To restore the strength and attractiveness of your smile, a dental crown may be appropriate. These tooth restorations address a wide variety of aesthetic and functional issues. They look just like natural teeth, and a single crown fits snugly over the entire upper portion of a tooth to rebuild its structure. To schedule an exam and to find out how you can maintain outstanding oral health, please call the DENTAL STUDIO SF at (415) 392-5025. We proudly serve patients from throughout the entire Bay Area!
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Often referred to as ‘caps,’ crowns are typically used when a tooth is damaged, decayed, or aesthetically displeasing. They can strengthen a tooth, restore its original shape, improve its appearance, or align it with the rest of the teeth.
Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or metals such as gold and other alloys. The choice of material depends on several factors, such as the tooth’s location, the patient’s preference, the amount of the tooth that shows when you smile, and the function of the tooth.
When You Should Get A Dental Crown
A dental crown might be the right choice for you under several circumstances, including:
- Severely Damaged or Decayed Tooth: If a tooth is significantly decayed or damaged and cannot be restored with a simple filling, a crown may be needed. Crowns provide a protective cover, restoring strength and function to the damaged tooth.
- After Root Canal Treatment: After a root canal treatment, a tooth can become fragile and more prone to fractures. A dental crown is often used to protect the treated tooth.
- Cracked Tooth Syndrome: If you have a tooth that is cracked, a crown can hold the tooth together and prevent the crack from worsening. This will alleviate the pain and sensitivity that occurs when chewing or biting.
- Cosmetic Enhancement: Crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of discolored, misshapen, or aesthetically unpleasing teeth.
- Dental Implant Procedure: Crowns are used as the final restoration in a dental implant procedure. The crown is attached to the implant and serves as the replacement tooth.
- Large Filling: If a tooth has a large filling and there isn’t much tooth structure left, a crown can be used to protect the tooth from further damage.
Each individual’s dental situation is unique. Your dentist will be able to assess your situation and recommend the best treatment plan for your specific needs.
Some of the most common uses of crowns are the following:
- Fractured teeth
- Deep cavities
- Worn teeth
- Old, damaged dental fillings
- As part of a dental bridge
- As the cap on a dental implant
- To conceal a discolored or unattractive tooth
Tooth crowns are also used when root canal therapy is performed. This treatment is often necessary if the infection of a decayed tooth has progressed into the chambers of the tooth root, which is the innermost portion of your tooth. The decay is removed, then the chambers are cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth crown is placed to restore structure, strength, and function.
How a Dental Crown Can Help You
Opting for a dental crown can provide several advantages, which include:
- Restoring Tooth Functionality: A dental crown can restore functionality to a damaged or decayed tooth, allowing for normal chewing and biting again.
- Protecting Vulnerable Teeth: Crowns serve as a protective cover for damaged teeth or teeth that have undergone significant procedures, like a root canal, shielding them from further damage or decay.
- Enhancing Aesthetics: Dental crowns can drastically improve the appearance of your smile by covering discolored, stained, or misshapen teeth. They can be designed to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
- Supporting Dental Bridges: Crowns can act as anchors for dental bridges, serving as an essential component in replacing missing teeth.
- Capping Dental Implants: A crown is the final component of a dental implant, acting as the visible part of the tooth replacement system.
- Longevity: With proper care, dental crowns can last for many years. They are a durable and long-term solution for a variety of dental issues.
- Boosting Confidence: By restoring the functionality and aesthetic of your teeth, dental crowns can enhance self-confidence and improve your quality of life.
Our State-Of-The-Art Tooth Restorations
Tooth crowns differ by what material they are made of. At the DENTAL STUDIO SF, all-porcelain crowns are the preferred choice. These ceramic crowns offer outstanding aesthetics as well as durability. They contain no metal, which is particularly beneficial for people with a metal allergy. They are also mercury-free, which allows our patients to avoid the potential toxic presence of mercury. They can be used on the back and front teeth.
The process for getting a crown usually includes the following:
- A consultation with our dentist in San Francisco to establish your oral health condition and to ensure a tooth crown is the right option for you.
- A preparatory appointment, during which impressions, scans, and x-rays may be taken so that the dentist can see the anatomy of the tooth and jaw. A temporary crown is typically placed while the permanent crown is fabricated at a dental lab.
- An appointment to have the permanent crown placed.
It is important to remember that the process for getting a crown may vary slightly depending on your circumstances. For example, if the crown is associated with an implant or bridge to replace a missing tooth, then the process may be a little different than what is described above.
How Long Does A Dental Crown Last?
The lifespan of a tooth crown is typically between 5 to 15 years. To extend the life of the restoration, you should practice great dental hygiene. Although the porcelain itself cannot decay, the tooth and surrounding gum tissue can. If you play contact sports, you should wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and tooth crown. And if you have a habit of teeth grinding, talk to our dentists about a mouth guard you can wear at night to mitigate the damage caused by grinding.
What Does a Dental Crown Cost?
Several factors can influence the cost of dental crowns, making it somewhat variable from patient to patient. Here are some key considerations:
- Material of the Crown: Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), zirconia, or composite resin. The type of material used can significantly impact the cost, with all-porcelain and zirconia crowns typically being more expensive than metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns due to their superior aesthetics and durability.
- Dental Preparation and Lab Fees: The cost can also be affected by the complexity of the preparation needed before placing the crown. If additional procedures, like a root canal or core buildup, are required, this can increase the overall cost. The fees charged by the dental lab that manufactures the crown can also factor into the final price.
- Dentist’s Experience and Location: Fees can vary depending on the dentist’s level of experience and the geographic location of their practice. Dentists in urban areas, especially in large cities, tend to charge more for their services compared to those in rural areas.
- Insurance Coverage: The extent of coverage offered by your dental insurance plan can significantly impact your out-of-pocket expenses for a crown. Most dental insurance plans partially cover crown procedures, but it’s important to check with your provider to understand the specifics of your coverage.
- Number of Crowns Needed: Naturally, if more than one tooth needs to be crowned, the overall cost will be higher.
At your consultation, our office staff will be happy to describe costs after you have met with the dentist. We can also help you determine insurance coverage. We also accept various payment plans and financing, which we can show you how to apply for, if you decide to do so.
Dental Crowns Vs. Veneers: What’s Best For You?
In the Youtube video below, our highly experienced dentist in San Francisco explains the difference between dental crowns and veneers:
Tips For Avoiding Dental Crown Damage
Just like your natural teeth, here are things you should do to preserve your crown:
Preserving the longevity and integrity of your dental crown primarily involves maintaining good oral hygiene and mindful habits. Brushing at least twice daily, flossing once a day, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can help keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues that could affect your crowns, such as gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings also play an integral role, as your dentist can monitor the condition of your crown and promptly address any problems.
It’s crucial to avoid biting or chewing on hard foods and objects that can damage your crown. If you grind or clench your teeth, especially during sleep, talk to your dentist about a nightguard to protect your crown from excessive pressure. Athletes and those engaged in recreational activities that could result in a mouth injury should consider wearing a mouthguard. Lastly, a balanced diet contributes to overall oral health, indirectly supporting the longevity of your dental crown. Remember, each individual’s situation is unique, so it’s important to discuss with your dentist for advice tailored specifically to your circumstances.
Alternative To Dental Crowns: Inlays And Onlays
Like dental fillings and tooth crowns, inlays and onlays are restorations that protect teeth weakened by decay. Inlays and onlays are often used to replace old dental fillings. They can be matched to the color of your teeth for a seamless result. Speaking generally, inlays and onlays are similar to dental crowns but are recommended when the tooth damage is not extensive enough to warrant a crown.
Let’s take a closer look at the two types:
Inlays fit within the teeth cusps, which are the raised points on the biting surface of your teeth. Inlays do not extend over the points. In this way, they are similar to the shape of dental fillings.
Onlays extend over one or more cusps of the tooth. They replace the damaged cusp(s) as well as any decayed portion lying below the cusps.
These restorations are highly durable and tend to stand up to biting and chewing forces for many years. Inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory based on impressions of the tooth being restored. The final restoration is then bonded to the tooth by the dentist. In this way, they are more similar to crowns, whereas a dental filling is molded to the tooth at the time of your appointment.
Inlays and onlays are versatile restorations and an important part of dentistry designed to protect and rebuild your teeth. The only way to know if they are right for you is to consult our dentists. They will determine your options for rejuvenating the health and beauty of your smile.
We Offer Dental Crowns in San Francisco!
At the Dental Studio SF, we believe in the transformative power of a beautiful and healthy smile. One solution we offer to rejuvenate your smile and restore your dental health is the dental crown. Tailored to your specific needs, our high-quality crowns not only protect and strengthen damaged teeth but also significantly improve your smile’s aesthetic appeal. With a dental crown, you can enjoy the confidence that comes with a restored, healthy smile and the functionality of a strong tooth.
Our expert team is dedicated to delivering unparalleled care, working closely with you to design a dental crown that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth in terms of color, shape, and size. We utilize state-of-the-art technology and materials to ensure that your crown is durable and comfortable. And with proper care, these crowns can last for many years.
We understand that each patient’s needs are unique. So, whether you’re looking to protect a vulnerable tooth, restore tooth functionality, or simply enhance your smile’s appearance, we’re here to help. Your journey to a healthier, more radiant smile could start with a dental crown.
To find out if a dental crown can restore your dental health and the appearance of your smile, we invite you to reach out to us. Please call the Dental Studio SF at (415) 392-5025. to schedule your consultation. We look forward to partnering with you on your journey to optimal dental health and a smile you’re proud to share!