Enhance and Protect Your Smile with Custom Dental Crowns
Patients with a significantly damaged tooth can maintain the appearance and function of their smile with a dental crown at our Kansas City, MO, practice. Crafted from high-quality dental materials, these custom-made restorations fit over the whole tooth structure, providing strength and reinforcement. Crowns are versatile and can be used in a number of restorative or cosmetic procedures. Dr. John Goodman has two decades of experience restoring patient’s smiles with dental crowns.
Traditional Dental Crowns vs. Implants
At our practice, we offer both traditional dental crowns and implant-supported crowns. Both can be fabricated from a wide range of materials, including metal, ceramic, zirconia, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Although they are similar in form, these two types of restorations have some notable differences:
- Traditional dental crown: Used in dentistry for several decades, a traditional crown is supported by a natural tooth. In order to ensure a proper fit, the tooth must be slightly altered, or filed down.
- Implant-supported crown: Rather than fitting over a natural tooth, an implant-supported crown restores a dental implant. Dental implants are small titanium posts intended to replace the roots of missing teeth. Currently, implants boast the highest success rate of any other teeth replacement method.
Who Is a Candidate for a Dental Crown?
Crowns serve many purposes in dentistry and can be used to correct a variety of issues. Dr. Goodman may recommend a dental crown if you have:
- Moderate to severe decay
- A fractured, chipped, or broken tooth
- A misshapen tooth
- Difficulty chewing food comfortably
- Tooth erosion from bruxism (teeth grinding)
- A misaligned bite
- A weakened tooth
- Intrinsic discoloration that does not respond to teeth whitening
- Recently undergone root canal therapy
- Had a dental implant placed
The Treatment Process
Your Crown Treatment Timeline
Patients considering a traditional dental crown at our practice can typically complete treatment in two office visits. The treatment process includes:
- Initial consultation: During your first visit with Dr. Goodman, he will perform a thorough assessment of your teeth, gums, jaw joints, and bite. The affected tooth will be examined, and x-rays will be taken to determine the extent of damage.
- Preparing the tooth: If a crown is recommended, Dr. Goodman will start the process by prepping the tooth. This involves removing small amounts of enamel on the chewing surface and around the sides of the tooth. This is performed so that the tooth can accommodate the crown. If there is any decay present, it will be removed at this point as well. If necessary, a small filling or bonding agent may be placed to reinforce the tooth and prepare it for the crown.
- Impressions: Once the tooth is prepared, Dr. Goodman will take impressions. These impressions will then be sent to a dental lab to guide the fabrication of your new restoration.
- Fabrication: At the dental laboratory, a skilled technician will begin the process of crafting your crown. Depending on the type of materials used, this can take anywhere from one to four weeks.
- Temporary crown: While your final restoration is being custom-made, Dr. Goodman will place a temporary restoration to protect the tooth. While the temporary crown is in place, it is important to follow certain guidelines to prevent it from becoming broken or dislodged. For example, avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods, and try to chew on the other side of the mouth, if possible.
- Placement of final restoration: Once your crown arrives from the lab, Dr. Goodman will remove the temporary restoration and bond the permanent crown into place using dental cement. Special care will be taken to ensure the crown fits in with your bite and rests properly against the gum line. Once the crown in place, Dr. Goodman will assess your bite, make any necessary adjustments, and polish the crown to a natural-looking shine. At this point, your new restoration should be fully functional.
If you are receiving an implant-supported crown, your treatment timeline will look a bit different. During your initial consultation, Dr. Goodman can tell you what to expect during the process.
Results and Benefits
Because dental crowns are made from resilient materials, they typically last for many years. On average, a crown will last approximately 5 to 15 years. The key to making your crown last as long as possible is proper maintenance.
Once your crown is in place, you can begin enjoying the advantages immediately. These restorations offer a wide range of aesthetic and oral health benefits, which we will explore in the sections below.
Oral Health Benefits of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are one of the most common restorative treatments available. These restorations can:
- Reinforce a weakened tooth: A tooth that has sustained damage may still have sufficient healthy structure remaining. In these cases, a dental crown can provide strength and stability, and eliminate the need for an extraction.
- Alleviate dental pain: Decayed or damaged teeth can result in soreness, sensitivity, or discomfort. When a tooth is protected by a dental crown, the risk of these side effects is significantly reduced.
- Improve bite alignment: When a crown is crafted with accuracy and precision, it should fit comfortably into your smile and balance the forces across your bite. In fact, a dental crown can even prevent TMJ disorder by placing your jaw in a more favorable position.
- Reduce wear and tear: When a tooth is too weak to handle normal bite forces, pressure can transfer to other teeth, eventually placing them at risk for damage. A dental crown can reinforce the affected tooth and prevent further issues.
- Enhance chewing function: It is difficult to chew on a decayed, damaged, or painful tooth. A dental crown can protect the tooth and restore chewing function.
Aesthetic Benefits of Dental Crowns
In addition to restoring function, dental crowns also offer a wide range of cosmetic benefits. For example, crowns can:
- Make intrinsically stained teeth that do not respond to bleaching look bright and healthy
- Alter the shape and size of the teeth for a more uniform appearance
- Make crooked, overlapped, or rotated teeth appear flush and aligned
- Deliver incredibly lifelike results
Maintaining Your Dental Crown
To ensure that your crown lasts a long time, we recommend that you:
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush two times a day with a non-abrasive paste and soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss once daily, using caution around the crown to avoid causing it to become dislodged. For example, avoid “snapping” the floss out from between the teeth; pull it through the space instead. It is advisable to use an antibacterial mouthwash as well. However, make sure it is alcohol-free, as alcohol-based products can compromise the bond of the dental cement over time.
- Avoid extremely sticky or hard foods. Crowns are resilient. However, it is best to abstain from caramels, taffy, and other sticky foods, which could dislodge your restoration. Additionally, avoid hard foods, like nuts or popcorn, which could eventually damage the crown.
- Attend routine dental checkups. Most patients can maintain their crowns with cleanings twice a year. However, if you are prone to gum disease or decay, Dr. Goodman may recommend more frequent visits.
- Do not use your teeth as tools. Tearing open packages or removing clothing tags with your crowns (or natural teeth) is damaging.
- Wear a night guard, especially if you grind your teeth. Those who suffer from chronic teeth grinding or clenching can damage their crowns over time. A custom oral appliance can help protect your restorations and reduce the risk of future problems.
Learn More about Dental Crowns
To explore your treatment options, schedule a visit with Dr. Goodman. You can call our practice at (816) 842-8585 or contact us online anytime.