Dental crowns are pieces of dental work that completely cover the tooth and are used when a cavity or other issue threatens the health of the entire tooth and those around it. If a tooth is weakened or loose, dental crowns can help to strengthen it. If a tooth is small, broken, or otherwise disfigured or deformed, dental crowns improve the appearance of the tooth while adding an extra layer of protection even if the tooth is otherwise healthy. Dental cement, a strong, immovable, nontoxic adhesive for crowns and other dental work requiring an adhesive element. Dental crowns can be temporary or permanent.
Dental crowns can cover either the entire tooth or most of it and come in three sizes; 3/4, 7/8, and full. Crowns are made of either metal, ceramic, or a combination of materials depending on need. When less than the entire tooth is covered, a crown is more of a hybrid between an actual crown and the less expensive dental onlay. However, 3/4 and 7/8 crowns tend to be made of metal, which has a higher rate of rejection and can impede the patient's willingness to smile or even cause them to be embarrassed. "Biocompatibility" is the term used to describe whether or not a metal is compatible for use in the human body, and metal used in dental crowns is of a high quality and extremely low or nonexistent toxicity level.
Ceramic or porcelain crowns are a more popular but pricier option that looks more natural and are less likely to chip or cause irritation to the gums. Within the category of ceramic/porcelain crowns are several subcategories, such as silica, alumina, and zirconia-based crowns. The outer surface of the crown is likely to look the same, but it depends on patient need, cost, and dental material availability as to which kind will be utilized.
As tends to be the case with many dental procedures, dental crowns can be expensive. However, most major insurers will cover crowns and some dental clinics may even offer discounts or payment plans. The cost of a dental crown in Los Angeles can range from $800 to even $3,000 and it depends largely on what type of material is used and the reason for the crown. The type of crown, including the reason and materials, also plays a large part in determining cost. For example, dental crown cost in Los Angeles could be as little as $75 to re-cement a crown and as much as $1,650 for a porcelain-on-gold crown. Click Here for a detailed article about dental crown cost.
When a dental crown is installed, the dentist or hygienist will first begin with a tooth assessment to determine the type of crown and materials that would best suit the tooth. Level of decay and wear-and-tear factor in, as does the patient's lifestyle and eating habits. Even though the dental staff can give recommendations, it is ultimately up to the patient what type of restoration they would like; for example, if the dentist recommends a gold crown on a front tooth and the patient prefers a more natural-looking ceramic or porcelain, they are likely to have their request granted as long as there is not a pressing medical reason for the gold crown.
Once a restoration method is decided upon, the tooth is prepared by cleaning, filing, and even cutting away or down the enamel to enable a perfect fit of the crown. When the tooth is prepared a temporary restoration will be prepared and installed while the full crown is constructed; this is to both protect the tooth in the interim and to get accurate measurements and ensure a perfect fit on the first try. Impressions are then made of the tooth to construct the permanent crown and it is fitted and installed with plans for followups and adjustments as needed.
Typically a dental implant involves an artificial root for the tooth. The tooth could have been damaged from impact, but a more likely scenario is that it has somehow rotted or the enamel has given way and causes pain and discomfort that negatively impacts the patient's daily life. An implant is a tiny screw, usually made of titanium, and the crown is placed on top and serves as the tooth itself. The original tooth may have been pulled for a variety of reasons or fallen out on its own.
The mouth and teeth are sensitive and so it is possible that there could be pain and discomfort after having a crown installed. The pain should not last longer than a day and can be treated with basic pain and anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. However, if the pain lasts too long or is too intense to handle, the nerve may be irreversibly damaged and the tooth could require a root canal.
Dental crowns are covered by most major insurers.