What is a dental crown and why do I need one?

There are many reasons you might be told you need a dental crown. Dental crowns are a type of restorative treatment that “caps” your tooth to protect it from breaking down. They look and practically feel like natural teeth, making them a popular choice for cosmetic treatments as well. Here we look at dental crowns in detail and the many reasons your Lakewood, CO dental clinic might recommend you need one.

What is a Dental Crown?

As mentioned, a dental crown is a cap to provide a protective cover for a severely damaged tooth. It is an artificial tooth that is hollow inside and can be used to resolve a number of dental challenges. A crown can be cemented to your remaining tooth or can be used to cap a dental implant for a missing tooth.

Why Do I Need a Dental Crown?

 Recommendations for dental crowns are most commonly made for the following:

  • Root canals: Often a tooth requiring a root canal due to infection requires a cap to reduce the risk of tooth fracture. The tooth tends to become more fragile, so requires something to reduce the risk of damage.
  • Large fillings: Teeth that either require a large filling or several smaller fillings can often require a crown to help maintain the integrity of the tooth.
  • Cracked teeth: Not all cracks require a crown. However, if the crack is producing pain, there is cavity inside the crack, or leads to the need for a root canal, a crown is required.
  • Broken or chipped teeth: Depending on the size of a break or chip, crowns might make the most sense to protect your teeth and also restore their appearance.

 Crowns also make an excellent option for many cosmetic issues including misshapen, discolored, or gapped teeth.

What is a Dental Crown Made From?

While dental crowns can be made of various materials, porcelain and gold crowns are the most common. At our Lakewood dental clinic, we will always use a material that provides the most stable tooth for chewing and meets your esthetic needs.

How is a Dental Crown Placed?

 Dental crowns usually require two appointments at our Lakewood, Colorado dental clinic. The first is to prepare the tooth and the second is to apply the crown. At the first appointment, your dentist will:

  • Take an impression of your tooth to create a temporary crown.
  • Apply a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the treatment.
  • Polish a few millimeters of your tooth to prepare it for the crown.
  • Take a second impression of your tooth and surrounding teeth for your customized permanent crown.
  • Apply the temporary crown to protect it until your crown is ready.

The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown is crafted using the impression. The impression ensures it is the right shape for your tooth specific for you. At your next visit, your Lakewood dentist will:

  • Remove the temporary crown.
  • Check your crown for fit, shape, color and bite.
  • Cement your crown in place.

 With continued daily brushing, flossing, and taking care to avoid chewing hard foods, your crown should last up to 15 years.

Interested in learning more about dental crowns? Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Turner here and she’ll get to know you and evaluate your unique needs.

To learn more about our restorative dentistry services at our Lakewood, CO dental clinic, visit this page here.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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