Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Common Questions about Dental Crowns

By: | Monday, March 30th, 2020 | Dental Crown

Monday, March 30th, 2020

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.



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