Dental Crowns in Shreveport, LA
Damaged or decayed teeth are not only an eyesore, they also compromise chewing and biting function. If you have one or more damaged or decayed teeth, consider rehabilitating them with dental crowns. A dental crown recreates the entire exterior of a tooth, with a natural and lifelike shape, color and texture. Not only do dental crowns restore a natural appearance, they also enhance the strength and stability of the teeth, protecting them from further damage.
When Are Dental Crowns Needed?
Crowns are commonly used to:
- Protect teeth weakened by decay
- Protect teeth that are badly cracked or broken
- Restore excessively worn teeth (such as the back molars)
- Protect teeth with large fillings
- Anchor dental bridges
- Cover dental implant posts
- Restore teeth that have had root canals
- Restore teeth that have an undesirable appearance
Types of Dental Crowns
Today’s dental crowns are made from several materials. The type of crown that is right for you depends on factors such as the location of the tooth that needs to be restored, and your personal aesthetic preferences.
Gold crowns are the ones that have been around the longest. They are strong and last a very long time. Gold crowns are a good choice to restore teeth in the back of the mouth (e.g., the molars).But because of their metallic color, they are very visible in the mouth.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look more natural than gold crowns, so they are a good choice for the front or back teeth. If you are concerned about aesthetics, you might consider these crowns. However, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are more likely to chip or crack than gold crowns. Also, sometimes the metal underneath the porcelain can become noticeable.
Ceramic and Porcelain Crowns
All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are the closest aesthetic match to natural, healthy teeth. It is extremely difficult to tell the difference between all-ceramic or porcelain crowns and surrounding natural teeth. They are a good choice to restore front teeth that normally show when smiling. Ceramic or porcelain crowns are strong, but not as strong as other types of crowns.
Dental Crown Placement Process
Normally it takes at least two dental appointments to get a crown.
During the first visit, the tooth receiving the crown is prepared for the restoration. Decay is removed and if the tooth’s pulp (i.e., soft inner tissue containing nerves and blood vessels) is infected or injured, root canal therapy is performed.
The tooth receiving the crown is carefully reshaped to make room for the restoration. Impressions are taken and sent to the dental laboratory that will construct the customized crown. The impressions help to ensure the crown fits properly and does not adversely affect your bite. A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated.
When the permanent crown is ready, the second appointment is scheduled. The provisional crown is removed and the permanent crown placed. If it fits properly and does not affect the bite, the crown is permanently bonded into place.
With good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups, crowns can last for many years.
Dental Crowns Frequently Asked Questions
How do dental crowns work?
Dental crowns are placed over decayed, damaged or weakened teeth, covering them down to the gumline. Crowning a tooth restores a natural appearance and normal biting and chewing function. Crowns also protect teeth from further damage.
What type of dental crown material is right for me?
Your crown may be made from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic or porcelain materials. Before receiving your dental crown, you and Dr. Cunningham will discuss your crown material options and select the option that is most appropriate for your personal preferences and oral health needs. There is no “one-size-fits-all” option that is appropriate for everyone. Dr. Cunningham will consider factors such as the tooth requiring the crown and its specific location in your mouth.
Does the process of getting a dental crown hurt?
No, the process of having a crown placed is not painful. The tooth being crowned will be completely numbed prior to the procedure. As the anesthetic wears off, the tooth may feel slightly sensitive or the surrounding gums may be tender for a few days.
How long is the dental crown recovery process?
Technically, there is no recovery downtime after the placement of a dental crown. You will not be in severe pain or discomfort, and you can immediately resume your normal routine.
If you have any tenderness or sensitivity around your crown after the procedure, you may want to eat mostly soft foods or chew on the opposite side of your mouth. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers for a day or two to alleviate discomfort. If sensitivity persists, let Dr. Cunningham know.
How should I care for my crown?
Crowns require the same oral care and hygiene as natural teeth. Be disciplined about brushing and flossing around your crown daily. See our dental team every six months to a year for an oral exam and cleaning. Dr. Cunningham will check your crown for any issues that could require repair.
Can the tooth beneath the crown develop decay?
Yes. Failure to brush, floss or regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and cleanings can lead the tooth beneath a crown to develop decay and cavities. An ill-fitting crown is more likely to cause problems, as bacteria can get underneath the crown at the gumline and reach the natural tooth.
How long will my dental crown last?
Dental crowns are strong and durable. With the right care and attention, your crown can last for 15 years or more.
To prolong the life of your crown, Dr. Cunningham and our team recommend you avoid biting down on hard or abrasive foods that could crack, chip or wear down the material of your crown. Also, you should refrain from using your crowned tooth or teeth to open bottles or packages or chew on pen caps.
Contact Us About Dental Crowns
If you would like more information about dental crowns, we invite you to call or email our Shreveport, LA dental practice today.