Left untreated, missing teeth, discoloration, and damaged teeth can not only put a damper on your smile but can also lead to more severe dental issues down the road. Dental crowns serve as a permanent “cap” for your teeth, fully enclosing them with a cover made from ceramic, porcelain, or alloy. That is why Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS of Chestnut Family Dentistry in Asheville, NC offers crowns as part of her many dental care services.
Are Dental Crowns a Good Idea?
The purpose of a crown is to protect your tooth while fully restoring it to its original size, color, shape, and strength so you can continue to talk and chew as normal. As a patient, you may benefit from a dental crown if you have a:
- Large cavity too deep for a filling
- Weak, cracked, and/or worn-down teeth
- Recent root canal treatment
- Discolored or oddly-shaped tooth
If you have large gaps that are created by missing teeth and need a bridge, Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS will also use place two crowns on either side of the gap to help secure the “bridging” fixture into place.
Benefits of Crowns
You can immediately start enjoying a brand new smile when you have a crown put over your tooth. Your teeth will become stronger, your smile will be more attractive, and once a tooth is capped, it’s highly unlikely that you will experience further pain or problems.
A crown can make your face appear more symmetrical and provide you with an even bite, which can prevent additional damage, such as wearing down your other teeth.
Am I a Candidate?
You are eligible for a dental crown if you require a restorative treatment (such as a root canal or large cavity), or if you simply want cosmetic work done.
6 Things to Know About Getting New Crowns
1. Crowns May Last Up to 30 Years
As long as you brush and floss regularly, as well as keep up on your yearly cleanings, your crown can last you for up to 30 years. However, without proper care and maintenance, your crown can become loose and fall out, usually due to damage or decay.
2. Having a Crown Put On Is Painless
Beyond the initial pinch from the local anesthetic that numbs your mouth, it is highly unlikely that you will feel pain when you are receiving a crown. Some patients may feel sore for a few hours after treatment, but this kind of pain tends to pass quickly.
3. There Are Different Types of Crowns
There are four different types of dental crowns that you can have put on your teeth, each made with a different material:
- Porcelain-fused to metal
- Gold Alloys
- Base Metal Alloys
Ceramic crowns are great for capping your front teeth because their color makes it easy to blend in with the rest of your smile. These are made with a porcelain-based material. If you need a stronger bond than porcelain alone can provide, you might consider a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, which utilizes a durable, metal structure to stay in place. Alloy-based crowns are made from mixtures of strong metals that protect against fractures and corrosion, making them very strong options.
4. It Can Take Up to Two Visits to Complete Treatment
Since there are several steps involved in having a crown placed over your tooth, a typical treatment may require up to two visits. During your initial visit, Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS will prepare your tooth by removing any decay and filing it down to make room for the coating.
Next, we take an impression to create a perfect fit – this can be done using a mold or a digital scanner. In most cases, we will provide you with a temporary crown while your permanent one is being made. On your next visit, we replace the temporary covering with your permanent cap and make adjustments until your bite is even and feels natural.
5. Proper Care is Required If You Want It to Last
Despite being very strong, crowns are just as susceptible to breaking as your original teeth. The area beneath the crown may also develop a cavity. You can take steps to maintain your new crown by creating good oral health habits. In addition to regular care, you should also avoid chewing hard food or on hard objects, including ice. By scheduling regular cleanings throughout the year, you can ensure that your crown lasts long as long as possible.
6. Crowns Cost Are a Wonderful Investment
Dental crowns are a great, long-lasting investment that can help you go through life feeling confident. Many patients with insurance will find that their provider can help cover at least a portion of the costs if you need a crown. The cost can also vary according to several other factors, such as material type. There is nothing more priceless than having a beautiful smile.
Dental Services You Can Count On!
The type of crown you need will depend on the specific conditions of your teeth, as well as your personal preferences. If you need a crown for a back molar, you might consider getting a metal-based crown, while a candidate for a front tooth crown might want porcelain since it’s a more visible area. Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS is happy to help you discuss your options, review your insurance, and answer any questions.
Our goal is to help you fall in love with your smile. If you are ready to take care of any dental problem you are experiencing, contact us at Chestnut Family Dentistry in Asheville, NC to book your appointment today!