to as “caps.”

Their main purpose is to restore proper functioning. If you chip the top of a tooth, it might cause problems when you chew or simply move your jaw around. Adding a crown to that tooth will fix the problem.

Many people also get crowns for aesthetic purposes. A damaged tooth is often an eyesore, which can make smiling an embarrassing experience. Adding a crown will quickly resolve the issue.

In some cases, crowns may also be used to fortify a tooth that would otherwise be at risk of breaking, chipping, or incurring damage from normal use.

What Do Crowns Look Like?

The appearance of a crown depends on the material used to make it. For molars, some kind of metal is usually recommended, perhaps with porcelain fused to it. If the crown will be placed somewhere visible, the dentist will most likely use a naturally-colored ceramic option, as this will blend in perfectly.

Who Would Benefit from Crowns?

If you have a damaged tooth you want fixed for aesthetic reasons or for the sake of comfort, you should definitely consider having a crown put in. It’s an extremely simple and painless procedure that delivers the desired result.

Frequently, your dentist will recommend a crown before you even know you need it, because they’ll notice that one or more of your teeth are weakening and need support. This is just one more reason you should make dental visits a priority twice a year, as catching this type of problem is far preferable to having a tooth break instead.

Dental crowns are also used to support other dental work like bridges and implants.

How Long Does It Take to Get Crowns?

The first thing your dentist will need to do is assess the tooth or teeth in question. If it’s just one tooth, the dentist will still want to inspect the surrounding teeth for signs of damage and to confirm a crown won’t cause any problems with them.

Even if it’s clear that a broken tooth needs a crown, your dentist may actually need to remove part of it before proceeding. This is often the case when the crown will be made from porcelain-fused metal, which is extremely strong. At the very least, some of the tooth’s surface will need to be scraped to give the crown a place to take hold.

However, in some cases, a tooth is so worn down that a crown wouldn’t be able to attach, so the dentist may add to it first before proceeding.

Once the teeth are prepared, your dentist will take a mold of them. This mold will take an impression of all your teeth so the resulting crown will fit in with the rest of them perfectly. Once the mold is taken, it’s sent off to a lab for processing. You’ll be given a temporary crown to wear in the meantime.

After about a week or so, you’ll be ready for your follow-up appointment. At this time, your dentist will use a dental cement resin to bond your crown into place.

How Do I Maintain a Crown?

If you take good care of your dental crowns, they should last for at least five years or even a bit longer.

The good news is that proper maintenance doesn’t take much:

  • Avoid using your crown to chew on hard foods and ice.
  • End your tooth-grinding habit (if you have one).
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene routine, including seeing your dentist twice a year.

As you can see, maintaining a crown doesn’t require anything too demanding. Those regular dentist visits will really help catch signs your crown is in trouble before it’s too late. Your dentist can also help if you currently grind your teeth out of habit.

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

How much crowns cost depend on a handful of factors:

  • Where you live
  • The experience level of your dental specialist
  • The fitting
  • What the crown is made of
  • The tooth the crown is being placed on

Other costs related to getting a crown that you may incur include:

  • Required examinations
  • Necessary X-rays
  • Anesthetic
  • A root canal

This is why you should have a nice, long conversation with your insurance company before having this work done. As crowns are largely considered cosmetic, many insurance policies won’t cover them. Even if they do, you want to make sure you’re on the same page about the level of coverage they’ll provide before proceeding.

With all that said, the price range is typically between $600 and $1,500 for each crown.

Interested in Learning More About Crowns?

Would a crown make you more comfortable or feel better about your smile? If so, call South Austin Dental Studio today at 512-746-7293. We’d love to answer any questions you have or schedule an appointment to get you started on the process.