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What is a Dental Crown?

whats a dental crown procedure

A dental crown is a type of protective dental restoration that is used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged portion of the tooth and replacing it with a custom-made, tooth-shaped cap that is cemented in place.

What do Crowns Look Like?

Unlike fillings that go inside of teeth, crowns go over and around them. 

Crowns are designed to look and function like natural teeth. They are custom-made to fit the shape and size of the prepared tooth and are then cemented or bonded over the tooth, where it blends in with the adjacent teeth. Ceramic or porcelain crowns are specifically created to match the shape, size, and color of the surrounding teeth, making them virtually invisible whenever you’re smiling or talking.

When to Get a Dental Crown

Sometimes called “caps,” dental crowns are used for situations such as:

  • Improving the appearance of a tooth
  • Protecting a weak or damaged tooth
  • Support a tooth that has a large filling or is broken or cracked
  • Restoring a dental implant for tooth replacement
  • Reinforcing a tooth after root canal treatment

What is a Dental Crown Procedure?

The dental crown procedure typically requires two appointments approximately two weeks apart. 

During the first appointment, our Princeton, NJ, dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping it so that a crown can fit on top of it. Numbing medication is always used to ensure your comfort. Next, an impression of the tooth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where the crown will be custom-made to fit your tooth. A temporary crown will be placed over the prepared tooth until the permanent crown is ready. Since the temporary crown is held on with a weaker bonding agent, it’s important that you avoid any sticky or crunchy foods until you get your permanent crown. 

During the second appointment, our Princeton dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one. Next, we will adjust the crown as necessary to ensure that it fits properly and that the bite is correct.

What is the Average Cost of a Dental Crown?

The average cost of a dental crown can vary depending on the cost of living in your area and the type of crown used, along with separate lab fees charged to the dentist. On average, a dental crown can cost anywhere between $800 and $3,500.

Depending on the material that’s used for your specific crown, the cost of the procedure will vary. Most dental crowns are made out of porcelain, ceramic, metal alloy, or a combination of these materials.

Porcelain and ceramic crowns are popular choices because they can be matched to the color of the surrounding teeth, making them virtually invisible. Metal alloy crowns, such as gold or palladium, are also durable and long-lasting, but they may not match the color of the surrounding teeth. Combination crowns, such as those with an inner metal structure and a porcelain outer layer, are a good balance of strength and aesthetics. 

Is My Crown Covered by Insurance?

Dental insurance coverage for crowns can vary depending on the specific plan and the insurance provider. Some dental insurance plans may cover varying portions of the cost of a dental crown, while others may not cover the procedure at all. It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered under your specific plan.

Our Princeton dental team will help tabulate your insurance benefits on a treatment plan so that you know what to expect financially before scheduling your necessary treatment. Additional no-insurance financing options are also available. 

Dental Crown vs. Filling

Dental crowns and fillings are both used to restore damaged or decayed teeth, but for different situations. A filling is used to fill a small cavity inside of a tooth as long as there is still adequate tooth enamel around the cavity to support it. A dental crown is used to cover a tooth that has a larger amount of decay or damage or to support a tooth that has a large filling or is broken or cracked. The crown distributes biting pressure over a larger surface area, reinforcing the structurally compromised tooth underneath it.

Crowns vs. Implants

Another common comparison is between dental crowns and dental implants. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, while dental crowns are used to restore damaged or decayed teeth. A dental implant is a small, titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone to support a replacement tooth, essentially serving as the “root” of the new tooth.

Even though dental crowns are placed over natural teeth to repair them, they can also be installed on top of dental implants. In fact, if you’re replacing one missing tooth with an implant, the implant will also need a crown on top of it to complete the restoration process. 

What Happens Without a Crown?

 It is important to address structurally damaged teeth as soon as possible to prevent further damage and maintain proper oral health. If the tooth is not treated with a crown, the damage will likely continue to worsen over time, causing it to wear down or fracture even further. In some cases, the tooth may even need to be extracted if the damage becomes too severe to restore. Without a crown, the tooth will become weaker and less able to function properly.

Choose the Right Option for Your Smile 

At Canal Vista Family Dental, we understand the importance of maintaining good oral health. If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, a dental crown may be the best solution for you. Dr. Bestandji and our team of skilled professionals are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of care.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental crowns or any other dental procedures, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bestandji today. During your consultation, we will examine your teeth and discuss your options with you. 

Contact Canal Vista Family Dental to reserve your consultation and take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile.

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