As you Longmont dental crown specialist, Dr. Hedrick can help restore function and aesthetics to your smile. Not only is she highly experienced in creating and placing crowns, but Longmont Dental Loft has all the latest technology to make your treatment a great experience.
Dental crown on a smoothed tooth
What is a Dental Crown?
Also known as a cap, a dental crown is a permanent prosthetic device. Dental crowns restore the tooth to a normal size and shape. They are attached to either an implant or a tooth prep (a natural tooth that’s been smoothed down). Reasons for getting a crown could be for either functional or cosmetic reasons.
Why Are Dental Crowns Needed?
Dental crowns may be a requirement after certain dental procedures such as a root canal. In addition to needing a crown after a root canal the following tooth conditions may be reasons for a crown.
- Cavity too large for a filling
- Cracked tooth
- Discolored tooth
- Replace missing tooth
- Worn down tooth
Dental Crowns vs Inlays vs Onlays
Each of these devices have some similarities as they all replace part of the tooth. However, each option replaces a different part of the tooth. The largest factor in determining which method is needed is the amount of tooth decay.
Crowns are used when most (or all) of the tooth structure has to be replaced. When crowns are used, the natural tooth (or implant) isn’t visible at all as it’s completely covered by the crown. If most of the tooth structure doesn’t need to be replaced, then an inlay or onlay may be an option.
An inlay is like a filling as it covers the middle of the tooth cusp (top part of a tooth). Typically, inlays are used if a cavity is too big for a filling, however not large enough for an onlay or dental crown. The inlay is cemented to the tooth after the damaged part of the tooth is removed. At Longmont Dental Loft we typically don’t do inlays as often times a crown or onlay is a better choice.
An onlay is less invasive than a crown and covers the tooth cusp. If the bottom half of a tooth is healthy than an onlay can be an alternate option instead of a crown. An onlay can also be a great long-term solution to for cavities that would require a very large filling.
Is Getting a Dental Crown Painful?
Prior to placing the implant or performing the crown prep, Dr. Hedrick will apply a local anesthetic. Although this typically isn’t painful, it will be slightly uncomfortable like being pinched. After the anesthetic is administered you will be numb and should not feel any pain during the procedure. If you’re anxious about the procedure, then we do have sedation options that will help you be more comfortable.
After the dental crown is placed, there may be some minor discomfort and sensitivity for a while. If needed ibuprofen can be taken after the procedure.
Steps for Placing a Dental Crown
The steps for getting a crown placed depends on several factors. Typically, the steps are different if the crown is placed on an implant vs. tooth supported.
Implant Supported Crowns
When implants are necessary to support a crown, it typically takes two appointments. During the first appointment, Dr. Hedrick will place the base of the implant. This is the part of the implant that screws into the bone tissue. After installing the implant its’ necessary to wait about 3 months until the implant integrates with the bone.
After the implant is integrated with the bone tissue, you will come back to get the crown placed.
Same Day Crowns
When the crown is tooth supported the crown can be done on the same day. Best of all, it just takes about 2 hours to complete.
Not all dental practices can do same day crowns, but we are fortunate to have a CEREC machine in our office that allows us to make same day crowns.
Procedure for same day crowns:
- First, our CEREC is used to take a scan of your mouth
- Second, Dr. Hedrick will perform a crown prep which involves smoothing down the tooth
- Third, the CEREC will mill the crown in our Longmont office. This process takes only about an hour
- Finally, Dr. Hedrick will place the crown in your mouth
Zirconia blocks that will be milled into dental crowns
What Materials are Used in a CEREC Crown?
Crowns can be made from metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, and many other types of materials. At Longmont Dental Loft we primarily use either Zirconia or lithium disilicate. Both are terrific options and we can create crowns with either material in our CEREC machine. Dr. Hedrick can advise you on which material would be best for you as there are many things to take into consideration.
How Long do Dental Crowns Last?
Although sometimes crowns will last over 30 years, we often say you can expect your crown to last at least 10 years. We often say that you can expect your crown to last at least 10 years. However, it’s not uncommon for them to last several decades.
How long your crown lasts primarily comes down to two factors. The first factor comes down to the dentist’s skill level. If a dentist is highly skills with designing and creating the bridge, it will last longer. The second factor is entirely controlled by you and it comes down to taking good care of your crown.
How to Care for Your Dental Crown
Dental crowns are easy to clean and very similar to how you would care for your natural teeth. You will still want to be sure to brush and floss daily. And of course, it’s important to come to our office for your cleanings and exams. The only difference with caring for crowns over natural teeth is you should pay closer attention to avoiding chewing hard foods such as hard candy.
Dental crown being milled in our CEREC machine
How we Make our Dental Crowns in our Longmont Office
At Longmont Dental Loft we produce our crowns in our Longmont office rather than sending them out to a lab. Our dental crowns are manufactured on our CEREC machines (we do so many crowns we have two of these amazing machines).
Being able to make CEREC crowns in our office has several benefits. First, we have complete control over the manufacturing process which guarantees a perfect fit. Second, it is extremely convenient for you as we can make your crown while you wait.
Are Dental Crowns Covered by Insurance?
Yes, dental crowns are often covered by insurance. It’s typical for dental insurance to pay 50% of the cost. If you don’t have dental insurance, we have affordable insurance options that we can suggest.
Dr. Hedrick’s Thoughts on Dental Crowns
“As I have practiced over the last 15 years it has become obvious to me how detrimental breaking a tooth can be. When I perform clinical exams one of the many things, I look for are cracks in your teeth. If cracks are present, I decide on the restorative solution based on whether there is more filling than tooth structure to support the bite. If you do need a crown the crown is always a protective solution that will allow the tooth to function as a normal tooth daily.”
Why get a CEREC Crown at Longmont Dental Loft?
At Longmont Dental Loft we have all the state-of-the-art technology to provide a terrific experience. Instead of using impression material to create a treatment plan we will take a digital scan. And when it comes to getting the crown placed, we can do same day crowns which means less visits and not temporary crowns.
Dr. Hedrick works wonders with this technology to achieve great results. She will be sure to take great care of you and make sure you have a smile that you’re proud of.