Dr. Stephen A. Price


Call today for your free no obligation consultation: (703)-935-2879


Common Questions about Dental Crowns

Common Questions about Dental Crowns

Teeth are not indestructible. They can decay and crack. They may be fractured by an old amalgam filling. They can get stained or chipped. When extensive damage occurs, a dentist will most likely recommend repairing the tooth with a crown. This type of restorative treatment is very common. If you’ve never had a crown, though, the whole idea may be disconcerting. Here, we answer a few of the most common questions patients have about dental crowns. We hope it helps you feel more confident about getting the treatment you need.

1.      Do I really need a crown?

We’ve mentioned a few of the ways a tooth can be injured, which are all reasons a person may need a dental crown. The reason this restoration would be recommended instead of a filling, as an example, is because it is necessary to prevent further damage from occurring. If the tooth is only filled when a crack has extended over the side or down to the gum line, there is a higher likelihood of decay or a full break down beneath the gums. Dr. Price is a fan of conservative dentistry. He recommends crowns only when other restorative care would not suffice.

2.      Will a crown look natural?

It has been many decades since all crowns were made of metallic materials like gold and metal alloy. To be truthful, there are still gold and metal alloy crowns. However, these materials are often used only as the crown base. They are overlaid with porcelain or other toothlike material that mimics natural enamel. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and even gold crowns without an overlay are well hidden in the back of the mouth. Front teeth are more often repaired with metal-free crowns that are slightly transparent, just like natural enamel.

3.      Does it hurt to get a dental crown?

Dental crown treatment is no less comfortable than getting a filling. A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area around the tooth. After the damaged parts of the tooth have been treated, the crown is easily placed without any discomfort. Often, a temporary crown is placed first and then replaced with the final crown about two weeks later. The replacement of the crown does not warrant anesthetic because no alteration of the tooth is performed at that time.

4.      How long with the crown last?

This is largely up to the patient and the material that is used to repair the tooth. Gold crowns have been known to last a lifetime. Porcelain and other ceramic crowns may last 5 or more years with good care. It is important to maintain crowns by brushing and flossing every day. Chewing on hard objects and foods can damage a crown so this should be avoided. People who grind or clench their teeth may be advised to wear a nightguard to protect their crowns.

Do you need a dental crown? We can help. Call our Burke office at (703)-935-2879 to schedule a visit with Dr. Price.

Why Would My Tooth Hurt after a Dental Crown?

Dental Crown  BURKE, VAOne of the common questions that appears on internet searches is “why does my tooth hurt after a crown?” To experience pain after restorative treatment can be alarming and frustrating. The whole point of getting a crown is to stop the pain that may have resulted from an injury or bad cavity. If a dental crown was installed for a problem that was not painful to begin with, pain after a dental crown could be especially concerning. Here, we discuss why this may happen.

Tooth Structure 101

Beneath the hard layer of enamel and a softer layer of dentin is a chamber of very soft tissue that is made up of blood vessels and nerves. This is called dental pulp. Because pulp is innervated, it will react to stimulation of all types. Sometimes that stimulation comes from the temperature of food, sometimes from infection, and sometimes the nerves of a tooth are stimulated by dental work.

The reason that most people need a dental crown is that a tooth has suffered trauma, infection or otherwise. When a tooth is prepared for a dental crown, the nerve may perceive additional injury. This is a double-whammy for a nerve that has become increasingly reactive to stimuli. As a result of preparation for tooth repair, the tissues at the center of the tooth may become inflamed and may stay that way for some time.

In many cases, the tooth just needs some time to calm down. If pain develops shortly after getting a dental crown, give it a few days to see if it resolves on its own. Comfort should improve with over-the-counter medication. If pain worsens or does not go away after several days, you need to see your dentist. You may need:

A crown adjustment

After a crown has been affixed, we do a bite assessment to check the height and seating of the new restoration. In many cases, this is done after the nerves have been numbed with local anesthetic. Therefore, it is possible that pain from a dental crown is related to its situation in the mouth. Maybe one point of the dental crown is hitting the opposing tooth too strongly. We can check the height of the crown when you are not numbed to confirm whether or not your pain has to do with a structural problem.

A root canal

Sometimes, the inflammation that occurs in a tooth nerve after dental crown treatment doesn’t go away. This is impossible to predict, but it is treatable. If pain persists after getting a dental crown, or it gets worse, it could be an indication that the nerve is not going to calm down and that it will eventually die. Root canal therapy can be performed in this instance to remove the inflamed tissue and resolve pain. If this type of dental crown pain is not treated, the tooth may be lost, or infection may develop in the form of an abscess.

Are you experiencing dental pain? We can help. Call (703)-935-2879 to schedule your visit with us.

Fractures aren’t Just a Bone Thing

Dental Crown Burke, VAWhen we hear the word “fracture,” we usually imagine an unexpected injury to a bone in the arm, leg, or another area of the body. This is not a word we might associate with our teeth. We should. Just like any bone in the body, a tooth can sustain an injury that leads to a fracture, or clean break. This type of damage typically occurs without warning, usually when something hard is bitten or chewed. Depending on the extent of the injury, tooth pain may not happen. However, a fracture is not something to leave unattended. Here, we discuss a few of the ways a fractured tooth might be treated.

Dental Bonding

We usually refer to dental bonding as a cosmetic treatment that covers small chips or other flaws. However, the dental bonding technique is also used restoratively. In this instance, we know the procedure as a tooth-colored filling. To repair a fractured tooth using this method, a slight amount of roughing may occur. This helps the composite material adhere to enamel. A tooth-colored mixture of glass and resin is then applied in thin layers and cured with light. The hardened material is comparable to enamel and therefore capable of strengthening the fractured tooth to decrease the risk of further damage.

Dental Crown

A dental crown may be necessary if a fracture has affected the layer of tooth material beneath enamel. This is a softer layer of matter and therefore more sensitive. A crown will cover the entire surface of the tooth to the gum line, buffering any stress that stems from biting and chewing. Dental porcelain is a standard crown material that looks and behaves like natural enamel, providing years of functional use.

Dental Implant

Severe tooth fractures may cause too much damage for the tooth to be saved. If the damaged tooth must be extracted, we can insert a tiny titanium post into the place where roots would be. This treatment induces bone growth around the post, leading to a new foundation for an artificial tooth to rest on top.

In our Burke office, patients can expect to receive care that suits their needs and their budget. For help repairing a tooth fracture or other dental problem, call (703)-935-2879.



Request Appointment