Are you exploring options after your dentist recommended a dental crown? Here are the top nine questions you should ask before moving forward with the procedure.
Did your dentist say you need a dental crown? If so, you likely have several questions. You may be wondering how a crown compares to other dental procedures and whether a dental crown is your best option. If you are a patient of Dr. Larry Saylor’s, he provides Same-Day Crowns that allow you to get started in the morning and have a new crown by lunchtime. However, this isn’t always an option in other dentist offices.
Learning as much as you can about a dental crown helps you know what to expect and determine the right solution for your personal smile. Below are nine questions you should ask a trusted dentist before scheduling a dental crown placement procedure:
1. What is a Dental Crown?
My dentist said I need a crown…now what? A dental crown is a cap or cover the dentist places over the tooth to strengthen and restore it to normal size, shape, and function. Crowns come in a variety of materials, including:
- Metal alloys
- Composite resin
Your dentist will make recommendations regarding the right crown material for you, depending on the tooth’s location and function, gum tissue position, the impact on your smile’s appearance, as well as any sensitivities you may have.
2. When Is a Dental Crown Necessary?
Dental crowns may be necessary for the following situations:
- You have experienced tooth decay that has weakened or damaged the tooth.
- Your tooth is fractured or worn.
- You need to protect a root canal.
- You need to cover a tooth with a filling or have a cavity that is too large for a filling.
- You need to hold a dental bridge.
- Your tooth is misshapen or discolored.
- You need to cover a dental implant.
3. How Long Does a Dental Crown Procedure Take?
While some dentists, like Dr. Saylor, offer crown placement in one appointment, others require two separate appointments. The first appointment typically includes tooth preparation, impression for the crown, and temporary crown placement. The second appointment is usually two weeks later when the dentist has the final crown and will cement the crown to the tooth.
With Dr. Saylor’s Same-Day Crowns, there’s no need for more than one appointment. You can get everything done in approximately three hours in the dentist’s chair.
4. How Long Do Crowns Last?
With proper maintenance and oral hygiene, most types of dental crowns last between five and 15 years on average. Activities such as chewing ice, grinding teeth, using teeth to open packaging, and biting fingernails can shorten the crown’s lifespan. With expert placement, high-quality materials, and excellent care, habits, and hygiene, a crown may even last a lifetime.
5. How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?
A dental crown can cost between $1375 and $1,575, depending on the type of crown and treatment necessary to prepare the tooth for cap placement. Take a look at the average costs for a dental crown at Dr. Saylor’s office:
- For an implant crown, the average cost is $2688.
- Porcelain crown costs $1575.
- Gold crowns and porcelain-fused-to-gold crowns range from $1375 to $1575.
6. What Is a Temporary Crown?
A temporary crown is a cap that fits over your tooth, implant, or root canal, protecting it until you go to the appointment to place your permanent crown. The typical timeframe for wearing a temporary crown is two to three weeks as you wait for the dentist to make the permanent crown or undergo any necessary dental work before crown placement. With Dr. Saylor’s Same-Day Crowns, there’s no need for a temporary crown procedure because you can get everything done in one session.
7. What Should I Do If My Temporary Crown Fell Off?
Some patients experience temporary crown pain from an appointment at another dentist office. Dr. Saylor offers services to fix the temporary crown or can perform permanent crown placement if the temporary crown fell off.
8. What Are the Differences Between a Crown and Other Dental Procedures?
Crown vs. Filling
When you get a cavity, a crown and a filling are two options to repair the problem. Your dentist may recommend a filling if the cavity is small. Getting a filling involves the dentist removing the tooth’s decay, so the cavity does not continue to grow. Then, the dentist fills the remaining hole with a material—either white composite or silver amalgam. The filling restores functionality to the tooth and prevents food and bacteria from getting stuck in the hole.
On the other hand, if the tooth decay progresses, a cavity can become too large for a filling to fix. In this case, a dentist often recommends a root canal procedure, which is essentially a filling inside the tooth where the nerve would normally be. Oftentimes, a dentist will follow the root canal with a dental crown to protect the remaining tooth.
Veneers vs. Crowns
Veneers and crowns both serve the purpose of restoring damaged teeth to improve the appearance and functionality. The primary difference is that a crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth, while a veneer only covers the tooth’s front side.
In a veneer placement procedure, the dentist leaves more of the original tooth in place than with a crown. The dentist then bonds the veneer material to the enamel and slightly grounds down the surface to texturize it for effective bonding. Compared to a veneer, a crown procedure often requires more extensive tooth prep, such as filing down and building up the original tooth before the cap placement.
A crown is typically a better option if the tooth has extensive damage and decay. If the tooth is still intact or the restoration is for cosmetic purposes or minor tooth shape corrections, a veneer may be the right choice.
Crown vs. Implant
A dental implant is a permanent surgical solution that replaces a missing tooth. A crown is only an option if there is an existing tooth the crown can cover. However, the dentist can also place a crown over an implant, which gives the implant the appearance and functionality of a healthy tooth.
Dental implants require more money and time than crown placement and are not ideal for every patient. For example, you must have sufficient bone material or undergo a bone graft for successful implant placement. Furthermore, you must be in good health because a dental implant is a surgical procedure.
Unlike crowns that may wear out and require replacement, an implant is a permanent tooth that includes a root. For the right candidate, this can be an option that minimizes the need for future dental procedures and the associated costs.
Root Canal vs. Crown
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes decay from a tooth that has infection or inflammation in the pulp. After confirming with examination and X-rays that a root canal is the best option, the dentist will drill through the enamel and dentin of the tooth into the pulp and clean out the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth. The dentist then fills in the hole with a dental filling material.
A crown is not always necessary following the root canal, but it does provide reinforcement to the tooth and restores functionality and appearance. It’s common for a crown and root canal to go together, but not always. A crown may be enough if the problem is a disfigured or discolored tooth that does not have infection or inflammation.
Cap vs. Crown
A dental cap and crown are two different terms to describe the same dental procedure. A dentist will determine if you need this procedure to cover or fix a damaged tooth or root canal. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion if a dentist recommends a crown for one or more teeth.
9. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Dental Crown?
For the right candidate, a dental crown can offer many benefits, including:
- Durability – a crown is resistant to breakage; it lasts many years and can withstand daily use.
- Protection and support for a damaged tooth.
- Natural appearance – color-matching enables the crown to look like a healthy tooth that blends in nicely with the rest of your smile.
While there are rarely complications with a dental crown procedure, a patient may experience an allergic reaction to the crown material. Other potential disadvantages include the cost, slight discomfort immediately following the procedure, and sensitivity if the dentist does not correctly place the cap. By choosing a reputable, experienced dentist, you can avoid complications and enjoy the benefits of an expert dental crown procedure.
If you are reading this and wondering if a dental crown is right for you or you would like a second opinion after a dentist recommended a crown, the team at Larry Saylor Dentistry is here to help. Dr. Saylor’s Same-Day Crowns may be the solution you need for your temporary crown problem or other dental issues. Call 813-689-4226 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saylor at his Brandon, FL dentist office.