Dental crowns: cosmetic dentistry fit for a king or queen. If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, then a dental crown by our Prosthodontist in St. Cloud can fully restore its appearance.

You have probably already heard about dental crowns. Millions of Americans receive them each year, so it is not uncommon to hear stories about their visits to the dentist’s office. But if you are considering getting your first crown, then you would probably like to know more than where you should go. Here’s what you should know about crowns before visiting your dentist! 

What Is a Dental Crown?

Simply put, a dental crown replaces the surface of a single tooth. A dental treatment is considered a true crown when it covers the entire tooth (hence the crown’s other name: cap). A crown is typically made of metal, porcelain, or some combination thereof. 

Although they aren’t true crowns, inlays and onlays both serve similar purposes. An inlay is essentially a durable filling that conceals damage on an otherwise healthy tooth. An onlay (aka three-quarter crown) covers all four corners of a tooth, but does not extend to the gumline.

Who Should Get a Dental Crown?

Naturally, someone should only get a crown after they have received an assessment and a recommendation from their dentist. Crowns are commonly advised to patients for a number of reasons:

  • A tooth is weak, misshapen, broken, badly discolored or extremely worn down
  • A tooth recently received a very large filling, root canal or dental implant
  • A neighboring tooth’s dental bridge needs support

What Is the Dental Crown Process?

A crown is a relatively straightforward tooth restoration treatment that requires only two appointments.

Getting a crown begins with an examination by your dentist, including X-rays. If they detect significant tooth decay or risk of infection, your dentist may determine that you require a root canal before you can safely receive a crown.

If you proceed with the crown treatment, your dentist will file down the entire surface of the tooth. This creates the space the crown needs in order to (A) fit next to other teeth, and (B) appear naturally sized. (Because they are thinner than porcelain ones, metal dental crowns require less removal of the original tooth.)

Once your dentist has finished filing, they will make small molds of (A) the tooth’s new surface, and (B) the surfaces of neighboring teeth. Your dentist sends those impressions to a dental laboratory, which will use them to create a one-of-a-kind crown that should fit your mouth perfectly. Finally, your dentist will outfit you with a temporary crown that protects the newly filed tooth.

Your second visit to the dentist will take place after your permanent crown has arrived from the lab. Upon removing your temporary crown, your dentist will check to ensure your new crown fits correctly. Once everything checks out, your dentist will numb your mouth with anesthetic and cement the permanent crown in place.

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?

Although it is referred to as “permanent,” a crown is not actually. It typically lasts between five and 15 years. You can extend your crown’s lifespan if you:

  • Do not clench or grind your teeth
  • Do not eat extremely hard, hot or cold foods
  • Do not bite your fingernails
  • Practice good oral hygiene, including flossing
  • Regularly visit your dentist

What Are the Downsides of Dental Crowns?

You may encounter certain issues after you have received a dental crown. Your tooth may feel painful immediately following the procedure, just like it may become more sensitive to hot and cold. It is possible for a crown to chip, in which case it may either be repaired or replaced. If your crown becomes loose or falls out, you will have to return to your dentist to have it cemented back in place or replaced with a better fitting one. Although rare, it is possible for someone to have an allergic reaction to one of the materials that was used to make their crown.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Crowns?

That depends on the dental insurance policy. If your plan covers major restorative dental care, then your insurance provider may pay as much as 50% of the cost of your crown procedure. If your plan only covers preventative care and a few basic procedures, you may have to pay the entire cost of the crown.

If you live in the greater St Cloud, MN area and would like to learn more about receiving a dental crown, then we welcome you to contact Centrasota Dental today. Our prosthodontist Dr. Congdon and our team are always available to discuss our wide range of routine and cosmetic dentistry services.