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 are custom made to fulfill every patients need, the shape and color of a crown is discussed with each patient before custom making it. Modern dental materials have come a long way, ceramics and gold are commonly the materials used to manufacture crowns.
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?
Crowns are typically two visit appointments. The first appointment the tooth requiring the crown will be prepared, and a temporary crown will be made to protect the tooth. The second appointment is designated for the delivery of the final crown. Appointments are usually 14 days apart to allow the laboratory enough time to process the final crown.
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 Zirconia, 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 2 weeks 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 depends on a handful of factors:
- 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
- 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.
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