All About Crowns: Dental Crown Facts and FAQs

Dental crown FAQ

Answers to Your Most Common Dental Crown Questions

Dental crowns are versatile, popular procedures that can save teeth from needing to be pulled. If you’ve never had a dental crown before and you’re not sure what to expect, here’s everything you need to know!

1. Who is a good candidate for dental crowns?

You’re likely a candidate for a dental crown if you have a tooth that’s been damaged to the point that a filling, inlay, or onlay isn’t enough to repair it. This usually happens because of severe tooth decay or other damage that impacts the tooth’s normal function. In this situation, your dental crown is considered a restorative dental procedure.

However, crowns can also be used cosmetically to cover a misshapen or permanently discolored tooth. 

2. Are there different types of crowns?

There are many different types of crowns available, including ceramic, zirconia, metal, porcelain, and porcelain fused to metal (PFM). Most dental offices specialize in one or two materials but can still accommodate specialized crowns upon request. Many practices are even able to create your crown right in the office, helping you avoid multiple appointments.

Your dentist will help you decide which type of crown is best suited for your smile. Factors like overall oral health, the type of tooth needing treatment, and the location of the tooth are all important factors in choosing the right crown material.

3. How much does a dental crown cost?

Crowns are generally affordable, and if your crown is necessary to restore the function of your tooth, your dental insurance will often cover most (sometimes all) of the cost. Compared to alternative treatments, dental crowns are usually the least expensive choice.

If a tooth is vulnerable and weak, crowns are usually the last resort to save it. The only other option may be extraction, which leads to either future oral health complications or the need for a more costly prosthetic tooth. 

4. How long does it take to get a crown?

Dental crowns are a frequently performed restoration, and most patients won’t have to wait very long for their treatment appointment. The actual treatment time usually takes 30 minutes to an hour depending on any preliminary treatment that’s needed, such as root canal therapy.

For the permanent crown, you’ll either have one placed during the same appointment (if a same day crown) or at a later appointment (if a lab-created crown). 

5. What can I expect during a dental crown procedure?

Most dental crown appointments go by fairly quickly and include three steps: decay removal, tooth preparation, and crown placement.

Your dentist will carefully remove all decay and weakened enamel from the tooth structure. They will then prep the tooth by removing a small layer of tooth enamel to compensate for the thickness of the new crown.

If you’re receiving a same day crown, your dentist will cement the permanent crown during the same appointment. If your dentist is using an outside lab to create your crown, you’ll receive a temporary crown during this appointment and return a couple of weeks later for the permanent one.

5. Does the crown procedure hurt?

Nope! You’ll be numb and completely pain-free during your crown appointment. Afterward, it’s normal to feel some tenderness, but this sensitivity isn’t permanent, and soon your tooth and gum tissue will be back to feeling perfect.

6. What can I eat after getting the dental crown?

For the first few days after your initial crown appointment, your tooth may feel mildly tender or sensitive. It’s important to take it easy by eating mostly soft foods until your tooth is back to feeling normal. If you have a temporary crown, your dentist will probably tell you to avoid sticky foods altogether. Once you receive your permanent crown, it’s recommended that you follow a smile-friendly diet by avoiding excessively sticky, hard, or chewy foods. 

Remember, a dental crown is durable, but what can harm a natural tooth can also harm a crown.

7. How long will my crown last?

The average life-span of a dental crown is roughly 10 years, but factors like great dental habits and good oral health mean your crown can last 15 years or more. 

You can get the maximum life-span from your dental crown by taking great care of your teeth at home, visiting your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup, and being careful to not chew on hard objects like ice or pen caps.

8. What if the crown breaks?

Occasionally a crown can break from some sort of impact to the tooth. This could be from a physical accident or simply biting down on a hard object. Dental crowns are incredibly durable, but if the impact is strong enough to injure a natural tooth, this same pressure can also damage a crown.

Damaged or cracked crowns aren’t reusable. If a crown does break, your dentist will remove the old material, re-prep the tooth, and place a new dental crown.

Beautiful Porcelain and Same Day Dental Crowns in Omaha, Nebraska

If you’re located in or around Omaha, NE, the team at The Tooth Doc can help you repair and save your painful or damaged tooth. Our dentists offer both same day and  lab-created crowns depending on our patients’ needs. For more information on dental crowns or to book an evaluation for your troubled tooth, you can either call our office or use our online request form.