Dental Crown Simi Valley, CA
A dental crown is a restoration that covers or caps a tooth, restoring it to its normal size and shape while strengthening and improving its appearance. Dental crowns are necessary when the tooth is broken down to the point where a filling will not be effective. If you believe you may need a dental crown, please call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bankhardt in our Simi Valley office.
The Benefits of Dental Crowns
- Holding a cracked tooth together to prevent further damage
- Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling
- Restoring a broken tooth
Who Is A Good Candidate For Dental Crowns?
There are really two situations where Dr. Bankhardt would likely recommend placing a crown. If your tooth has a deep crack, a large chip, or new decay next to an existing filling, all of these situations make it difficult to repair the tooth. There is too much damage and removing the damage will leave the tooth susceptible to breakage. But placing a crown on the repaired tooth protects what’s left and allows you to keep the tooth.
The second situation would be if you have a misshapen or otherwise cosmetically flawed tooth. Placing a crown over the tooth can completely change the profile and appearance of the tooth. This is a cosmetic use of a crown.
If you need a bridge to replace a tooth or two, dental crowns are also used as the anchors on the two teeth on each side of the missing tooth.
What is The Dental Crown Procedure?
The dental crown process takes place in two phases or appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared by filing or reshaping, so the dental crown can fit in securely and comfortably. The area around the tooth is numbed throughout the procedure with a local anesthetic. After the tooth is prepared, an impression is made of the teeth and gums using a paste or putty. The impression is then sent to a laboratory to make a custom dental crown, which usually takes two to three weeks. Patients are given a temporary dental crown until the permanent crown is ready.
At the second appointment, the new dental crown is inspected for proper fit and tooth color. The temporary crown is then removed and the new one is cemented onto the tooth.
Types Of Dental Crowns
There are several different methods of crown restoration, each using a different dental crown material. Different types of crown material include:
Metal crowns are made entirely of a metal alloy that may include gold, platinum, palladium, or other elements. Compared with other kinds of crowns, metal crowns preserve more of the tooth structure. They withstand biting and chewing forces well and rarely chip or break. The biggest drawback of metal crowns is the metallic color.
Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal Or PFM Crowns
PFM crowns can be color-matched to the teeth. Second only to all-ceramic crowns in appearance, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look like normal teeth. In some cases, the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can create a dark line. PFM crowns tend to wear down opposing teeth more than metal crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break.
All resin crowns are the least expensive type of dental crown. The drawback is that they are more prone to chips and fractures than other crowns and tend to wear down over time.
Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns
These crowns provide the best natural color of all the dental crowns. They are not as strong as PFM or gold crowns, and they may wear down opposing teeth more than metal or resin crowns. Because they are the most cosmetically pleasing, they are commonly used for the front teeth.
Why Choose Dental Crowns Rather Than Tooth Extractions
It’s always the better option to save the underlying natural tooth, if possible. Once the extensive decay or other damage that is putting the tooth on the road to extraction is addressed, adding the crown simply returns strength for biting and chewing to the tooth. But the original tooth root is still firmly anchored naturally into the jawbone.
If you instead opt to have the tooth extracted, you’ll then have a gap in your teeth that will need to be filled with either a dental implant or a bridge. It may be tempting to leave the gap, especially if it’s in one of your molars and not overly visible, but this is a bad idea because the adjacent teeth will slide over into the gap without pressure to stay in place. This can create havoc with your bite and overall alignment of your smile. Plus, you’re likely creating an area where you avoid chewing, and this will lead to uneven wear on your teeth.
Placing a crown on a damaged tooth instead can allow you to keep the tooth for the rest of your life if you practice good oral hygiene.
Do Dental Crowns Look Natural?
If possible, Dr. Bankhardt prefers to use porcelain for our crowns. He likes porcelain for these prosthetics because dental porcelain is amazingly strong. Plus, its slight translucence closely mimics that of natural tooth enamel. The way porcelain absorbs some of the light and reflects the rest is strikingly similar to tooth enamel. Your dental crown will look just like the natural teeth on both sides of it, and no one will be able to know which tooth is the crown.
How Long Do Tooth Crowns Last?
With proper oral hygiene, dental crowns can last from five to fifteen years. Patients should consult with their dentist to see if a dental crown would be appropriate for their individual condition.
How Do I Care For My Dental Crown And Avoid Decay On The Natural Tooth?
Crowns don’t require any special care; you simply brush twice daily for two minutes and floss once. When flossing you will move the floss under the crown lightly on both sides to clean the gum surface and remove any food particles that may have gotten under the crown bottom. This quick and easy extension of your flossing takes just a few seconds, but it successfully helps keep decay from forming on the natural tooth under the crown.
Is There Recovery After Dental Crown Placement?
There isn’t any recovery. After Dr. Bankhardt prepares your tooth for your crown during your first appointment, he’ll place a temporary crown on the tooth while the dental lab is creating your custom crown. This protects the tooth. Otherwise, you can still eat what you like without worry.
The second appointment only involves Dr. Bankhardt removing your temporary crown, placing and testing the fit of your new crown, and then cementing it permanently onto your tooth. This is painless. You might want to avoid eating really chewy or tough foods for a day to ensure the cement fully cures, but there aren’t any restrictions or recovery time.
Complications Of Tooth Crowns
Some patients experience increased sensitivity immediately after the dental crown procedure, particularly if the crowned tooth still has a nerve in it. For sensitivity to heat and cold, some patients are advised to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Other complications that may occur with dental crowns are:
- Pain Or Sensitivity When Biting – This usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, the dentist will be able to fix the problem by adjusting the crown.
- Chip In A Porcelain Crown – Resin can be used to repair the remaining crown. If the chipping is extensive, the entire crown may need to be replaced.
- Loose Dental Crown – If the cement washes out from underneath the crown, bacteria can then leak in and cause decay. A dentist should be consulted to resecure the crown to alleviate the problem.
In some cases, a dental crown may fall off entirely. If this happens, contact the dentist immediately. The dentist may be able to replace the crown or create a new crown if necessary.
How Painful Is It The Dental Crown Procedure?
As mentioned in the crown procedure copy above, we shave down the tooth receiving a crown on all four sides and on top to create room for the crown to fit over the tooth but not take up any more space than the original natural tooth did. Before we do this, we apply local anesthetic to that tooth. This keeps you from feeling any sensations as we shave down the tooth. There isn’t any residual pain after this first step.
When we place the finished crown onto your tooth, there isn’t any pain at all. Dr. Bankhardt first checks the fit and your bite, and then the crown is permanently cemented onto the tooth.
“This is the best dental office I’ve ever been to. I drive 50 miles to get there. Everybody is so nice there. I feel like I’m in good hands. Anne Marie is my hygienist. Having my teeth cleaned in almost pleasant, she so nice and gentle and does a great job. I’m somewhat nervous about going to the dentist, but not here.” – Vincent C.
Schedule A Consultation
Dr. Robert Bankhardt proudly provides Simi Valley, CA and surrounding areas, including Chatsworth, Moor Park, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, and Northridge, with dental crown procedures. Call (805) 584-1194 or fill out a Contact Form here for any questions or to schedule an appointment.