If you are unhappy with the appearance of your imperfect smile, you do have options. Dental crowns can repair and restore cracked, broken, misshapen or otherwise unattractive teeth.
A crowned tooth functions and appears like a strong, natural tooth. It provides strength and protection to a weakened tooth structure and makes an unattractive smile more aesthetically pleasing.
There are many reasons for getting one or more permanent crowns, including:
A temporary crown is placed while you wait for a permanent crown or other dental appliance to be crafted.
Dental crowns are made of ceramic, porcelain, composite reside, gold and other materials. Porcelain is the most commonly used due to its natural to look, strength, stain-resistance, and resilience. Ceramic crowns are more cost-effective. Metal is sometimes suggested for back teeth because it is stronger than ceramic or porcelain.
The type of crown placed depends on the functionality of the tooth. Your dentist will discuss crown materials and what is best for your situation.
The affected tooth will first be prepared for placement of the dental crown. Any existing decay will be removed and a filling or bonding material will be placed. The tooth will then be re-shaped and a bit of the structure will be removed. The treatment area will be numbed during the procedure.
A mold of your mouth will be taken and sent to a lab where your custom-fitted permanent crown will be created. Expect the process to take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on the technician’s schedule.
You will be given a temporary crown to wear while you wait for the permanent crown to get back from the laboratory. You may experience some sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages due to the tooth preparation.
Once your permanent crown is received, your temporary crown will be removed and the new restoration will be cemented in place. Any needed adjustments will be made to be sure your new crown fits and performs perfectly.
Dental crowns are designed to withstand the pressures of normal biting and chewing. While such restorations are very durable, they can be damaged if you bite down on ice, pencils, other hard objects, or use your teeth as prying tools.
If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth, you may need to wear a mouth guard overnight to prevent damaging your new crown.
Keep in mind, the crowned tooth is not immune to decay which can cause the restoration to fall out. To keep your dental crown in tip-top shape, always practice proper oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once daily and visit your dentist twice a year, or as directed.
The total cost of placing a dental crown is dependant on the type of material, the complexity of the procedure and the location of the treated tooth. Typically, patients pay about $600—$1,500 per crown.
Depending on your insurance coverage, you are likely to have at least part of the crown cost paid. This all comes down to your policy provisions, any pre-existing conditions, and whether you reached your annual deductible.