When decay occurs in a tooth and the resulting cavity has become too large, a dental crown may need to be placed. A dental crown can strengthen the tooth to alleviate pain and improve eating habits. A crown can also be used to correct the bite if damage to the tooth has caused the teeth to become misaligned. Crowns improve the appearance of damaged teeth which can appear discolored or have obvious decay.
When a tooth has had a root canal procedure performed on it, the tooth is weakened. A dental crown can restore strength to the tooth after a root canal. The majority of teeth that have undergone a root canal procedure will need to have a dental crown placed.
When large fillings have been placed in a tooth, over time, the tooth may fracture due to stress from chewing. When fractures occur within the tooth structure, a dental crown will need to be placed to help preserve the tooth and strengthen it.
In extreme cases, grinding of the teeth can wear away the enamel. When this occurs, the teeth become soft. In order to prevent the teeth from decay, crowns may be placed over them.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is essentially a cap placed over a tooth that has been prepped to anchor it. It can be made of a variety of materials. The material used to create the dental crown is dependent on the area of the mouth the tooth is located, patient preference, and affordability of the material. Materials used to fabricate crowns include:
- gold or other metal alloy
- stainless steel
- porcelain or ceramic
- composite resin
Gold alloy is the traditional material used to make crowns. Gold is very durable and generally require less of the underlying tooth to be shaved down or prepped.
Porcelain and ceramic crowns have become much more durable over the years and many patients opt to have their crowns made with these materials. The color of porcelain crowns is matched to the surrounding teeth so that they cannot be seen when smiling or opening the mouth to other people.
Stainless steel is used in crowns for children over their baby teeth. This is because they are much less expensive and do not need to last a long time since the tooth will fall out eventually.
What Happens During a Dental Crown Procedure?
The process of having a dental crown placed typically takes two separate appointments. The first appointment is usually the longest and involves the actually prepping of the tooth. The first step in having a dental crown place is having an anesthetic or numbing medication placed in the mouth. A numbing gel will be applied to the area first and then anesthetic will be injected into the area around the tooth. Once your mouth has become numb, the tooth will need to be prepped. This involves shaving the tooth down and removing any decay so that it can anchor the dental crown.
Once the tooth has been fully prepped, an impression will be taken using a putty so that the dental crown can be fabricated. A temporary crown made of acrylic will be shaped and placed at the end of the appointment. The impression and any photos of the teeth will either be used in the office to make a permanent crown or sent out to a dental lab for fabrication. The time between the tooth prep and the second appointment to have the crown placed is usually about two weeks.
The second appointment is typically less involved and most patients do not need to get numb. The permanent crown will be checked to ensure a good fit and bite in the mouth. Minor adjustments can be made by the dentist if necessary. The temporary crown will be removed, any excess temporary cement will be cleaned from the prepped tooth, and the permanent crown will be cemented onto the tooth.
Pain and discomfort are well managed during both of these appointments. Some temporary sensitivity may be noticeable after the tooth is prepped, but will go away with time. Some gum discomfort may be present but can be alleviated with over the counter pain medication.
How Much does a Dental Crown Cost?
The cost of a dental crown can vary. A dental crown’s cost is dependent on the materials used, which tooth needs the crown, and how much the dentist and their lab charges. A person can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $2000 for a dental crown.
The Metrodent dental plan helps patients afford the cost of a dental crown. Depending on the material used and any additional services that may be necessary along with the crown, patients using the Metrodent dental plan will pay between $100 and $425 dollars. Metrodent makes dental work quite affordable.
What Happens if You Do Not have a Crown Placed?
When patients choose not to have a crown placed, there can be permanent damage done not only to the tooth but the surrounding areas. Decay that is left to its own devices will eat away and will eventually affect the nerve that is housed inside the root of the tooth. This can cause extreme pain and infections. When the nerve is affected, a root canal will be necessary in order to save the tooth. If the damage is too extensive, the entire tooth may need to be removed.
Decay present in one tooth can eventually spread to the surrounding teeth. When this happens, multiple teeth will need dental work or need to be removed if the damage is too severe.
When a tooth has extensive decay or damage, infections can occur. Infections can cause tissue and jaw bone damage. Infections can even spread to other parts of the face and cause serious consequences if left untreated.
Although affordability is always a factor, dental crown costs are typically less before more extreme damage has occurred. Your dental health is important for your overall well being and the Metrodent Dental Plan can help you receive the care you need.
What Dentist offers Dental Crowns near me?
Metrodent Dental Plan’s website can recommend a dentist in your area who specializes in restoring damaged teeth with dental crowns. They work with hundreds of dentists in the New York metropolitan area.
This article was reviewed and approved by a board certified dentist.