Frisco Dental Crowns
What Is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are protective caps that cover all surfaces of a tooth and make it more durable. Crowns are used for protection from wear and tear on teeth that are weak, missing most of the structure of the tooth, as a tooth restoration for dental implants or bridges, or to cover up a discolored or misshaped tooth.
Whether you’re interested in dental crowns to restore a tooth, to protect a tooth from chewing forces, or to hide dental imperfections, they are available in a range of materials such as:
- Stainless steel
- Composite resin
- Porcelain fused to metal
Why Do I Need a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are used for various restorative and cosmetic purposes, including holding broken teeth together, protecting vulnerable weakened teeth, completing tooth restorations, and covering up aesthetic issues like discoloration.
If you have a large filling or have received root canal therapy, your tooth is in a weakened state. This is because it is missing the vital tooth structure it needs for strength and durability. By covering the tooth with durable materials like metal, zirconia, or porcelain-fused-to-metal, you add a layer of protection against forces that your tooth will encounter through chewing.
This prevents further damage and breakage. If you already have a broken tooth, a crown can prevent the need for extraction by keeping it intact. If you are missing a tooth and need a replacement, crowns are used in bridges to anchor the prosthesis and suspend the pontic tooth that replaces the missing tooth.
In dental implants, a crown completes the restoration after the titanium post has been embedded into the jawbone. Crowns cover up issues like discoloration, chips, or awkwardly shaped teeth by hiding this with an aesthetic crown like porcelain or ceramic.
The Dental Crown Process
You’ll come into Parklane Family Dentistry for a consultation to assess the damage to your tooth and determine if a dental crown is the best option for you. Any presence of tooth decay or gum disease needs to be treated first.
We prepare the tooth receiving the crown by shaving a small amount of enamel proportionate to the thickness of the dental crown. The purpose of this is so the crown can fit over your tooth without sticking out and bumping into the other teeth, allowing the crown to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
After your tooth has been filed, impressions are taken of your teeth and sent to an outside dental lab. The dental lab uses your impressions to get an idea of the exact shape, size, and color of your tooth to match the crown with the rest of your grin. It will conform to your natural tooth and not disrupt your bite but will offer more strength and durability.
Traditional crowns take a few weeks to be constructed and sent back to the lab but with CEREC technology, dental crowns can be created and placed on the same day. If receiving traditional dental crowns, you will be given temporary crowns to wear while you wait, in order to protect the shaven tooth. Once your crown is ready, you’ll return to the office and have it cemented into place.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
Dental crowns have variable lifespans depending on the materials, location, health of the underlying tooth, lifestyle, and oral hygiene. Zirconia and metal crowns have the longest lifespans, lasting for up to 20 years with proper care.
We recommend these materials to cover the rear teeth which undergo significant chewing force. Porcelain and ceramic crowns have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years and are more fragile so they are prone to damage when placed in the back of the mouth.
Finally, you can combine aesthetics and durability in porcelain-fused-to-metal, which lasts for 10 to 15 years. These crowns can be placed in the front or back of the mouth. Materials and location of crowns aren’t all that matter.
A crown won’t protect your tooth from developing tooth decay and gum disease. To prevent these oral health problems, you need to regularly brush, floss, and attend dental cleanings. Teeth grinding can damage your crowns and your natural teeth.
If you suffer from bruxism, you should get a custom-fit mouthguard to wear to sleep at night. Be mindful about the foods that you eat, because eating a lot of hard and sticky foods like candy, popcorn, nuts, and seeds can cause damage to crowns fabricated out of more fragile materials.
Are There Alternatives to Dental Crowns?
Some dental practices offer inlays and onlays which are like partial crowns that preserve more of the tooth structure. Veneers, fillings, and bonding can also be an alternative to crowns to correct cosmetic issues or minor damage to the teeth like chips and cracks.
However, when it comes to a seriously weakened or damaged tooth, the only other alternative to a dental crown is usually to have the tooth extracted. Broken, decayed, and damaged teeth are at high risk for infection and breakage so they need to be protected with a dental crown to save the tooth from extraction.
Maintaining a Dental Crown
Dental crowns are made of strong, durable materials but have varying lifespans depending on the materials used, the patient’s lifestyle, oral hygiene, and diet. Metal crowns are the most durable and longest-lasting, while porcelain and zirconia are the most natural-looking.
For this reason, it’s common to combine the materials with porcelain fused to metal crowns. A crown can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years but the following tips will help prolong its longevity:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Floss once a day
- Attend dental cleanings & checkups every 6 months
- Don’t use your teeth to open packages or as tools
- Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth
- Don’t chew on excessively hard or chewy foods with a crown
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products
- Drink lots of water to avoid dry mouth
If you have a cracked or damaged tooth, a tooth that has had root canal therapy or one with a large filling, you may want to consult with Dr. Vashisht about the benefits of a crown, inlay or onlay. Contact Parklane Family Dentistry for information, and make your appointment today.
1606 FM 423, Suite 200
Frisco, TX 75033
Mon: 9AM - 5PM
Wed: 8:30AM - 5PM
Thu: 9AM - 2PM
Fri: 8:30AM - 4PM
By Appointment Only