Dr. Carlos A. Alonso, DDS

Some Basic Information About Dental Crowns

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are sometimes referred to as dental caps. Dental crowns are a type of dental restoration that covers or surrounds a tooth. Dental crowns can be made of all porcelain, porcelain covering metal, porcelain covering zirconia, or all metal.

Do I need a Dental Crown?

Crowns can be suggested for several different reasons, not all of which may be obvious to you. For this reason, it is important to consistently have dental examinations. When a significant amount of tooth structure is missing, a dental crown may be suggested. You can lose a significant amount of tooth structure due to decay. If the amount of decay is too large to place a filling or onlay (a porcelain filling) in a tooth, a crown may be the best restorative option available. Teeth with large fillings can be prone to fractures or breakage. If a tooth has a large filling that has weakened the remaining tooth structure, a crown can help prevent breakage or fracture of that tooth. Fractures in teeth can sometimes be asymptomatic. They can be discovered during an examination. At Alonso Family Dental, we have digital intraoral cameras that allow us to detect these fractures.

How are dental crowns different from porcelain dental veneers?

The main difference between a porcelain dental crown and a porcelain veneer is that a porcelain crown covers the entire tooth thus encircling the tooth whereas a porcelain veneer is a facing for the tooth. Porcelain veneers are thinner than dental crowns and are bonded in whereas dental crowns are typically cemented in. Porcelain veneers are typically best for teeth toward the front of the mouth whereas crowns can be placed in any area of the mouth. For an evaluation on which restoration might be best for you, visit Dr. Carlos Alonso, located in the Missouri City/Sugar Land area across from Sienna Plantation.

Do I need a root canal if I get a dental crown?

A tooth that is restored with a dental crown does not necessarily need a root canal. Some teeth with large decay, fractures, or large cracks can be treated without a root canal. If there are no symptoms of tooth pain or sensitivity and there is no indication of and infection on an x-ray, a crown can be done without a root canal and can oftentimes help prevent a root canal. If a cavity, fracture, or break goes untreated, it can sometimes lead to a root canal in the future as the fracture or cavity can continue to grow. For this reason, it is best to be proactive when detecting these issues. By visiting your dentist for regular check-ups, you can help monitor any issues that can lead to a root canal and prevent the need for a root canal.

Where can I get a Dental Crown if I need one?

Dr. Carlos Alonso at Alonso Family Dental located in the Missouri City/Sugar Land across from Sienna Plantation is a leader in crown and bridge dentistry. For an examination to evaluate your dental health, just call 281-778-8400.

What Dental Crown options do I have?

Dental crowns can be made of all porcelain, porcelain covering metal, porcelain covering zirconia, or all metal. The material used can sometimes depend on the location of the tooth that is getting a crown. Teeth visible in a patient’s smile are typically made of either all porcelain, porcelain covering zirconia (a tooth-colored material), or porcelain covering metal. It is best to consider both function and cosmetics when treatment planning a dental crown. At Alonso Family Dental, we will go over all options for you and explain the benefits of all of the options.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a restoration that can be used to replace a missing tooth. A bridge is one solid piece of either all metal, porcelain covering zirconia, or porcelain covering metal where the the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are prepared for crowns. In the missing tooth area, a false tooth fills the space. The bridge is then cemented to the teeth adjacent to the space creating a natural look and a functional tooth.

How long do Dental Crowns last?

Dental crowns can last a long time depending on patient habits and hygiene. With poor maintenance and hygiene, crowns can get decay underneath or around the crown, therefore, it is important to have regular check-ups at your dental office. With good oral hygiene and maintenance, dental crowns can last a long time. Another factor that determines how long a dental crowns last is bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding of teeth. Bruxism can cause teeth to wear down and fracture. It is no different with dental crowns. Bruxism can lead to fracturing of porcelain or wearing down of metal crowns. If a patient does grind their teeth a lot, whether during the day or at night in their sleep, it is a good idea to wear a night guard to protect dental crowns, porcelain veneers, porcelain fillings, and natural teeth.

How long does it take to make a crown?

A dental crown procedure can be a two appointment procedure. Typically, the first appointment involves removing decay if decay is involved, placing a filling called a build-up if any tooth structure is missing, and preparing the tooth for the crown. Once the tooth is prepared, an impression of the tooth is made that is then sent to a dental lab. We then make a temporary crown for the patient to wear while the crown is being made in the dental lab.The second appointment involves removing the temporary crown and placing the final crown on the tooth. Any necessary adjustments are made to the dental crown outside of the mouth and an x-ray is taken to verify a good fit. Once the good fit is verified, the crown is cemented.

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