Crowns are incredibly common in our Indiana offices, and they are a fantastic option for teeth that have suffered from neglect or advanced decay. If a crown or crowns are in your future, you probably have some questions. Here are a few things that our patients ask.
What Exactly Is A Crown?
Dental crowns are a way to cover teeth that are broken or otherwise damaged, or to cover teeth that have been heavily repaired. You might also need a crown to protect a tooth after having a root canal or getting bridges or dentures. Crowns are built to be discreet, and they will match the size, shape, color, and surface of natural teeth. You might even forget that you have one!
Do Crowns Hurt?
Many people have painful memories tied to the dental chair. While it’s true that many procedures can bring out sensitivity and put pressure on already aching teeth, the truth is that applying a crown will only help alleviate the pain that is already existing through your damaged tooth or teeth. Ignoring treatment now will only lead to larger problems down the line. Throughout the process, we will help you keep your pain at bay by using numbing injections at the site of the problem. If you have a history of being overly sensitive after dental appointments, over-the-counter medications, including pain relievers, can be helpful as you get back to your day-to-day routine.
How Long Will The Process Take?
Getting a crown involves a series of steps. First, we will trim your tooth or teeth down to a desired shape. The next step will be getting impressions of the teeth using a molding substance. Those impressions will be sent to a special laboratory, where they will be used as a model to construct the crown itself. You’ll make another appointment where the crown will be “installed” on top of the damaged tooth surface and kept in place with dental cement. All patients are different, and so is the way we handle the crowning process. The length of time between appointments will depend on the extent of your damage, as well as what works best for your schedule.
Are there other alternatives?
If your teeth are damaged beyond repair, crowns are a great alternative to total tooth replacement options, like dentures or an implant. Some people have questions about the difference between a crown and bridge. While crowns can cover up a whole or partial damaged tooth, bridges are often needed when a tooth or multiple teeth are missing.
How Long Will My Crown Last?
Occasionally, like when teeth are not cared for or are exposed to chewy or rough foods over time, a crown can pop off and need to be replaced. This is not the norm, however. Crowns are created to last a lifetime. The better you take care of them through good oral hygiene and regular check ups, the better they will serve you in the long run.
It’s normal to have questions as you prepare to get a crown in your mouth. Don’t hesitate to call or stop in with any concerns that you have about the procedure.