Dental Crowns Pasadena TX
When a tooth becomes compromised with problems such as extensive decay, a large filling, or a crack, it can often be saved by putting a crown on the tooth. A porcelain crown from Dr. Covell in Pasadena, TX saves the tooth, returning strength, function, and aesthetic appearance.
What is a dental crown?
When you think of the word crown, you may think it just sits on the top of the damaged tooth. In reality, a crown covers what is called the “crown” of the tooth. That is the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. A crown is molded to match the original shape of the tooth, and because it covers the entire tooth it makes it strong again.
Since a crown will match the size of the original tooth, a portion of all sides and the top of the tooth are removed. The crown then fits over the shaved-down tooth and is permanently cemented onto it.
what are crowns made from?
Crowns can be made of gold, composite resin, Zirconia, or porcelain. Due to their beautiful appearance and strength, Dr. Covell often uses Porcelain and Zirconia crowns.
WHY PORCELAIN AND ZIRCONIA?
While you sometimes see gold crowns, especially if they were placed a couple decades back, Dr. Covell believes Porcelain and Zirconia are the best material for his crowns. Patients today like to have crowns that not only function well but look good. Porcelain and Zirconia meet the esthetic demands of patients and provide the strength necessary to withstand the extreme forces generated by chewing and biting. These materials look very much like natural tooth enamel. Both materials are semi-translucent, meaning that some light penetrates into the crown and some bounces back off. This quality is described as a “pearly sheen.”
What dental issues can be addressed with a crown?
When a tooth is in danger of needing to be extracted, the goal is to restore its strength and function. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons to cover serious imperfections. Plus, crowns are used as anchors for bridges. Here are the problems Dr. Covell covers with porcelain crowns and Zirconia:
- Severely decayed teeth
- Teeth with large fillings
- Chipped teeth
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Severely stained teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that have had a root canal
- The anchor teeth on both sides of a bridge
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How are dental crowns placed?
Crowns require two appointments:
- During your first appointment, Dr. Covell prepares the tooth. He removes any decay or otherwise damaged areas of the tooth, and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. The tooth is then shaved down on all sides and on the top to make room for the crown to overlay the tooth while maintaining the same overall size. We then take dental impressions and photographs of your teeth. These are sent to the dental lab for the fabrication of your crown. The lab not only will re-create the former shape of the natural tooth, but it will precisely match the color to the adjacent teeth. Fabrication usually takes around two weeks, and Dr. Covell places a temporary crown on your tooth to protect it in the meantime.
- Once your custom crown is finished, you return for your second appointment. Dr. Covell checks the crown’s fit and its match with your adjacent teeth. He may shave small bits off the crown if necessary. Once both you and Dr. Covell are satisfied, the crown is permanently cemented onto your tooth and you’re good to go.
Do crowns need special care?
In addition to their beautiful appearance and strength, crowns are great because they don’t require any special care. Brushing and flossing daily is all that’s needed.
How long will my crown last?
There is no set lifespan for a porcelain or Zirconia crown. The material will not decay, but the root of the tooth is still susceptible to decay. But good home hygiene and regular professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Covell will keep your crown healthy and happy for a long time.
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS
A crown can be thought of as the last best hope for a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Placing an overly large filling will likely crack the tooth. Large chips also compromise strength and function. If you don’t put a crown on a severely damaged tooth, the end result will most likely be extraction. If you choose that path, the missing tooth can be replaced with a dental implant or a bridge.
Learn more about your other options.
What are the benefits of having a dental crown placed by Dr. Covell?
A porcelain or zirconia crown can be thought of as a tooth lifesaver. Most crowns are placed when a natural tooth is in danger of being compromised to the degree that it will need extraction. This can be a case of a large amount of decay, or the development of a second cavity in a tooth that had decay and a filling placed previously. The tooth may not be able to handle the removal of even more decayed tissue. A large, deep crack would also create that kind of problem, as would a large chip.
In these types of scenarios, Dr. Covell wouldn’t be able to save what remains of the patient’s natural tooth. The tooth wouldn’t have the necessary strength any longer to withstand the forces of biting and chewing. Extraction would be necessary, followed by the placement of a dental implant or a bridge to replace the extracted tooth.
By placing a crown atop the damaged natural tooth, this changes everything. The crown returns strength and function to the tooth as it covers the underlying natural tooth completely, right down to the gum line. As long as the patient keeps the gums and area at the bottom of the crown clean and healthy, the natural tooth can endure.
Another benefit of crowns is that they can completely change the appearance of a tooth. This is obviously important if a tooth has a large chip. But it can also be an aesthetic choice to cover a misshapen tooth or a tooth with deep intrinsic staining.
Finally, porcelain and zirconia crowns placed by Dr. Covell are highly resistant to staining and can last for decades.
Who is a good candidate for a dental crown?
The question of needing a crown or not can be functional or aesthetic. If you have a tooth that has cosmetic problems — maybe it was stained by a reaction to tetracycline when you were a kid — then a crown is a great way to mask that staining. However, a porcelain veneer could also do the job in this case.
But if your tooth has extensive decay or other damage and is in danger of needing to be extracted, then a crown is the perfect way to save the tooth.
If you have signs of gum disease, that will need to be addressed and resolved before you can have a crown placed.
IS IT PAINFUL TO HAVE A DENTAL CROWN PLACED?
When Dr. Covell is removing the decay or addressing the other problems with the tooth, he will first locally numb the area and you won’t feel anything. You will remain local anesthetized when he prepares the natural tooth for the crown. To do so, he will shave down the tooth on all sides and on top, creating a perfect bonding environment for the crown to be cemented to the shaved down natural tooth.
There isn’t any pain following this preparation work.
When Dr. Covell places your custom-made crown onto your tooth in your second appointment, it is completely painless and doesn’t require any local anesthesia.
WILL I NEED TO RESTRICT MY DIET WITH A DENTAL CROWN?
There aren’t any restrictions on what you can eat with a crowned tooth or teeth, but you can pull a crown off with overly sticky, chewy foods like caramels. If this does happen, however, Dr. Covell can cement the crown back onto the tooth.
Porcelain and zirconia crowns are incredibly strong, but you can damage them by staying with some bad habits, such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, opening beer bottles with your teeth, and the like.
Are dental crowns covered by insurance?
As is the case with most procedures, your coverage depends upon your insurance provider. If you have dental insurance as part of your plan, crowns are usually covered. That’s because a crown heads off the need for the more involved, and costly, placement of a dental implant or a bridge. When Dr. Covell places a crown over your damaged tooth, this allows you to keep the natural tooth underneath the crown. With the proper care, your crowned natural tooth can stay in place the rest of your life. That saves you, and your insurance company, money.