A dental crown is ideal for covering a tooth that’s badly stained, slightly crooked or been broken in an accident. Crowns are also called tooth caps or dental caps because they sit on top of an existing structure. Because it can save a tooth, a dental cap helps prevent bone loss that often happens if you go too long with missing teeth. And your self-confidence remains intact when you don’t have big gaps in your smile.
What Are Dental Caps Made Of?
You have choices when it comes to what type of dental crown you get. Your dentist knows your dental history as well as your lifestyle preferences and budget restraints, so he can make the best recommendation.
Choices for teeth crowns include:
- Metal alloys are best used to make back teeth and molars. They aren’t as apparent when you smile. Metals are stronger and can withstand the chewing pressures on your back teeth. The most common metal alloys used to make dental caps for back teeth are platinum, nickel-chromium and gold.
- Composite resin is your most affordable option. It can be made to match your tooth color, so it makes a good choice for front teeth. Resin crowns are weaker, however, and can fracture and wear down over time.
- Zirconia or porcelain provides you with the best natural-looking teeth caps. While porcelain crowns may be more expensive, when you consider how long they last and that they don’t wear down or crack under pressure, they make a worthwhile investment.
Why You May Need Dental Cap Tooth Replacements
A dental crown may be your best alternative. Some common reasons your dentist may recommend a crown include:
- Repairing cracked or decayed teeth
- Restoring your appearance when teeth become discolored or worn
- Providing a secure attachment for a bridge
- Saving the root and original tooth after root canal therapy
- Covering implants
Implants for Dental Crowns
Implants are titanium posts that are screwed directly into the jaw bone. Your new crown is then placed over the implant. Implants stabilize and even encourage bone growth. They hold your crown securely but do require a surgical procedure. You may require additional work such as a bone graft if you don’t have sufficient bone to hold an implant.
“A dental implant is a metal post that replaces the root portion of a missing tooth. An artificial tooth (crown) is placed on an extension of the post (abutment) on the dental implant, giving you the look of a real tooth,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Preparing to Get a Dental Cap
You need to make several appointments to complete the dental crown process. After you undergo an initial checkup with x-rays, your Astoria, NY dentist determines whether you need any additional restorative treatment, such as root canal or tooth extraction before preparing you for a crown.
Once that’s complete, he removes a very small portion of the tooth enamel so the crown fits. He makes a mold to send to a lab to get your individual crown made. It may take several weeks, during which time you get a temporary crown. On the next visit, you get the permanent crown.
What Does Getting a Crown Involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown that will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.
Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly. At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate. You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
Are There Risks Involved with Getting a Dental Cap?
Any risks are greatly reduced when you rely on the experts at dental clinic in Astoria, NY. Some minor discomfort should be expected, particularly if you get implants. And you could be sensitive to extreme temperatures in the food and drinks you consume for a short period.
Infection or abscess may form, and while it’s extremely rare, it does require immediate attention. You also may discover that you have an allergic reaction to the materials used to create the crown. Allergies to various metals are more common.
Dental Crown Cost in Astoria, New York
Your dental crown cost depends on how much your insurance covers. The choice of material for the crown, as well as how many teeth need to be covered with a tooth cap, plays a significant role in your dental crown cost too. Additional treatments, like root canals and implants, also add to the overall dental crown cost.
Avoid grinding your teeth and biting into ice to prevent damage to your investment. With a good daily oral health routine that includes brushing, flossing and bi-annual cleanings, your new dental crown can last for 15 years or longer.
Do you have any questions about dental crowns? For more information or to schedule an appointment with the best cosmetic dentist in Astoria, Queens, NY, please contact our dentistry office for a consultation.