dental crown on a crown prep

Longmont Dental Crowns

Whether you’re looking to fix a single tooth or several teeth, Dr. Hedrick specializes in restoring your smile’s function and aesthetics. She’s not only highly experienced in creating and placing dental crowns, but she also performs each procedure with the latest technology to ensure a positive experience and outcome for her patients. Read further to learn about dental crowns (including our same-day crowns!), the procedure, alternatives, and more.

What Is a Dental Crown?

Also known as a cap, a dental crown is a permanent prosthetic device that restores a tooth to normal size and shape. It attaches 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 They Needed?

You may need a dental crown after certain dental procedures, such as a root canal. Other reasons may include:

  • Cavity is too large for a filling
  • Cracked tooth
  • Discolored tooth
  • Replacing missing tooth
  • Worn down tooth

Dental Crowns vs. Inlays vs. Onlays

Each of these devices shares similarities in that they all replace part of the tooth, but each one replaces a different part of it. The largest factor in determining which method is needed is the amount of tooth decay.

Dental Crowns

Crowns are used when most, or all, of the tooth structure needs replacing, and they’ll completely cover the natural tooth or implant.


Inlays are like fillings as they cover the middle of the tooth cusp (top part of the tooth). Inlays are typically used when a cavity is too big for a filling but not large enough for an onlay or dental crown. The inlay is cemented to the tooth after the damaged part is removed. We typically don’t perform inlays at our office because we believe a crown or onlay is a better choice


Less invasive than crowns, onlays cover the tooth cusp if the bottom half of the tooth is healthy. Onlays can also be a great long-term solution for cavities that require large fillings.

Rendering of woman getting sedation dentistry and dreaming about being on a beach

Is the Procedure 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 pinch a little bit. Afterward, you’ll be numb and should not feel any pain during the procedure. If you’re anxious about it, we do have sedation options that will help you be more comfortable.

After we place the dental crown, there may be minor discomfort and sensitivity for a while. If needed, you can treat it with ibuprofen.

Learn About Sedation Options

Steps for Placing a Dental Crown

The steps typically depend on if the crown is supported by an implant or a tooth.

Implant-Supported Crowns

When implants are necessary to support a crown, two appointments are usually needed. During the first appointment, Dr. Hedrick will place the base of the implant, which screws into the bone tissue. Afterward, it’s necessary to wait about three months until the implant integrates with the bone before you can come back for the crown placement.

Tooth-Supported Crowns

These can be performed on the same day, and they take only about two hours to complete. Not all dental practices can offer same-day crowns, but we can because of our CEREC machine.

Procedure for Same-Day Crowns:

  • We use our CEREC machine to scan your mouth
  • Dr. Hedrick will perform a crown prep, which involves smoothing down the tooth
  • The CEREC will mill the crown, which takes only about an hour
  • Hedrick will place the crown in your mouth
zirconia blocks that will be milled into dental crowns

What Materials Do CEREC Crowns Use?

Crowns can be made from metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, and many other types of materials. Our office primarily uses either zirconia or lithium disilicate, and both are terrific options. Dr. Hedrick can advise you on which material would be best for you as there are many things to consider.

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?

You can expect your crown to last at least ten years, but it’s not uncommon for them to last several decades.

How long your crown lasts primarily comes down to two factors. The first is the dentist’s skill level. If a dentist is highly skilled in designing and creating bridges, it will last longer. The second is entirely controlled by you and comes down to taking diligent care of your crown.

How to Care for Your Dental Crown

They’re easy to clean and remarkably similar to how you would care for your natural teeth. You’ll want to brush twice a day as you normally would and floss at least once a day.

There are many types of floss you can use with crowns, but one of them should be a water flosser.  When using a water flosser, there are many types of tips you can use.  For crowns, we recommend the plaque seeker tip which is designed to clean in between the crown and gum tissue.

Another difference between caring for crowns and natural teeth is that you should pay closer attention to avoiding certain hard foods, such as hard candy.

dental crown being milled in our Longmont office

How We Make Our Dental Crowns

We produce our crowns on our office CEREC machines — we have two! — instead of sending them out to a lab. This offers several benefits, including our complete control over the process and guaranteeing a perfect fit. It’s also convenient for you as we can make your crown while you wait.

Are Dental Crowns Covered by Insurance?

Yes, they’re often covered by insurance and often pay 30% to 50% of the cost. If you don’t have dental insurance, we can suggest affordable insurance options.

Dr. Hedrick’s Thoughts

“During my 15 years of practice, it has become obvious to me how detrimental breaking a tooth can be. One of the many things I look for when I perform clinical exams is cracks in the teeth. If any are present, I decide on the restorative solution based on whether there is more filling than tooth structure to support the bite. If you need a crown, it’s always a protective solution that will allow the tooth to function normally.”

Why Get a Dental Crown at Longmont Dental Loft?

Our office has all the state-of-the-art technology to provide a terrific experience. We take digital scans instead of using impression material to create a treatment plan. And our same-day crowns mean no temporary ones and fewer visits.

Dr. Hedrick works wonders with this technology to achieve remarkable results. She will take great care of you and make sure you have a smile you’re proud of. If you have questions, please call us at 303-772-6333 as we’re happy to help.