All About Crowns: FAQs and More

March 15, 2022

dental crown modelThe thought of getting dental treatment can spark anxiety in many people. We call this ‘dental-phobia’ and there are varying degrees. Some people find that they have no fear of the dentist until they hear one of the tools turn on, others don’t feel the pinch of dread until they hear words like ‘crown’, ‘bridge’, or ‘root canal’.

While some dental procedures are not comfortable, modern dental technology and advances have made most treatments quick and relatively painless. Many dentists now offer relaxation options (such as sedation, headphones, warm blankets) that allow a person to feel at ease – no matter what the dental procedure is. If your dentist has recommended a crown to fix a tooth issue and you are wanting to alleviate some of your anxiety by learning more about this type of treatment, then you are in the right place! Let’s put some of those fears to rest.

Everything You Need to Know About Crowns

A crown is a cap that fits over an existing, damaged tooth (it can also cap an implant). This ‘cap’ attaches to the base of your tooth and prevents your tooth from decaying further.

Why Would Your Dentist Recommend a Crown?

In most situations, a cavity or tooth decay can be fixed with a composite filling. If the cavity or tooth decay has progressed to the point where the top of the tooth is compromised, your dentist may recommend a crown.

What Types of Crowns are There?

Not all crowns are one size fits all. While crowns cover the entirety of the damaged/decayed tooth, there are instances when a full cap may not be necessary.

Inlays and Onlays (also known as 3/4 crowns) are a type of lab-made filling. They cover the majority of the tooth, but not the entire tooth, and are usually used to repair broken teeth. Depending on the type of damage or decay, your dentist may recommend a 3/4 crown.

How Are Crowns Made?

At Lone Tree Modern Dental, we use porcelain crowns as well crowns made entirely of metal. Depending on the extent of the tooth damage, a different material may be recommended. Ultimately, it will come down to patient preference.

  • Metal crowns made from gold, palladium, nickel, or chrome last the longest.
  • Resin crowns look like natural teeth, but they tend to break or wear out over time.
  • Ceramic crowns can be lined with metal or made of super-strong pressed ceramic.
  • Porcelain crowns have the most natural look, and can also be fused to metal for extra strength.

How Long Do Crowns Last?

Depending on the material used, crowns can last a long time. One of the biggest issues with crowns not lasting, cracking, or falling out is when a patient does not follow up with their dentist or practice regular dental habits (like brushing, flossing, and annual cleanings).

There is a wide range, however. Metal crowns can last a lifetime while resin crowns may need replacing within 5 years. Porcelain and Ceramic fall somewhere in the middle depending on care. You will need to speak with your dentist about what is right for you, your budget, and your overall dental health.

How Much Will You Spend on Crowns?

Again, this depends on the material. We recommend consulting our dental team at Lone Tree to make the right choice for your budget and needs. We have several payment options available at our office that may be perfect for you, including a dental membership plan that can save you up to 20% off dental procedures.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Crown?

Once you schedule an appointment for an initial consult/diagnosis, the actual amount of time it takes for a crown is as quick as two visits to our office. During the consult, we’ll take impressions of your existing tooth to make a mold for your crown.

You will then schedule an appointment so the dentist can remove the damaged portion of the tooth and fit you with a temporary crown made of plastic. You will then come back for a second appointment, to remove the temporary crown, clean your tooth, and cement the permanent crown in place.

Restorative Dentistry in Lone Tree

No one ever plans to need extensive, restorative dental treatment. In fact, sometimes it happens so suddenly it becomes a dental emergency.  At Lone Tree Modern Dental, we provide a comfortable and relaxing office setting to help alleviate your fears and stress about these procedures. Schedule an appointment with us today so we can help give you the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.