Dental crowns allow dentists to protect and restore damaged teeth. Typically, when tooth decay is severe enough that it can’t be treated with a filling, a dental crown will be used to cover, or cap, the tooth. Crowns are also commonly used to seal teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy. And occasionally, dental crowns are used for cosmetic purposes or in smile makeovers at our Cincinnati office.
Dental crowns are also referred to as “caps” because they cap the existing tooth structure in order to restore it.
In addition to impressions or scans, your dentist in Cincinnati will take pictures of your teeth to ensure that your crown matches your existing teeth perfectly. Thanks to color matching, your porcelain crown will look just like a natural tooth.
After the impressions, scans, and images of your teeth are taken, your dentist will send this information to a dental lab where your crown will be built from durable porcelain ceramic. This process takes a few weeks, but lab-made crowns typically are the most long-lasting and comfortable type of dental crown.
Because your crown won’t be ready for a few weeks, your dentist will attach a temporary resin crown to protect your newly-trimmed tooth until your permanent crown can be placed.
After your crown arrives at your dentist’s office, you’ll come back for your fitting and placement appointment. Your dentist will examine the crown to make sure it fits comfortably. Minor adjustments can be made at this time.
After final adjustments, your dentist will use a powerful dental cement to bond your crown into place permanently, restoring your smile and your bite.
Lab-made crowns are manufactured by experienced technicians at dental labs that specialize in building dental prostheses. Dr. Beth Hanks will take impressions, scans, and photos of your teeth, which will be sent directly to the lab.
Using an advanced manufacturing process, your crowns will be built out of durable ceramic and metal materials, and sent back to your dentist for the final fitting and placement. Lab-made crowns look and feel very natural, and are usually the most long-lasting and durable type of crown.
Same-day crowns use CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing) technology and a specialized milling machine to carve out a dental crown within minutes at your dentist’s office.
Similarly to lab-made dental crowns, same-day crowns will restore damaged teeth by covering the entire tooth down to the gumline. Your dentist will trim your tooth to remove damaged material, then shape it into a strong, sturdy platform to which the crown will eventually be attached.
Your dentist will take a 3D scan of your teeth and upload the images to a computer. Those images are then sent to the milling machine, which immediately begins to craft your crown. Your crown will be complete in just a few minutes, and then your doctor will attach it permanently. This process allows you to get immediate same-day care and a crown in a single appointment.
Stainless steel crowns are typically used to restore baby or primary teeth in children.
Most commonly, dental crowns are used to protect and restore teeth that have been damaged by a serious cavity, or that have been cracked or broken by dental trauma, like an accident or injury. Because crowns cover up and protect your entire tooth structure, they are ideal for preventing further complications and restoring the shape, appearance, and function of damaged teeth.
Dental crowns are also used to cover up and protect teeth after root canal treatment. In more rare cases, they may also be used for cosmetic dentistry if other treatments like veneers and dental bonding are not appropriate.
If you have a damaged or severely decayed tooth, you may need a dental crown. You should see your dentist if you are experiencing tooth pain and discomfort, or if your teeth are visibly damaged or discolored. Depending on the cause of your dental issues, they may recommend a dental crown or another restorative treatment.
You can treat your dental crown just like a natural tooth. Make sure you brush twice a day for at least two minutes, ensuring you scrub the full surface of every tooth. You should floss at least once per day, preferably at night. This should only take a few minutes, but be sure to floss against the tooth and below the gum line. You should also see your dentist every six months for a check-up to make sure that your dental work and teeth are healthy.
It often is, but the extent of your coverage will vary depending on your insurer. For example, your dental insurance plan may cover crowns and dental bridges, but may not offer coverage for dental implants. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to get a thorough understanding of your coverage and any limitations.
When properly placed and with good oral hygiene habits, dental crowns can last up to 15 years.