Dental crowns are made of durable, tooth-like porcelain. They're designed to look, feel, and function just like real teeth, and they are placed over your existing tooth once it’s been trimmed. By covering up the remaining tooth material, crowns provide excellent protection. They're also very durable and long-lasting.
Crowns are frequently used to repair cracked or broken teeth, restore teeth after root canal therapy, and treat deep or severe cavities. If you need a dental crown in Long Beach, Dr. Abraam Girgis and the team at Heartwell Dental are here to help. Contact us now to schedule a consultation with Dr. Girgis!
The first dental crowns may have been used as early as the year 200 AD by the Etruscan civilization, a people who lived in the Tuscany region of Italy.
To begin the process, Dr. Girgis will clean and numb your mouth. Then, he will use a dental drill to gently remove decayed tooth material. Then, he will sculpt your remaining tooth structure into a stable platform for your dental crown.
Next, our Long Beach dentist will take impressions of your tooth and the surrounding area. These will be used by our partner dental lab to build your permanent crown. Once your impressions are done, Dr. Girgis will place a temporary crown to protect your tooth, and you’ll go home.
Dr. Girgis will work with a dental lab to build a permanent dental crown from durable porcelain. Your crown will look, feel, and function just like a real tooth, and will be indistinguishable from your other teeth. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the lab to complete your crown and send it back to our office.
Once your permanent crown arrives at our office, you’ll come in for one last appointment. Dr. Girgis will remove your temporary crown and check the fit of your permanent crown. He will make any necessary minor adjustments, then bond the crown to your tooth using powerful dental cement. Then, you’ll be sent home to enjoy your new smile.
At our office, we use lab-made porcelain dental crowns. Lab-made crowns are ideal for restoring damaged teeth. Lab-made crowns typically use a metal base with a porcelain “shell” for maximum durability. When designing your crown, our lab partners will match the color and shape of your nearby teeth to provide a completely natural-looking dental restoration, complete with grooves and other surface details.
Dental crowns are used to top off implants.
This mostly depends on how well you care for your teeth. The typical lifespan for a lab-made crown is between 10-20 years. If you want to maximize the longevity of your crown, you should brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and come to Heartwell Dental for a teeth cleaning and oral exam every 6 months. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet and quitting smoking can also help protect and preserve your crown.
Unless they're being used purely for cosmetic purposes, crowns are usually covered by insurance. However, individual insurers have different policies and limits for dental care. If you’re not sure what your insurance will cover, it’s best to consult with your insurer and your policy documents.
There are a few must-dos when it comes to caring for a new dental crown that can be split into different categories:
To maintain good oral hygiene, you need to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Brush for at least 2 minutes and remember to brush your tongue. Floss once a day and use a mouth rinse as necessary throughout the day.
Even when crowns are made of stain-resistant materials, stains can slowly build up over time and cause discoloration. Because crowns don’t respond to teeth whitening, prevention is your best bet. Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products.
Avoid staining foods and drinks like coffee, tea, wine, soda, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, berries, and dark curries. Drinking through a straw can limit the contact your teeth have with stains and so can rinsing your mouth with water after eating. Get your teeth cleaned every 6 months to remove surface stains and plaque.
To prevent damage to your crowns, wear a mouthguard if you suffer from bruxism, don’t chew on objects, nails, or packages, and avoid biting into hard and sticky foods.
The recovery period post-crown placement is typically just a few days but may take up to a week for tooth sensitivity, tenderness, and mild discomfort to subside. These are the lingering effects of inflammation from filing down your tooth in preparation for the crown.
Because we’ve removed some of your enamel, it will also be thinner and feel more sensitive when you consume hot and cold foods and drinks. Avoid foods/drinks at extreme temperatures in the first few days and hard and sticky foods. You may want to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth and take anti-inflammatory pain medication.
Dental crowns are very versatile so they may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Crowns can protect weakened, damaged, and decayed teeth from further breakage. A tooth that has a large filling, that has received root canal treatment, or is fractured will be in a weakened state and needs a crown for more strength and durability to chew.
When a tooth is broken, a crown can keep it together so we don’t need to remove the tooth. Crowns can also cover up minor aesthetic imperfections like discoloration or a weirdly shaped tooth.
Crowns may also stabilize dental bridges or complete dental implants to replace missing teeth. If you aren’t sure if you’d be a good candidate for crowns for restorative or cosmetic purposes, contact us at Heartwell Dental today to find out and schedule a consultation with Dr. Abraam Girgis.
Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes.