Dental Crowns in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Decaying or damaged teeth can cause sensitivity while eating and drinking and put your body at risk of developing more severe problems. Dental crowns, sometimes called caps, are durable prosthetics used to extend the life of your natural teeth when they are cracked, decayed, or weak. As the American population ages and tooth decay and its associated diseases become more prevalent, the need for dental crowns is expected to rise. At Mint Mini Dental Implants, our goal is to maintain the health of your natural teeth whenever possible. Because dental crowns fit over your existing teeth, this is an excellent treatment option for many of our patients.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A crown is used to restore damaged teeth, strengthen weak teeth that might otherwise fracture, and protect teeth from wear and tear. They are used to reinforce teeth with substantial fillings and to cap teeth after root canal treatment. Crowns can also cover mini dental implants, hold a bridge in place, or enhance the support teeth for those needing partial dentures.
Dental crowns are a great option if you have about a quarter of your natural tooth (or approximately 2 mm) remaining. The crown fits over the visible portion of the tooth to improve the tooth’s function. Although crowns are sometimes used to cover a severely discolored or stained tooth, their main purpose is restorative. Unlike veneers—which are used for cosmetic purposes—crowns are primarily used to maintain tooth health. However, for many people, the crown not only improves the functionality of the damaged tooth, it also improves the tooth’s overall appearance.
Crowns are designed to look like your natural teeth and can be made from a variety of materials, including composite resin, metal, ceramic, and porcelain. The material that is best for you will depend on the state of your natural tooth and its location in your mouth. While some materials may be chosen for their durability, others are best for blending in with the surrounding teeth.
What to Expect from a Dental Crown Procedure
At your initial consultation, Dr. Coolican will help you decide if dental crowns are suitable for your dental needs and goals. If you have healthy tooth remaining, dental crowns are an excellent solution. However, we may recommend different options if your tooth is beyond repair. For a severely damaged tooth, extracting the tooth and replacing it with a mini dental implant could be the best option. The mini implant acts like the root of the tooth and a natural-looking prosthetic tooth is attached on top. No matter the treatment, our goal is to restore full function to your teeth so you can eat and speak with ease.
If we decide that dental crowns are right for you, you should expect the procedure to take two visits:
- Preparation: During your first visit, we shape the tooth to create the perfect fit for your crown. We might remove some of the enamel on your tooth or add material to build up the tooth. Then, Dr. Coolican will take an impression, or mold, of your teeth. A dental lab will design your custom crown, which typically takes two to three weeks. In the meantime, we’ll fit you with a temporary crown.
- Placement: At your second visit, we’ll first remove the temporary crown and replace it with your new crown. Dr. Coolican will check the shape and fit and then bond the crown to your tooth using durable dental cement.
When Can I Return to Work or School?
Very little downtime is needed for dental crowns. Immediately following the placement of the crown, you can return to work or school. Some tenderness is normal and will diminish in a few days, but you can use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to ease discomfort if needed. For the first couple of weeks, you might experience some sensitivity, especially to heat or cold.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. However, your crown can last 30 years with proper care. To prolong the life of your crown, you should avoid certain foods that can damage, loosen, or even pull off your crown such as ice cubes, hard or sticky foods and candies, and popcorn with kernels.
If you notice wear or damage to your crown, contact us as soon as possible so that we can fix or replace your crown.
To properly care for your crown, you should follow dentist-recommended oral hygiene guidelines:
- Brush gently twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush.
- Floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent plaque buildup.
- Schedule regular visits at Mint Mini Dental Implants so we can monitor and maintain your crown.
Additionally, be sure to:
- Avoid foods that are likely to damage your crown like those that are hard or chewy.
- Wear a mouth guard to protect your crown if you grind your teeth at night.
- Stop biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packaging.
Affording Dental Crowns
The cost of your dental crown will depend on the preparation required of the natural tooth as well as the material that is right for your specific case. Generally, a portion of the cost of a crown is covered by dental insurance policies when it is deemed medically necessary. Still, we recommend that you check your coverage with your provider if you decide that crowns are right for you.
For those looking to finance their dental crowns, we provide options to fit your needs and your budget. Ensuring access to affordable dental care is something we value at Mint Mini Dental Implants because we know how impactful dental health can be. By partnering with three different dental financing companies—Ally, Lending Club, and CareCredt—we can ensure that you get the best rates available. Many plans offer 0% introductory rates as well as manageable monthly payment options to help you afford your dental crowns.
Investing in your oral health today will save you money in the long run, as damaged teeth that go untreated can cause additional and more expensive issues.
Protect Your Teeth with Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are an excellent option if you are looking to protect or strengthen your weak or damaged teeth. With decades of experience in dentistry, you can trust that Dr. John Coolican will personalize a treatment plan that transforms your smile. At Mint Mini Dental Implants in Wilkes-Barre, PA, we look forward to helping you find the best solution to restore the function of your bite while enhancing the beauty of your smile. Schedule a free consultation today to determine if dental crowns are right for you. We proudly serve patients in northeastern Pennsylvania.