By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
A beautiful smile is a key indicator of youth and good health. Over time, however, our teeth begin to weaken due to physical stressors, acidic foods, and other factors. This makes our teeth more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, and discoloration.
That’s where dental crowns come in. This common dental restoration can solve a number of problems and bring your smile back to its former glory.
Are you wondering whether or not a dental crown can help restore your smile? Then you’ve come to the right place! Let’s take a deeper look at dental crowns to help you determine when this restorative treatment is right for you.
What are Crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that restores a decayed, broken, weak or worn-down tooth. Crowns are about 1.5 mm thick and cover the entire tooth like a little hat. This cap replaces the structure, support, and look of the original tooth.
These days, crowns are typically made from the strongest all-porcelain materials. However, in the past crowns have also been made from porcelain fused to metal, or even full gold. For the most natural look and feel, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert recommend all-porcelain crowns as the strength of these materials can’t be beat and they can best match the shade of your natural teeth.
When Do You Need a Crown?
Crowns can serve several different purposes. Dental crowns can be used to:
- Strengthen a weak tooth: If your tooth is experiencing extensive decay or has a large filling, a crown can fortify your tooth to prevent it from breaking.
- Protect and support a cracked tooth: A cracked tooth can be quite painful, especially when chewing. If the crack is too deep, a crown can be used to prevent the crack from deepening.
- Restore a worn-down or broken tooth: Whether your worn-down tooth is bothering you cosmetically or functionally, a crown can restore your tooth and allow you to feel and look like yourself again.
- Hold a dental bridge in place: Crowns can serve as supporting structures for dental bridges. They are placed on the natural teeth on either side of a gap, providing support for the artificial tooth or teeth that bridge the gap.
- Cover a severely stained or discolored tooth: If your tooth is too stained for traditional whitening, you may consider getting a crown that’s made to match the color of your smile.
- Protect a root canal-treated tooth: After a root canal procedure, a crown is often placed over the tooth to provide strength and protection. Crowns also seal the treated tooth preventing re-infection.
- Cover a dental implant: When dental implants are used to replace a tooth, a crown is attached to the implant in order to make sure the solution appears natural.
When you come in for your appointment, Dr. Jeff Eggert or Elizebeth Eggert will evaluate your teeth and be able to determine if any of your teeth are experiencing any of the above problems and if a dental crown is the appropriate solution for you.
Benefits of a Crown
When compared to other restorative treatments, dental crowns have many benefits, including:
- Natural look: Porcelain crowns are very discreet, blending in and appearing just like one of your natural teeth.
- Protective solution: Because the entire tooth is covered, the tooth is less likely to fully fracture or split than with other restorations like veneers or fillings.
- Comfortable: Crowns feel very much like your own teeth, so it won’t take long to get used to.
- Quick process: Crowns can be fitted in just 1-2 visits.
Process of Getting a Crown
As we said above, the process of installing a crown is relatively quick. It typically takes 1-2 visits to Eggert Family Dentistry, and then you’ll be enjoying your new smile for years to come.
One Visit: When you come in for your CEREC crown, you will first be given local anesthetic so that you do not experience any discomfort. Then your tooth will be reshaped so that the crown can be placed over it. Once the tooth has been reshaped, we can often take a CEREC scan of your tooth and make your crown right in our office, allowing us to place it that same day. That means you can leave with your final crown after just one visit!
Two Visits: Occasionally, we are not able to take a CEREC scan, and instead we will have your crown made by a dental lab. In that case, the process will require two visits. On your first visit, a mold will be taken of your affected tooth and your surrounding teeth. We will still reshape your tooth and fit you with a temporary crown to protect it until your porcelain crown is ready. If your crown is being made at the dental lab, it takes about 2 weeks to be returned.
After your final crown has been made, you’ll come in for your second appointment to have it placed. At this appointment, the crown will be fixed to your tooth using cement to ensure it remains in place, and voila, you can enjoy your new smile! Crowns are very durable, and with proper hygiene, your new crown can last 10-15 years or longer!
Think You Need a Dental Crown? Call Eggert Family Dentistry Today
If you’re still wondering whether or not you need a dental crown, call Eggert Family Dentistry today at 651-482-8412 or simply book a recare appointment online. We would be happy to answer any questions you still have about how dental crowns can help restore the appearance and function of your natural teeth. We look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile!