Dental Tips Blog

Jan
4

What Happens When You Get a Dental Crown

Posted in Crowns

The famous gold teeth of dental lore are the forerunners to today’s sleek and comfortable dental caps. While dental crowns can still be made out of gold, most patients seek out restorations made from more life-like materials like porcelain.

But you’ve probably wondered more than once: how is a crown placed?

First of all, you visit your dentist to find out if a crown is even the best option for your tooth. He or she will help you decide on a material that best suits the needs of your smile.

Appointment #1

To get started, the tooth is numbed with anesthetic and reshaped so it will fit under a “cap.” Next, a series of impressions is taken to make a mold for the crown and to get an idea of how your teeth fit together when you bite. This ensures your restoration feels natural when you chew on it. Afterwards, your dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the exposed tooth.

The whole first appointment usually takes less than an hour. Within two weeks, the dental lab will have finished up your final crown and your dentist will call you in to have it placed.

Appointment #2

This appointment should be even shorter than the first. Your dentist will lift off the temporary crown, check the fit of the new one, and then cement it in place. Once it’s bonded, the fit will be checked and adjusted again.

You’ll leave with some instructions for special care in the early days of getting a crown. Make sure to ask your dentist for suggestions on making your crown last as long as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
River Ranch Dental
203 George Hopper Rd #100
Midlothian, TX 76065
(469) 672-4245

Dec
26

What A Dental Cap is and Why You Need One

Posted in Crowns

How useful is a hardhat, bike helmet, or football helmet if it has a crack in it? It’s basically pointless to wear a damaged piece of safety equipment.

Your tooth has a very similar setup. The outer layer of strong enamel is a covering that protects your tooth from the forces of biting and chewing.

Once that tough outer shell is compromised, however, you may need an entirely new “helmet.” This is wear a dental cap, or crown, comes into play.

Why Not Just Get A Filling?

A filling is often a great option for repairing tooth damage – if that damage is small enough. Fractures or cavities that compromise more than about 25% of the tooth’s structure could significantly undermine its strength.

This is where you would need to restore your tooth with a more solid option that can withstand heavier use.

Reasons You Might Need A Crown

Without a professional dental exam, it can be hard to know for sure whether you need a dental crown. Here are some of the reasons your dentist may suggest one.

  • Enamel is worn down by acid
  • Tooth structure has been lost due to excessive grinding
  • You have a large cavity
  • There are already too many old, large fillings in the tooth
  • Fractures/injuries
  • You want to improve the look of your tooth
  • You’ve just had a root canal and need to protect the tooth

Talk with your dentist if you think you might need a cap. You might be surprised to learn what other options you have. Schedule a consultation with your local office to find out which solution will help you hold onto your tooth for years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
The Newport Beach Dentist
1901 Westcliff Drive #6
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 646-2481

Dec
12

Can’t You Just Fill It? Why Do I Need a Crown?

Posted in Crowns

With dental crowns costing more in terms of time and money, no one is ever thrilled to get a cap in lieu of a filling.

But why is your dentist pushing the crown over a filling?

It’s not the money-making scheme it may look like. There are legitimate reasons your tooth would do better with a crown than with a regular filling.

Crowns Vs. Fillings: Structural Differences

A crown isn’t a fancier version of a filling. A crown is to a filling what a skin graft is to a Band-Aid. Fillings merely patch up holes in a tooth. But when the damage goes beyond what a filling can repair, you’ll need a cap to preserve the structural integrity of your tooth.

Fillings are commonly made from a composite material that’s molded into a tooth. A crown is a restoration carved outside the mouth from a solid piece of material.

What Happened To Your Tooth?

The next logical point to consider is this: what does your tooth really need?

From your perspective, it might not look like there’s much going on with your tooth. But an x-ray could tell a very different story.

Dental imaging helps your dentist see beyond the surface to potential complications with bone, nerves, and blood vessels. An examination may reveal that your tooth is on the verge of developing an abscess or severe fracture and a crown could be just the ticket to buy you another five or ten years before needing a root canal.

So don’t wait too much longer! Get back to your dentist to find out more about the condition your tooth is in and what your best restorative options are.

Posted on behalf of:
Timber Springs Dental
5444 Atascocita Road Suite 100
Humble, TX 77346
(713) 244-8929

Dec
5

How Long Will a Cap on My Front Tooth Last?

Posted in Crowns

You can expect a cap on a front tooth to last as long as any other. Dental crowns have an average life expectancy of ten years. Some hold out for fifteen years or even longer.

Reasons for a crown to fail include:

  • Teeth-grinding habit
  • Decay
  • Trauma
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Wear-and-tear

How To Make A Dental Cap Last

Dental crowns, like any other teeth, require regular cleaning to stay strong and beautiful. It may be a “permanent” cap and your tooth may feel nice and safe, but there is still a tiny margin where bacteria can sneak in. Don’t overlook your crown when it comes to brushing and flossing. Good hygiene can help your crown last at least a decade.

Disclaimers About Front Tooth Crowns

Crowning a tooth that shows when you smile typically takes more time than other crowns. This is because more detail and effort go into making it look nice. After all, it’s right there in the smile-zone where everyone will be looking!

That being the case, you’re going to want to be extra careful with your cap so that you don’t have to go through the process again. Every time you redo a crown, not only does it cost money, but it weakens your tooth.

It’s tempting to use teeth to open things like bags and packages and to tear off tags from clothing. Fight the inclination to use your teeth as tools! A crown could be damaged even more easily than a natural tooth.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Nov
30

I Just Got a Crown. How Should I Care for It?

Posted in Crowns

Keeping your new dental crown clean is the best way to get the most out of it. In addition to having your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office, you also need to clean it carefully at home.

Brushing and flossing are crucial to maintaining your crown long-term. Crowns tend to trap more plaque and calculus at their margins than natural teeth. It’s completely safe and highly recommended to brush thoroughly. You can’t scratch them with soft bristles.

If sugars and bacteria are left uncleaned and leak under the crown edges, the tooth will likely end up with a cavity – which is no easy fix. The dentist either has to “patch” the tooth with a filling or replace the crown all together (which we all know is expensive).

Don’t Be Afraid of it Falling Off

That simply won’t happen. It’s been attached with permanent cement that has bonded with the tubules within your natural tooth. It’s not going anywhere!

It’s understandable that you’re nervous. After all, you saw the dentist prep your tooth for a crown, and you know that the natural tooth underneath is a little smaller than those surrounding. It would be embarrassing if anyone could ever see that.

Just know how unlikely that is to ever happen. Dental cement does not have an easy bond to break. Crowns have an extremely tight fit to keep materials from leaking underneath and causing decay.

Long Term Maintenance

Keep your crown clean. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups at least every six months. Treat your crowns like you would your natural teeth or maybe even a little bit better. It was, after all, an investment. Invest a little time for excellent homecare, and you’re likely to be pleased with your purchase for years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Oct
30

Are There Any Alternatives to Getting a Dental Crown?

Posted in Crowns

While there’s no other solution that does exactly what a dental crown can, you may have a few alternatives to choose from. These will depend on both your smile goals and what your tooth needs.

Why Get A Crown?

A dental cap, or crown, is a single piece of material that a dentist seats over a tooth. The tooth must be trimmed to get rid of decay and weak areas and create a flat-topped cone shape that can securely support a cap. Crowns help teeth compromised by deep fractures or extensive decay to stay in one piece.

If You Don’t Get A Crown 

What are your other options?

Fillings. Some people prefer a filling because it’s cheaper, but it may only compromise your tooth further because of being too big.

Inlay or onlays. If only a portion of your tooth is damaged, then a filling-crown hybrid may be in order.

Veneers or bonding. These cosmetic treatments are conservative options only if your tooth is still structurally sound.

Extraction. You can pull the tooth and then deal with finding a way to replace it and preserve tooth alignment.

Do nothing. Whether your tooth hurts right now or not, it will break down sooner or later. Eventually, you won’t have the option of saving it with a crown – it’ll be either a root canal or extraction.

Rather than trying to figure out for yourself what your smile needs, visit a dentist near you. A professional will help you get an idea of the condition of your tooth. That way, you’ll be prepared to choose the best restorative option, which may very well end up being a dental crown!

Posted on behalf of:
Lakewood Dental Trails
10252 W Adams Ave
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 434-4035

Oct
16

What to Do if You Lose a Crown

Posted in Crowns

It’s frustrating when a dental crown pops off. If it’s a temporary, at least that’s not a huge deal. You can stick that back on by yourself with a little dental cement from the drugstore. But it can be a bit scarier when a permanent crown comes off.

Here’s what you can do if that happens:

  1. Recover Your Crown

Try to salvage your crown from that bite of cheeseburger you lost it in. Clean it up well. Examine your tooth and the inside of the crown for any pieces of broken tooth.

  1. Try it Back On

See if you can put the crown back on your tooth without swallowing it. Don’t force it if it won’t go on easily – it could be backwards. If you can find its original position, then you’ll be able to put it back on with confidence.

  1. Recement (Or Pack It Up)

It’s a good idea to recement your crown (using that temporary drugstore cement mentioned earlier) if you know it’ll be a couple days before seeing a dentist. That way, you’ll keep your tooth protected and won’t lose track of your crown.

Otherwise, put the crown in a safe place. Don’t bite on the uncrowned tooth. If it’s sensitive, wrap it in a piece of chewed-up sugar-free gum.

  1. When It’s Lost for Good

If your crown ends up gone for good, you’ll have to talk with your dentist about replacing it. An old crown may be covered by your insurance.

Call your dentist as soon as you discover a loose or missing crown. Putting it off could be bad for your exposed tooth.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles for Centreville
14245-P Centreville Square
Centreville, VA 20121
703-830-9110

Oct
9

What Is the Core Buildup of a Dental Crown?

Posted in Crowns

A dental crown is a hollow cap that’s shaped like a tooth. Inside, it’s got an empty space that fits right over the top of a tooth. So in order to support a crown, teeth have to be trimmed to the right shape. Otherwise, the crown would be too bulky.

When You Need More Than A Crown

On occasion, a tooth might be too damaged by decay or fracture to support a crown. It might have lost a lot of structure to large old fillings. In order to keep the tooth strong, your dentist may do what’s called a “core buildup.”

As it sounds, a core buildup reinforces that center foundation of the tooth which seats the finished crown. Your dentist will use restorative materials to mold this new core which will be the same size and shape that your tooth would be naturally.

What If A Core Buildup Isn’t Enough?

Your dentist might then take things a step further and use a post to help secure the material to the tooth. This ensures a stable foundation to support your dental crown.

A core and post won’t necessarily guarantee a stronger tooth, however. All the extra material placed in your tooth can weaken it. But the post and core may buy you a little more time with your tooth before it is ultimately extracted.

Do You Need A Post And Core?

If it seems too risky to attempt a core buildup, extraction may be your only option. It all depends on the quality of the tooth structure you have left. Professional dental x-rays are the best way to determine this. Talk with your dentist about your restoration options.

Posted on behalf of:
Columbia Dental Center
915 N Main St #2
Columbia, IL 62236
(618) 281-6161

Oct
8

Should You Get a Crown or a Filling?

Posted in Crowns

You’ve noticed a suspicious dark spot on your tooth and now you’re wondering what you should do about it. If that’s actually a cavity, then it will need some kind of treatment.

Two of the most common methods for repairing tooth decay are fillings and dental crowns. Which will you need?

How Traditional Fillings Work

A filling is a flowable material placed inside a hollowed out space in the tooth. It’s usually light-cured and sets up in a matter of minutes. Fillings are your first line of defense in repairing cavities.

What Makes A Crown Different?

A crown, or cap, is a solid piece of material like porcelain that covers your entire tooth. If a lot of your tooth is damaged from decay, a crown can restore its shape.

Deciding Which Restoration You Need

Which restoration you need depends mainly on how much of your tooth is affected. If the cavity isn’t too deep, a filling is usually enough. But if the decay has reached deeper layers of your tooth or has caused large pieces to chip away, then you’ll need the extra protection of a crown.

What if the damage to your tooth falls somewhere in-between?

Your dentist may recommend a hybrid restoration called an indirect filling (inlay/onlay.) It’s like a filling-crown combo created outside the mouth and then cemented into the tooth like a piece in a puzzle.

It’s impossible to figure out exactly what your tooth needs without having a professional examine it. Call your dentist today to schedule an exam. He or she will help you decide on the restoration that matches your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7117

Sep
27

What Are Dental Posts and Cores?

Posted in Crowns

Restorative dentistry has a large vocabulary. It’s easy to get confused about the differences between posts, cores, root canals, crowns, and so on.

How do posts and cores relate to crowns?

Get A Grip!

Crowns replace a tooth’s outer layer if it’s been damaged by decay or fracture. Caps take things a step further when a filling is insufficient.

But what happens when even a crown isn’t quite enough?

Dental crowns depend on a tooth having a solid core for support. Without a core, there’s not much for the cap to hold onto.

An artificial core is often made of a similar material as white dental fillings. Your dentist molds it into the tooth to create a new foundation for supporting the crown. This core is typically secured with small pins to help it hold onto the existing tooth.

Posts to Stabilize the Core

Your dentist will call on the help of a dental post if more than half of the natural crown (upper portion) of your tooth is missing, and the core needs more support to stay on the tooth.

At this point, your tooth should already have had a root canal. Posts cannot be placed in teeth without endodontic treatment. The dentist must drill down into the nerve chamber of the tooth to create a hole for placing the post. You don’t want this done on a live nerve!

After the root canal is completed, a dentist places a sturdy metal plug in the excavated area. Then, the core material is packed around it and a crown seals off the whole thing.

Talk with your dentist to learn which restorative techniques are right for saving your tooth.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

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