There are several reasons our Henderson dental office may recommend that a patient get a dental crown. Dental crowns are a common dental procedure and serve to restore function and aesthetics for our patients. Dental crowns are recommended for patients that require restoration after root canal therapy, restoration after the removal of deep decay, and restoration of a fracture tooth. Dental crowns are common enough that most dental insurance plans cover the procedure in part or on whole, saving the patient money while making sure their dental needs are met. In this blog we will discuss why a dental crown may be needed, the procedure, and some frequently asked questions about dental crowns.
Dental crowns are a wonderful option for patients that need restorations. If you need a dental crown following root canal treatment, that means that a large portion of the natural tooth was removed in order to access and remove the infected roots of the tooth. This is true of initial root canal therapy, as well as re-treatment of a tooth that has had previous root canal therapy. While some access holes from root canal therapy can be restored with a filling, it is important to know that a filling is not sufficient in all cases. If a dental crown is needed in order to restore a tooth that had deep decay removed, our dentists will restore the tooth to look as natural as possible. Deep decay is decay that has gone deep into the enamel, or outer surface, of the tooth. The decay is removed, as well as a small portion of surrounding tooth structure, with a dental handpiece. Of course, we want to keep our patients as comfortable as possible so the dentist will administer anesthetic before the procedure begins. Removing the decay stops the bacteria from progressing and allows the tooth to heal. Once the decay is removed, the remaining tooth structure is shaped to receive a crown. While the final crown is being made at the lab, the tooth will be protected with a temporary crown made by one of our dental assistants before you leave your appointment.
Our partnership with a local Las Vegas dental lab means that we work closely with real people, not machines, to make sure your crown is customized for you. When a crown is made, tooth shape, size, and color or the three primary considerations when making sure your crown matches your natural teeth. There are several tooth shapes to consider. These include softened, oval, youthful, enhanced, and natural. There are also a range of shades to choose from. Our dental assistants will help you make initial selections for each, using a catalog of tooth shapes and a shade guide. Our dentists will also confirm these selections with you before the order is sent to the lab. The dental lab receives detailed instructions about your crown and the result required. The crown takes approximately two weeks to make and will be cemented once it is finished and you confirm that you are happy with the result. This is a typically a quick 15–20-minute appointment. Cementing the final crown restores full function for biting and chewing while giving you a beautiful tooth colored crown that blends with your natural teeth.
Now that you have received your crown, you may still have some questions. Below is a list of commonly asked questions about dental crowns, and their answers:
· Will my crown match my other teeth?
o YES! Using a catalog of tooth shapes and a shade guide, our dentists and dental assistants will work with you to select the proper shape and shade to blend with your natural teeth. The dental lab is then given these instructions when creating your custom crown.
· What if my crown breaks?
o While it is rare, crowns do break. This can be true if it is a decade or more old. If your crown breaks, it is important to call our office right away. This is especially true if you are in pain. We will take an x-ray and intraoral photos as part of your exam and then discuss your options with you. We give you all the information you need about your dental health and then listen to what you would prefer to do.
· How do I take care of my crown?
o Taking care of your crown is not all that different from taking care of your natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are just as important and effective for a crown as they are for natural teeth. Regular dental visits and cleanings are also important. We recommend you visit our office for an exam at least once a year and have your teeth cleaned by our hygienist at least twice a year.
· How long will my crown last?
o With proper care, crowns can last 5-15 years.
· What’s the difference between a cap and crown?
o A crown is and a “cap” are the same thing. “Crown” is the proper term to describe the tooth like restoration that is cemented to a natural tooth. “Cap” is a popular slang term used to describe a crown.
· Can I use a Waterpik with a crown?
o YES! A Waterpik is recommended, in fact, by our dentists and staff to help you keep the margins of the crown and your gum line clean and healthy between dental cleanings.
· What are dental crowns made of?
o Tooth colored crowns are made of porcelain, composite resin, or ceramic. Metal crowns are made of nickel or stainless steel, in gold or silver.
· Does getting a crown hurt?
o While the tooth is being prepared for the crown, a dental handpiece is used. To keep you comfortable during the procedure, our dentists administer anesthetic.
· Can a crown be lightened by bleaching?
o Once a crown shade is chosen, the crown is made by the lab, and is cemented, the shade cannot be changed. Likewise, crowns cannot be bleached like natural teeth. In order to change the color of a crown, it has to be re-made.
10521 Jeffreys St #200,
Henderson, NV 89052
MON10:00 am - 6:30 pm
TUE8:00 am-12:00 pm, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
WED10:00 am - 6:30 pm
THU8:00 am-12:00 pm, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
FRI8:00 am - 2:00 pm
SAT - SUNClosed