A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that covers an individual tooth (multiple teeth requires a dental bridge) to restore its shape, size, and overall strength. Permanent dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic. Each dental crown material has its own advantages and disadvantages, something you should discuss with Dr. Dr. Joseph Tagliarini should you need a tooth crown.
Contact Comprehensive Dental Health at 203-624-5515 to learn more about dental crowns and how they can help improve your smile!
Why would I need a dental crown?
Our New Haven adult patients typically require a dental crown in order to:
- Protect a tooth weakened by decay from cracking or breaking.
- Restore a broken tooth (usually by decay or simple “wear and tear”)
- Support a tooth that needs a large filling and does not have much natural tooth left
- Hold a dental bridge in place
A tooth crown may also be used on primary (baby) teeth in our young patients as a preventative measure, especially if the child is at high risk for tooth decay due to a difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene. Dental crowns are also good way of protecting baby teeth, which is important for their long-term oral health, that are too damaged to support a filling. Most pediatric dentists use stainless steel tooth crowns for children because they do not require multiple visits and are more cost effective than custom-made porcelain crowns. The stainless steel crown covers the entire baby tooth and protects it from further decay. When your child baby tooth comes out, the crown comes out with it!
What is a porcelain crown?
Porcelain crowns are typically the go-to choice for front tooth dental crowns because they provide the best natural color match. Although they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, porcelain crowns are also less damaging to your opposing teeth and cause less wear down than metal or resin crowns.
What is the process for getting a dental crown?
Getting a dental crown will require two trips to our New Haven office.
During your first appointment, Dr. Dr. Joseph Tagliarini will take a few X-rays of your tooth, the roots of your tooth needing a crown, and the surrounding bone to ensure that there is no risk of infection or injury to your tooth’s pulp. Next, we will anesthetize the tooth and gum tissues around the tooth requiring a dental crown and Dr. Dr. Joseph Tagliarini will proceed to file down the chewing surface and sides of your tooth to make room for the new crown. On the flip side, if you require a crown because extensive damage and decay has eaten away at too much of your natural tooth, we will use filling material to “build up” your tooth so the crown fits properly.
After reshaping your tooth (either by filing down or building up), we will make an impression of your tooth that is then sent off to a dental lab and will form the basis for the construction of your new dental crown. The new crown is typically sent back to our New Haven office within 2-3 weeks, at which point a second appointment will be made. While you are waiting for your permanent crown to arrive, you will be fitted with a temporary crown that will cover and protect your tooth.
Once we have your new tooth crown ready to go, Dr. Dr. Joseph Tagliarini will check the fit and color to ensure a natural looking smile! The permanent dental crown will be fixed with cement, and we may anesthetize the area a second time.
Please note that while you are wearing your temporary crown, we recommend that you avoid:
- Sticky or chewy foods
- Hard foods (like raw vegetables)
- Chewing on the side of your mouth with the temporary crown
- Lifting floss up as opposed to out (which might pop off your temporary crown!)
How long do dental crowns last?
Dental crowns typically last 5-15 years, depending on the amount of "wear and tear" the crown is exposed to (including habits like biting your fingernails and grinding your teeth) and how well you follow good oral hygiene practices.
While a dental crown does not require any special care, it is important to remember your tooth is still subject to gum disease, and proper oral care (including routine dental cleanings) is recommended.
You are welcome to contact Comprehensive Dental Health to learn more about dental crowns in New Haven, CT!