Dental crowns, also known as “dental caps,” “tooth crowns,” and “tooth caps,” are restorations of the tooth that cover and encase the entire structure above the gum line. In fact, a dental crown is one of the most effective dental solutions for covering a tooth to restore its shape, size and strength, or to improve its appearance. Crowns can be made out of porcelain (dental ceramic), metal, or any combination of both. Unlike fillings, which simply fill in a small portion of the tooth, a crown will encase the entire outer surface of the tooth, thus becoming the tooth’s new “shell”.
Dr. Daniell Mishaan, widely considered the best dentist in New York, has many patients with broken, decayed, or weakened teeth visit his office, which is located in midtown Manhattan. Dr. Mishann has used crowns to:
- Rebuild cracked or chipped teeth
- Fix decayed tooth structure
- Strengthen teeth
- Improve the cosmetic appearance of teeth
What Is the Procedure For Getting Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns can be placed in just one visit if your dentist uses a dental tool such as CEREC®. If not, crowns generally take two visits to complete. During the first visit, your dentist takes X-rays to examine the extent of decay or damage. If a root canal isn’t necessary prior to placing the crowns, your dentist will then:
- File the chewing surface and sides of the tooth to prepare for the crown
- Take an impression of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth
- Place a temporary crown to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made
After about 2-3 weeks — the permanent crown should arrive from the lab and your dentist will place it during your second visit.
Depending on the severity of the situation, prior procedures may need to be performed before the crown is put in place. In some cases, when the pulp of the tooth is infected or massive decay has taken over, your dentist will need to perform a root canal.
Potential Dental Crown Problems & Maintenance
There should be no discomfort or sensitivity after the crown has been placed. However, if a root canal was not performed and the nerve remains, you may experience some sensitivity to hot and/or cold. If you experience pain when you bite down on the tooth, you should call your dentist. This could mean that the crown was set improperly and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
While dental crowns typically last a long time, it is possible that your crown may chip or fall completely out. Should this happen, you should also contact your dentist to get it fixed as soon as possible. If your crown falls out, you can temporarily replace the crown by using denture adhesive or a temporary crown cement.
Keep in mind that crowns don’t keep decay at bay. You still need to brush regularly , eat a well-balanced diet and see your dentist regularly. Avoiding certain habits such as opening packages with your mouth, grinding your teeth and chewing ice can also help prevent crowns from wearing out prematurely. Do all of these things and your new crowns should last between 5-15 years.
Dental Crowns vs. Fillings
Dr. Mishaan uses dental crowns because of the advantage they provide over fillings by way of the fact that they are created inside of the office in our state of the art dental laboratory. A technician will examine a mold of your teeth, checking for correct bite and jaw movements, and form a proper reconstruction of the original tooth. Fillings, however, must be sculpted while you sit in the chair.