What Are Dental Crowns?
Crowns are caps placed over the tops of damaged teeth. They’re meant to protect, cover, and restore the function of your teeth when typical dental fillings aren’t enough.
Things like tooth decay, injuries, or overuse can damage the outside of your teeth. For minor circumstances, fillings are usually enough to fix them. But a crown is usually the recommended next step when the damage becomes severe.
You can think of a crown as a little hat for your tooth. It restores the shape, size, and appearance of the original tooth that might have been damaged.
The Dental Crown Procedure
A dental crown procedure is usually broken up into two appointments. The first appointment is a consultation. In it, your dentist takes an impression of your mouth to send to a lab, which lets your dentist create a crown that perfectly aligns with your original tooth.
On the next visit, the crown gets placed. Your dentist will file down and remove the outer layer of your tooth that has been damaged or infected. They then take an impression of the trimmed tooth and surrounding teeth.
A temporary crown is then placed over the tooth to keep it protected. Once the lab has created your unique crown that fits into your mouth, your dentist will cement the new crown onto your tooth.
It’s a painless procedure that is also very common. It’s an effective method of improving your overall oral health.
When Do You Need a Dental Crown?
You might need a dental crown in a few different circumstances. Here are some of the most common:
- Fix a Tooth With Severe Decay
- Protect a Tooth After a Root Canal
- Restore a Broken Tooth
Fix a Tooth With Severe Decay
The most common reason you might need a crown is if tooth decay or a cavity is left untreated for too long.
Cavities occur when the bacteria in your mouth eat away at the sugars on your tooth’s enamel. Over time, these bacteria release an acidic substance that wears away at the protective coating on the tooth’s surface (enamel), leading to cavities.
When cavities are small enough, they can be filled in with a dental filling. However, if a cavity becomes severe, you might need a crown to protect the tooth from further damage.
The inner structure of a tooth becomes weak, and without protection, it is prone to fracturing and ongoing infection. Crowns help protect from further damage.
Protect a Tooth After a Root Canal
If a cavity causes the inner fluid of a tooth (pulp) to become infected, you’ll likely need a root canal procedure. Root canals involve removing a tooth's soft center to prevent ongoing decay, leaving a hollow space inside the tooth.
Dental crowns will often go over a tooth that has just undergone a root canal to prevent the vulnerable tooth from breaking or fracturing.
Restore a Broken Tooth
If you crack a tooth from biting down on something too hard, teeth grinding, or any other reason, it leaves the tooth vulnerable to splitting open or fracturing when left untreated. A dental crown not only holds the tooth together but it redistributes pressure in the mouth when biting down or chewing to help prevent damage to other teeth in the future.
Dental Crown vs. Dental Bridge
In some circumstances, your dentist might recommend getting a bridge instead of a crown. These are similar procedures with a few key differences. While a crown is used to cover an existing tooth, a bridge is used to fill in the missing space caused by one or more lost teeth.
Crowns are used when the underlying structure of a tooth is still intact. But when a tooth needs to be extracted, leaving a gap in the mouth, a bridge is used instead. Bridges involve placing a cap on surrounding teeth with a false tooth in the center, filling in the gap where an extracted tooth was while restoring the function and appearance of your mouth.
How to Care for a Dental Crown
The average lifespan of a dental crown is 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced. And you might even be able to extend this lifespan through proper maintenance and care. While variables like the material and placement of your crown can affect how long it lasts, there are still ways you can enhance its durability.
Dental crowns aren’t able to get cavities, but the underlying tooth is especially vulnerable compared to the existing teeth in your mouth. Aftercare for a dental crown doesn’t require special treatment – you just need to stay on top of daily brushing and flossing.
If you notice your crown feels or looks strange, contact your dental professional immediately.
Cost of Dental Crowns in Phoenix, AZ
Dental procedures can be expensive and considering there are many Americans across the United States who don’t have dental insurance, it means that there are a lot of people who do not have access to the dental care they need.
The average price of a single dental crown is upwards of $1,403. And even with insurance, paying monthly and annual fees can make your plan completely useless. That’s why Flossy is here to change the narrative.
No insurance? No problem. We’re a pay-as-you-go dental service that lets you save up to 50% on dental treatments. That means you can get a dental crown much cheaper through Flossy – nearly half the national average.
Our dentists have been vetted based on a rigorous list of criteria, including experience and knowledge, utilization of modern technology and techniques, and graduate degrees from accredited dental programs. So you can rest assured that despite a free membership and zero annual fees, you’re still getting the best quality care possible.
And if you live in Phoenix, our dentists are waiting to give you the care you need. There’s no waiting period, so sign up today and have access to care right away.
Find a dentist near you to get one step closer to the perfect smile.
Dental crowns are a common dental procedure that helps correct tooth decay and severe damage. It involves filing down the original tooth and covering it with a prosthetic cap that mimics the function and appearance of the original tooth.
This is a painless procedure that doesn’t require any extra aftercare. And while the cost of a dental crown can be a lot for someone without insurance to bear, Flossy helps you get up to 50% off common dental treatments from high-quality dentists in the Phoenix area.
Dental Crowns: What Are They, Types, Procedure & Care | Cleveland Clinic
Cavities/tooth decay - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic
What is a Root Canal? | American Association of Endodontists