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Dental Crowns

DENTAL CROWNS

 

You don’t have to live with cracked, damaged, or discolored teeth.

Porcelain crowns are a highly esthetic way to restore your teeth to their original strength.

Dental crown procedure demonstrated at Endres Dental Care in Burtonsville Maryland

What is a dental crown?

In the simplest terms, a dental crown is a beautiful porcelain ceramic shell that covers and strengthens a weak, broken, or discolored tooth. A dental crown is so strong that you can eat any food with the new tooth and it is cemented on permanently so it feels just like a natural tooth.

 

Why do I need a crown?

Your dentist will recommend a crown to strengthen a weak tooth that is likely to fracture or a tooth that is already broken. A number of common reasons for recommending a crown include:

  • A large cavity has destroyed more than half of the tooth
  • The tooth has a very large old filling and is at high risk for catastrophic fracture
  • Previous root canal treatment (resulting in a more brittle tooth)
  • Severe sensitivity when biting or chewing
  • Esthetic concerns

Crowns primarily restore the strength of a tooth, saving the tooth from future fractures that could result in tooth loss.

 

What do I do if my dental crown fell off?

If an old dental crown falls off, the best thing to do is contact your dentist. A well-made dental crown on a healthy tooth should not fall off, so usually when a crown falls off it means there is something wrong with the tooth itself. Common reasons why a crown could fall off are

  • The tooth underneath is decaying and a cavity is forming
  • The tooth underneath has broken
  • The crown is cracked or broken
  • The cement has washed out (usually only occurs after 10+ years)

Your dentist can easily determine why the crown fell off. If we are lucky and the tooth is healthy, we may be able to simply recement the dental crown.

 

Does a dental crown hurt?

No, having a dental crown done should not hurt. In fact, the experience of having a crown done is very similar to having a simple filling done. There are a couple extra steps to the crown process but, like always, we promise to make sure you are completely comfortable and don’t feel a thing. If you need a little more help getting up the courage to fix your teeth, read more about our painless anesthesia technique and our sedation options.

 

What is a dental crown made of?

Modern dental crowns are made from one of several materials depending on which tooth is being treated. All of the modern dental materials are made to be highly esthetic and match your other natural teeth. For front teeth we prefer to use either porcelain or a ceramic called lithium disilicate (eMax) due to the superior translucency and esthetics. For back molar teeth we prefer zirconia, which is an extremely strong ceramic perfect for high forces while chewing. None of the materials we use today contain metals.

 

What is the procedure for a dental crown?

The first step in the dental crown procedure is to make sure you are completely comfortable. We always use our painless anesthesia technique. Once you are comfortable, we gently clean the tooth and remove any decay or cracks. Many times we will bond composite material (called a build-up) to add strength to the broken tooth. Then the tooth is gently shaped to best fit the porcelain dental crown. We find that the most perfect dental crowns are made by a lab that specializes in porcelain ceramics, so we will take an impression or an optical scan of the tooth to send to the lab. The last step is for us to cement on a temporary crown that will cover the tooth for a couple weeks while the lab makes the final dental crown. Once the lab is finished, we will see you for a short appointment to remove the temporary and permanently cement the final crown.

 

What is a temporary crown? What do I do if my temporary crown fell off?

A temporary crown is used to protect the tooth during the couple weeks that the lab is fabricating the final dental crown. Temporary crowns are made of a strong composite material so you can mostly eat like normal. We will just recommend not using the tooth to bite super hard foods like nuts or to chew super sticky foods like caramels. Temporary crowns and the temporary cement are purposefully not as strong as the final crown so that we can easily remove them. Because they are meant to be removed, sometimes they will fall off. If a temporary crown falls off do not worry, the tooth itself is just fine. Give us a call and we will see you that day to recement the tooth. You can also place a small amount of toothpaste into the underside of the temporary crown and place it back on yourself until you can come in to the office.

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Still Have Questions?


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We love our patients!

"I had a great experience with Dr. Endres, his staff and dental hygienist. They are very professional, attentive and friendly. They made me feel well taken care of and welcome. Their office and dental rooms are very nice, clean and comfortable. All around good experience. I would definitely recommend!"   ~ Daisy V

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