Have a healthy, full smile with Dental Crowns!
We all know how important a good smile is. Not only is it welcoming, but it helps maintain a healthy jaw. But sometimes, our smile deteriorates, and we’re scared to show it at all. Dr. Rick Winter and Hampton Dental Associates are glad to offer dental crowns to help patients restore their confident and healthy smile. If you want your smile back, contact our Milwaukee, WI office today to schedule your dental crown consultation.
What are dental crowns?
Dental Crowns or “caps” are coverings for your tooth or teeth. Dental Caps can be made several materials, including gold, porcelain fused to gold or one of our porcelain options. Your options for dental crowns depend on the space available, esthetic needs and functional requirements for the tooth. Dental caps are not one size fits all. Instead, they have indications, advantages, and disadvantages, unique for each patient’s needs.
These crowns are cemented or bonded to the remaining tooth structure and provide protection for the underlying tooth for years to come. Typically, crowns are needed when a filling is too large (over 70-80 percent of the width of the remaining tooth.) Since fillings can flex or bend at a different rate then your tooth structure, teeth with large fillings can break, necessitating crowns. Teeth that have had root canals usually need dental caps as well; as the remaining tooth structure gets dry and brittle and can break without covering the remaining tooth with a crown.
What issues can Dental Crowns fix?
Crowns restore teeth back to their normal size, shape, and most importantly, function! Teeth that are worn, chipped or cracked can have an adverse impact on your bite alignment, or occlusion. Crowns can help teeth to even out the workload of occlusion. A full smile is not just an aesthetic choice, but a healthy one too.
Who is a good candidate for a Dental Crown?
At Hampton Dental Associate, we recommend crowns for patients that have large cracks, large leaking fillings, root canals, or broken down or worn teeth. Patients may also elect to have crowns to cover implants, excessively large restorations, or a large filling. If you feel that you should have dental crowns, contact our Milwaukee, WI office for more information.
What types of crowns do you use?
We use caps made by microscopic dental labs and master ceramists. The materials used can include:
- Lithium disilicate
- Obsidian fused to metal
Dr. Winter bases his recommendation for crown types on the functional and esthetic demands of the patient.
What is a Zirconia crown made of?
Zirconia or (Zirconium Oxide) is a white metallic crystal used to create crowns, bridges, chimneys for implants and now even implants. There are several formulations for Zirconia crowns and the latest generation of more translucent Zirconia is prettier but weaker than solid regular Zirconia. Since there is no gold or metal substructure, Zirconia may be a more cost effective option and may eventually take the place of porcelain fused to metal crowns.
How long with a Zirconia crown last?
Zirconia crowns have been done since 2001 when 3M introduced Lava crowns. While Zirconia has only been studied since 1995 for dental applications, long term studies are ongoing as to how Zirconia performs compared to other dental materials. Most crowns will last from 7-15 years depending upon the lab that made them and the care given to their maintenance.
What are the benefits of a Zirconia crowns compared to other crowns?
Zirconia can be milled on a milling machine. They cost less to make than traditional crowns and they don’t have a dark metal substructure that needs to be masked to make them look like teeth. They may tend to look more opaque so they are not ideal for all restorations and newer generations of Zirconia exist that will produce a more translucent crown. These Zirconia anterior crowns due have significantly lower strength when compared to monolithic non-translucent Zirconia.
How much do Zirconia crowns cost?
Costs of crowns depend upon the quality of the dental lab used. A microscopic dental lab will charge a premium for a Zirconia crown and it will be similar to a porcelain crown. Other labs will price these crowns as less expensive as there is less lab work needed to complete them. Crowns can range from $500 to $2000 depending upon the quality of the lab, the care and time taken by the dentist and whether the Zirconia crown will be milled and if it has porcelain fused to it for increased customization.
How does the Dental Crown procedure work?
The procedure is painless as your dentist will anesthetize you. They will then gently prepare the tooth by removing some tooth structure around the tooth, make an impression, and send it to the laboratory. The patient will wear a temporary crown while they wait for the crown to be fabricated. Once the permanent dental crown is ready, you will come in for another visit. Your dentist will gently remove your temporary crown and use a very strong cement to bond the new crown on to your remaining tooth structure.
What is recovery like after getting Dental Crowns?
Other than some slight gum tenderness, you can resume activities immediately after the appointment. There is no recovery unless the tooth has other issues. If there is pain after the crown appointment, you should let the dentist know so they can evaluate the bite, nerve health and make sure there is no excess cement or retraction cord under the gum.
How long do porcelain crowns last?
Crowns can last anywhere from 7-20 years based on the quality of the lab, the skill of the dentist, the amount of height and width of the remaining tooth structure, and the cleaning and maintenance attentiveness of the patient. If someone does not floss or clean their beautiful crowns, they will fail. If a former dentist ground down the tooth too much and the remaining tooth structure is compromised, the longevity of the cap is compromised. Getting crowns requires maintenance, flossing, cleaning, and monitoring of the bite and chewing forces of all the teeth, so six-month check-ups are always recommended.
How can I take care of my Dental Crowns?
Daily home care is important to proper care. Be sure to floss, brush twice daily. It’s also important to use some form of fluoride dentifrice or prescription fluoride to maintain the crown and the seal between the crown and remaining tooth structure.
What other options are available?
Our first option is always to try and save as much of your natural teeth as we can. If your tooth has deteriorated and has lost bone (gum disease), has fractures or is failing, then we will need to use a dental implant or dental bridge. Dr. Winter and Winter will discuss your options during your consultation at our Milwaukee, WI office.
A dental bridge involves placing dental crowns or implants on both sides of the missing tooth and then inserting a replacement tooth between them. The replacement tooth can then be attached to the dental crowns on either side to create a strong and permanent connection (or “bridge”).
- They look and feel just like natural teeth
- They last for a very long time
- They can be cleaned without having to be removed
- They’re less expensive than dental implants
"I received implants and crowns and I couldn’t be happier with my smile." - Jerry G.
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