When a tooth becomes damaged due to a chip, crack, or decay, the risk of infection increases significantly.
Dental crowns are an excellent way to restore optimal strength and function to the tooth and protect it from additional damage down the road.
This page will provide an overview of the dental crown procedure, but it cannot make any recommendations on your specific oral health issue. The best way to determine whether a crown is the best option for you is to speak with Dr. Heather Fleschler in person. Please call (713) 660-6500 today to review your restorative and cosmetic dentistry options.
Benefits Of Dental Crowns
Dr. Fleschler uses the finest quality porcelain with her dental crown restorations in order to deliver beautiful, natural looking results that enhance the appearance of your smile. Since your dental crown covers the visible part of your tooth, it can improve the aesthetics of your smile while simultaneously restoring full functionality to the tooth.
Other benefits of dental crowns include:
- Restores your chewing ability so that you can eat your favorite foods without concern
- Provides support and protection for chipped or cracked teeth
- Restores a balanced bite by addressing alignment issues associated with misshapen or missing teeth
What Issues Can Crowns Address?
Dental crowns can be used to address a wide range of oral health issues, including:
- Cover a tooth with a large dental filling that has minimal natural tooth structure remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from decay or fracture
- Support a dental bridge
- Restore a severely worn or broken tooth
- Function as a prosthetic tooth for a dental implant
- Improve the appearance of an irregularly shaped tooth
Your Dental Crown Procedure
Dr. Fleschler uses all-porcelain crowns with all of her patients in order to deliver the exceptional results you deserve. With the IPS e.max® Press process, your porcelain crown can provide you with all the support and structure of a regular tooth. Your dental crown can be color-matched to the shade of your natural teeth, letting you remain confident in your smile and assuring strangers will be none the wiser.Your dental crown procedure can be completed in just two visits to our Houston cosmetic dentistry office. During your first visit, Dr. Fleschler will get rid of any decay in your tooth and take an impression that will be used by the lab in the construction of your dental crown. A temporary crown will be placed on your tooth to protect it until your permanent crown is completed.During your second visit, Dr. Fleschler will place the dental crown on your tooth and bond it securely using a special adhesive.
What to Expect During Recovery
The typical recovery period following a crown placement is usually a few days. If a local anesthetic was used to place your crown, you will want to avoid chewing on your new crown and drinking hot liquids until the numbing effect wears off. When you are numb you are unable to feel pain or heat/cold, thus you are more prone to bite or burn yourself unknowingly. The numbing effect may last several hours. After this time, you will be able to eat/function with your new crown. It is important that your bite feels normal following a crown placement. If your bite feels off or high, this can lead to persistent sensitivity to hot/cold and/or pain to chewing. If this occurs, you should return for a bite adjustment of your new crown.
At the initial preparation appointment, when the broken or decayed areas of the tooth are removed, you will leave with a temporary crown in place. The purpose of the temporary crown is to protect the prepared surface of the tooth and maintain the tooth position to prevent shifting of the teeth. The temporary crown is not as strong as your tooth, so it will require special care to prevent breakage and dislodgement. You will want to avoid sticky and hard/crunchy foods while your temporary crown is in place. Also, taking care when brushing and flossing. Again, it is most important that your bite feel normal with the temporary crown in place. Slight tooth and gum sensitivity is to be expected following a crown procedure. Most symptoms will resolve after a few days. Any persistent symptoms will require management with Dr. Fleschler.
Sensitivity After Crowns
After placement of a crown, you may experience no symptoms. Slight sensitivity to cold or tenderness at the injection site may occur. This sensitivity and tenderness should resolve within a few days. If your bite feels off or high with your new crown, you should return for a bite adjustment. If your bite is not adjusted, you could experience chewing or pressure sensitivity. You should call Dr. Fleschler for further evaluation if your symptoms persist or linger.
Porcelain Vs. Metal Crowns
Dental porcelain resembles natural tooth enamel in the way it absorbs and reflects light. This translucency is very similar the how light affects our natural enamel, so your porcelain crown will be indistinguishable from your adjacent teeth. Dental porcelain is also very strong when bonded to the supporting tooth structure and stain resistant.
Because all-porcelain crowns do not use any metal, they are the best choice for people with metal sensitivities or allergies.
Metal crowns, made from gold or platinum alloys, may last longest in terms of wear, and they rarely break, but they are ultimately visible in the mouth, due to their metallic color.
Caring For Crowns
You should care for your porcelain crown the same way you care for your natural teeth. Daily brushing, flossing or using a Waterpik, and home application of topical fluoride is recommended. Also, regularly scheduled dental cleanings are important for Dr. Fleschler to evaluate the health of your tooth and structure of your crown through clinical examination and radiographs. Remember that the crown provides strength to the tooth, but there is still an underlying natural tooth underneath. It is still possible to get a cavity under your crown. If you have uncontrolled gum disease, the inflammation in your gums will also impact the tooth and the crown upon it.
Replacing A Crown
Crowns can last from 5-20 years, but they can last longer as well. The lifespan is dictated by a few factors: how much chewing and biting forces are applied, teeth grinding, clenching of the teeth, and habits such as chewing ice and biting the fingernails. Also, as mentioned above, the health of the underlying tooth will also affect the lifespan of the crown.
Complications Of Dental Crowns
Dependent on the severity of decay, a root canal may be indicated. Also, if there is a crack or fracture in the tooth surface or floor of the tooth, there is an increased risk of loss of the tooth. There are tooth replacement options available. Otherwise, the crown procedure is very safe. Millions of crowns have been placed across the globe and the procedure is very successful.