Common questions and answers about dental crowns.

Dental crowns are among the most widely used treatments in restorative dentistry. However, patients still have plenty of questions whenever their dentist tells them they need one. You can always reach out to your dentist about dental crowns or check out these answers to common questions for more information.

1. What are dental crowns?

A dental crown is a type of restoration that includes a cover attached to a prepared natural tooth. It relies on healthy tooth roots to provide a strong foundation so the restoration can achieve excellent stability and bite strength.

The cover is custom made to match the size, shape, and shade of your smile. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramics, and zirconia. They provide durability and strength while also serving as excellent visual substitutes for natural enamel.

To prepare your tooth for dental crown placement, your dentist will trim away enamel to prepare a base. The crown is custom made to fit over the base perfectly and is secured with dental cement for a lasting hold. Once placed, most crowns are barely noticeable and can last over 15 years when cared for properly.

2. Do I need a dental crown?

The best way to find out whether you need a dental crown is to visit your dentist. They can assess any dental problems you’re having, such as toothaches, injuries, visible decay, or bite issues. They’ll determine whether a dental crown is the appropriate treatment for your specific case.

One of the most common reasons for a dental crown is extensive tooth decay. Dental fillings can seal cavities to prevent further decay and sensitivity. However, tooth decay can eventually impact the strength and integrity of your tooth. In that case, dental fillings aren’t suitable. Instead, you’ll likely need a dental crown.

If you need a root canal treatment, you will probably receive a crown after the procedure. The treatment entails creating an opening in the chewing surface of the affected tooth and removing the infected matter. While filling material handles most of the void space inside the tooth, it doesn’t make a great chewing surface. A dental crown ensures that the tooth has enough strength to bite and chew.

Physical injury to your teeth may also call for a dental crown. Minor chips and cracks are often only cosmetic, with no impact on the structure of the tooth. In these cases, options like veneers or dental bonding can suffice. More serious damage requires a dental crown to restore the structure of the tooth and prevent further damage.

3. Are there alternative options to dental crowns?

In certain situations, yes, there are a variety of treatment options besides dental crowns. If a tooth is missing entirely, a dental crown isn’t suitable. Instead, your dentist may recommend options, such as a bridge or dental implant.

In some cases, your tooth may be damaged or decayed to the point that a dental implant may be a better choice than a dental crown. While keeping the natural tooth is a priority, extraction followed by dental implant placement could be the right choice for your specific case.

4. What makes CEREC same day crowns different?

CEREC same day crowns are a new alternative to traditional dental crowns. They still provide lasting strength, strong performance, and create a beautiful smile, but they make the process of getting your crown so much easier.

Traditional crowns require you to wear a temporary crown while your final crown is made at a dental lab. Your dentist prepares the tooth and then takes a physical impression, which they send to the lab. They then make the crown and ship it back. The process takes several weeks, after which you return for the final placement.

Conversely, CEREC same day crowns can be handled in just one visit. Your dentist prepares the tooth before using 3D imaging technology to take high-resolution digital impressions.

The 3D scan is used by CAD software to send custom instructions to a dental mill right in the office. The milling machine creates your custom crown right there, and your dentist can place it immediately.

5. How can I find out if same day crowns are right for me?

CEREC same day crowns are an excellent option for many patients. However, they aren’t necessarily the best solution every time. Other options, such as porcelain, may be preferable for front-tooth crowns. The only way to find out what your individual options are is to schedule a consultation with a dentist.

Dr. Steven A. Lang, DDS, is your same day dentist for CEREC crowns and other treatment options. Dr. Lang will carefully assess your unique needs and develop a treatment plan that works for you. Schedule a consultation with your Middletown dentist to get started today.