Dental Tips Blog


Why You Shouldn’t Hold Off on That Crown

Posted in Crowns

Did your dentist recommend a crown at your last visit? If you’re like a lot of people, you probably don’t want to just jump right back into the dental chair to have it completed. A lot of people find that they want to wait until the tooth actually starts bothering them before they proceed with dental crown restoration treatment. Unfortunately, there is some very good reasoning why you should have your treatment completed as soon as possible.

Weaker Tooth Structure Will Become Compromised

Damaged tooth enamel does not repair itself on it’s own. If you’ve developed new decay around a filling, old crown, or have a filling that is breaking down…then bacteria is seeping deeper into your tooth. That means the damaged area will extend deeper into the tooth. At a certain point, even if the damaged enamel is removed, there may not be enough structure to support a crown when you’re ready to finally have it done.  

Treatment Can Easily Become More Extensive (and Expensive)

If the decay or damaged area extends very far into the tooth, it may cause the nerve to become infected. In these cases, before a crown can be placed on the tooth, a root canal must be completed. Or if there is not enough structure to support a crown, pins may need to be used. Both of these procedures will lengthen the treatment time it takes to save your tooth, and increase your cost of care.  

The Tooth May Become Untreatable

If there isn’t enough structure left to place a crown on, or you’ve put treatment off until infection has become severe, then you will lose your tooth completely. There’s no way to restore a tooth that no longer has healthy crown structure to support a restoration. The only other option is to extract the infected root and consider replacement options like implants, or partials.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD


Are Stainless Steel Crowns Permanent?

Posted in Crowns

In dentistry, we often use stainless steel crowns as a easily available, reliable restoration for a limited number of treatments. Although adults may have a stainless steel crown placed over a tooth before a permanent crown can be made, the majority of stainless steel dental crowns are used on young children.

When a primary (baby) tooth is treated for a nerve infection, it is necessary to cover the tooth with a crown to retain the tooth’s function. Covering the weakened enamel also prevents the tooth from fracturing or becoming irreversibly damaged. Retaining a primary tooth is extremely important when it comes to eruption patterns. Premature tooth loss can cause adult teeth to become impacted, due to shifting of the teeth adjacent to the tooth that was lost.

Although stainless steel crowns can be worn for a few years, they were never designed to be a permanent restoration for adult teeth. They are used on primary teeth, knowing that the teeth will eventually fall out in a few years when the time is appropriate. Or, the stainless steel crown may be placed over a permanent tooth that is still developing yet has not erupted fully into place. Once the permanent tooth has fully erupted, the stainless steel crown must be replaced with a custom-made permanent crown. A stainless steel crown does not provide a custom fit, and the bulky or open edges around the crown can make it difficult to clean properly, allowing the chance for new infection or disease to develop later on. Parents of young children should seek out a permanent restorative option once their child enters into their late teen years, allowing them to have a healthier smile well into adulthood.

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli



All Porcelain Crowns

Posted in Crowns

Tooth-colored porcelain crowns allow dentists to repair their patients’ teeth while also maintaining an appearance that no other type of crown is possible of. Unlike other types of crowns, all porcelain crowns do not use any type of metal base. Metal base crowns (such as those used in “porcelain fused to metal” crowns) often leave a grey colored line along the gumlines of the tooth that is treated. Or, if the porcelain is chipped for whatever reason, the exposed metal base can be seen on the tooth.

A full coverage porcelain crown will blend in with the tooth on all surfaces, especially near the margin of the crown. Since these crowns are designed to have the most natural appearance possible, a color match is key. Both you and your dentist will use a shade guide in natural lighting to determine the coloration of your full porcelain crown. This allows the final restoration to blend with nearby teeth, minimizing the impact on your smile.

All porcelain crowns are ideal for use in the front of the mouth, where your full tooth shows frequently throughout the day. Whether you’re talking or smiling, you want your smile to look healthy and natural, without the appearance of a false-looking tooth.

Teeth often need crowns if they’ve experienced large fractures or decay, or when they have been treated with a root canal. Crowns cover the entire surface of the tooth, strengthening it and helping it to function much longer than it would without the restoration.

Have you put your crown treatment off? Delaying treatment too long can weaken the tooth until it is past the point of restoring. Ask your dentist about a functional, cosmetic all-porcelain crown today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. James C. Kincaid



3 Signs You Need a Crown Instead of a Filling

Posted in Crowns

At what point does a tooth need a crown rather than a filling? This subject is one that patients often have with their dentist, and for good reason. A dental crown is a larger investment, and affects more of the tooth than your average straightforward filling. Here are 3 signs that you are past the point of being able to have a filling performed, and need a crown to help keep your tooth healthy:

#1 – Constant food packing in the tooth.

If decay is large enough that significant amounts of food pack down into it after each meal, then a filling most likely will not be even closely adequate for restoring your tooth. Fillings are best for small areas of decay that have not compromised multiple surfaces of a tooth.

#2 – You can’t eat on that tooth.

Pressure, or pain associated with eating certain foods is keeping you from chewing on that side of your mouth. Whether it’s a crack in the tooth, or severe sensitivity to particular foods, then the structure of the tooth is probably compromised to the point where it cannot functionally withstand use without being crowned. There must be enough healthy enamel to support a filling; cracked and significantly compromised teeth won’t hold up even with the best filling.

#3 – More than half of your tooth is visibly gone.

You can see it yourself…a giant portion of the tooth has broken off of the tooth or is gone, and there’s significantly visible damage. In order to place a filling, there has to be adequate amount of surrounding enamel to support it. Severe fracturing won’t hold a filling in place, and if a filling is attempted it can continue to fall off.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



Crown Placement Part 1

Posted in Crowns

If you are considering having a dental crown placed, you may wonder what the actual process is in having this done. These two articles will help describe the process involved in crown placement and what you can do to help prepare.

Upon arriving at your dentist office, you will be sent back to the treatment area. At this time, the assistant may take an impression of your tooth and mouth, and may take some additional x-rays.  The assistant then may apply some local numbing agent to your gum line if work will be done on the tooth.  When the dentist arrives, if it is needed, anesthetic agents will be given to help deaden your mouth and tooth area.  If the thought of local anesthetics concern you, talk to your dentist about the use of some conscious sedation or relaxing medications to help you through this step.

There are other things you can do to help relax, if you are concerned or anxious about the process.  Some people enjoy listening to music on headphones or an MP3 player.  Some dental offices have televisions above the dental chair you can watch.  You can also try visualization to help take your mind ‘away’ from the event.  However, if these tricks do not work, and you are anxious, please do talk to your dentist.  They are there to help you prepare and have a comfortable experience with your crown placement.

After the initial work by the assistant, the dentist will come in.  Our next article will discuss what the dentist will do, and what to expect at that point during your visit.


Why Do I Need a Crown?

Posted in Crowns

Crowns are used to help correct and stabilize teeth for many different reasons.  If your dentist has told you that you need a crown, this article may help you understand why your crown is necessary.

The primary goal of all dental crowns is to restore a tooth to a normal size and shape.  Many times, if a person has had a large cavity, a crown is used instead of a filling to restore the tooth and protect the remaining natural tooth.  This crown will also help in appearance, as a crown can be made in a natural tooth color and will blend in with your surrounding teeth.

Another common reason for a crown is to cover the tooth after a root canal. This tooth covering will protect the remaining tooth and the tooth canal.   When the root pulp has been removed during a root canal, the tooth is sensitive to breakage and infection after that type of repair so a crown is necessary to protect the tooth.

Sometimes a tooth is broken or a large filling has broken and a crown is needed to restore the tooth. A tooth also could be weak from extensive repair work and a crown is recommended. Using a crown in this way will help keep the natural tooth intact, and provide the needed support to keep the tooth there.

A final reason to have a crown placed is if you have a badly shaped or discolored tooth. Using a crown in these situations will allow your teeth to look more pleasing.

If you are considering a crown, or if your dentist has suggested one, know that a crown ultimately will help in preserving your natural tooth and mantaining an attractive smile.



Posted in Crowns

After certain dental procedures or trauma, your dentist may recommend that you have a dental crown placed to help keep the tooth structure intact.  This article will briefly explain what dental crowns are, and the procedure for placing a dental crown.

Dental crowns are a type of restorative dental surgery.  The crown is actually a covering that is cemented in place.  When this crown is placed, it fully covers the tooth that is seen above the gum line.  Crowns are used when fillings become too large to maintain tooth structural integrity, or after certain dental procedures and sometimes after traumatic events.

Crowns may be made out of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both.  Most dentists will use a porcelain outer for any tooth that shows when you smile.  Careful attention will be made to your surrounding teeth color to make sure that the porcelain ‘matches’ your other teeth.  Your dentist may actually use a color chart to match the tooth color prior to ordering the crown.

Placing a crown involves several trips to the dentist.  A mold of the tooth will be made, and a temporary crown placed.  In a few weeks, the crown will be placed and fitted.  You will be asked to gently ‘tap’ on colored paper to see if any raised areas or other issues of concern arise after placement.  A permanent crown is placed with hard cement that is not easily removed.  Depending on the cause for the crown, you may or may not need local numbing.  However, this should always be a pain free procedure, so if you do have any pain, always let your dentist know.

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