A dental crown is a prosthetic device that is fixed onto your tooth using cement and can be removed only by a cosmetic dentist. A crown (aka cap) is placed on a damaged tooth. If your smile needs dental restoration, crowns will provide you with predictable and secure results.
They can help give your teeth back their natural shape and size. There are different types of porcelain teeth caps available to suit every budget and need. Your emergency dentist will help you determine the best type of dental crowns for your specific needs. Our patients have the option to choose from zirconia, porcelain-fused-to-metal and E-max crowns. Let our Simi Valley dentists help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
What Are Cosmetic Crowns Used for?
Along with the cosmetic reason, dental crowns can help save your tooth and prevent further damage to your teeth. Cosmetic crowns can be prescribed in order to:
- Protect a weak or damaged tooth from cracking or a fracture
- Strengthen the tooth with a large filling when there is little of natural tooth left
- Restore the tooth having a large cavity
- Restore worn down or broken tooth
- Help hold a bridge in place
- Add a dental cap to a tooth after root canal treatment
- Cover an implant
- Cover discolored or misshapen teeth
Types of Dental Crowns
Crowns come in different materials. Depending on your situation and preferences, we can offer you 3 types of permanent crowns:
- Zirconia Crowns (this is our #1 gold standard)
As the name suggests, this type of crown is made of zirconium – a very durable and indestructible material. Zirconia crowns are as strong as gold, have a translucent color and look natural, blending perfectly with other teeth. This is a metal-free restoration with minimal preparation which helps save more of your original tooth. One of the biggest advantages of applying zirconia crowns is a low risk of body rejection and allergic reaction. The ideal use for zirconia crowns is when extra strength is needed, for example, for back teeth restorations.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns
This is a hybrid type of restoration where a porcelain cap covers a metal shell. Unlike metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns give the restored teeth a natural look. This crown has a tooth-like shape and color, providing fair aesthetic appeal and good strength. It has a high rate of success in the long run. A porcelain-fused-to-metal crown is an option for front or back teeth, as sometimes the metal part of the crown can show up as a dark line at the crown’s edge. Porcelain teeth caps are also a good choice in case you need a bridge or have night grinding problems.
- E-max Crowns
Made of lithium silicate, E-max crowns are the strongest ceramics available in dentistry today. E-max crowns provide the best aesthetics due to their translucent nature. They are tough and durable. E-max crowns are known for exceptional optical quality: they ideally mimic the color shade, shape and size of your natural teeth. As E-max dental caps are metal free, there won’t be a grey edge showing near the gum line. Proven to last long, E-max crowns are a good investment in your healthy smile.
Dental Crown Procedure: What to Expect?
There are usually two visits needed to have a crown applied. The first visit to the dental office will include:
- Careful examination of your teeth and mouth
- X-ray scan of a bone and tooth that needs a crown
- Tooth reshaping
- Making an impression
- Applying a temporary crown
If there is any decay, infection or pulp injury, a root canal treatment will be needed before getting a crown. Then, a temporary crown is applied to help protect the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated. It usually takes 2 or 3 weeks for the dental laboratory to make a crown. When a permanent crown is ready, you will have a second visit to the dentist. At this appointment, you will undergo the following procedures:
- Removing the temporary dental crown
- Checking to make sure the fabricated crown fits and is the color and size
- Making any necessary adjustments for a perfect fit
- Placing a permanent crown onto your tooth with the help of special adhesive
Once the crown is in place and the numbing sensation has subsided, there is a chance you will need some more adjustment. After the additional adjustment, the crown should feel, look and act the same as your natural tooth.
Are Dental Crowns Safe?
There are very few dental issues involved with cosmetic crowns. Some patients experience discomfort and sensitivity or an allergic reaction. It’s important to choose an experienced Simi Valley dentist to help avoid issues with your dental crown treatment. Typically, issues experienced with a crown can be easily fixed with a follow-up trip to the dentist for adjustments.
Is Getting Dental Crowns Painful?
No, the process of applying a crown is not painful – it is no different than having a filling. If needed, local anesthesia can be provided to numb the tooth during the preparation stage.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
There are many factors that can influence the durability of crowns, many of which depend on a patient. These are some of them:
- The material is chosen ( for example, zirconia or gold is more durable than pure porcelain)
- Tooth location (back tooth tend to worn out more quickly while front teeth can be damaged by biting hard objects)
- Bite force caused by the patient having a grinding or clenching habit)
- Oral hygiene
Crowns of any type – porcelain-fused-to-metal, zirconia, and E-max cannot decay; however, the decay may appear at the edge where a crown joins the tooth. It is also possible to break the crown by biting and chewing inappropriate objects. If the crown is fabricated according to high standards, is fitted properly and is well-maintained, it can last a lifetime.
Can Crowns be Removed or Replaced?
Yes. Not only can dental crowns be removed or replaced but your dentist may recommend replacing your crowns for several different reasons. If your dentist notices decay underneath the crown, extensive wear, or a cavity, they may replace your crown. The patient needing a root canal is also another reason why a crown needs replacing. In most instances, replacing the crown is relatively painless for the patient and only requires the dentist to trim down the existing crown. Patients have several options to choose from when considering removing or replacing a crown and should speak with their dentist to choose the best option based on their unique situation.
Can Crowns be Whitened?
Patients should keep in mind that porcelain will not change color due to typical teeth whitening products. If you are considering whitening, your dentist may recommend replacing your crowns to match as well.
How to Care for Your Crowns
A crowned tooth doesn’t need any special care. However, good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are necessary to prevent your tooth from decay and gum diseases. Try to brush and floss the area where a crowned tooth meets the gum thoroughly. If you have porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, avoid biting hard objects as it can provoke cracking the porcelain.
The most natural-looking and durable crowns are the ones made by a professional dentist. It is not only the material but rather the technique. We are proud to provide excellent dental care to our patients. We’d be happy to offer you a complimentary consultation if you think dental crowns may be right for you. Our dentists can help you decide if you are a candidate for crowns based on your dental health, time, and the cost of dental crowns. Visit our Simi Valley office to meet professionals who can help you attain the smile you’ve always wanted.