Dental Crowns in Littleton

Do I Need A Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are often the best choice for restoring teeth that have been damaged by extensive decay or have been chipped or cracked in an oral injury. Crowns are shaped just like a natural tooth and are designed to strengthen tooth structure after decay or damage. This restores the natural appearance and function of your smile and protects your tooth from further damage.

patient getting dental work

You Might Need a Crown If...  

You have a large filling or an old, failing filling that may be weakening your tooth
You have a large cavity that is too extensive to be filled
Your tooth has been damaged, cracked, or broken by oral trauma or teeth grinding (bruxism)
You’ve had root canal therapy on one of your rear teeth

What Is the Dental Crown Treatment Process?

First, your mouth will be cleaned and the treatment area will be numbed. Then, Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will use specialized tools to remove any decayed or damaged enamel from your tooth and it will be shaped into a strong, stable platform for your new crown. 

After your tooth has been prepared, we will take impressions and images of your mouth. This information will be sent to a dental lab where your permanent crown will be made. Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will place a temporary crown that you’ll wear for the next 2-3 weeks while your permanent crown is built.

When it arrives at our office, you will come back in for a final appointment. Your crown will be checked to ensure a perfect fit, then it will be bonded into place to complete the procedure.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are extremely durable and long-lasting. Typically, a crown will last at least 15-20 years. In addition, porcelain crowns are completely stain-resistant and will never become stained or discolored.

Crowns are also the best way to prevent further complications and protect your tooth if it has been damaged. They are custom-built to cover up all of your remaining enamel and protect it from decay. Your crown will also look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth, restoring both your bite and your smile.

How Do I Care For My New Dental Crown?

You can treat your new dental crown just like you would treat a natural tooth. Brush it at least twice daily and floss once per day. In addition, it’s important to see Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson every six months for a routine checkup at Carlson Family Dentistry.

Does Getting A Crown Hurt?

Not at all. Dental crowns do not cause any pain or discomfort. While the preparation process does involve drilling away some of your natural enamel, your mouth will be numb throughout the entire process, which ensures you don’t feel any discomfort as your tooth is prepared for a dental crown.

In addition to this, we offer sedation dentistry at our office. You can be sedated for your comfort and convenience, and to ensure you don’t feel any fear or anxiety while having your tooth trimmed to prepare for a crown.

After your tooth has been prepared for a crown, it may feel a little bit tender and sensitive, but you will have temporary crown placed that will keep it protected until your permanent crown can be attached to your tooth in a few weeks.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

This mostly depends on how well you care for your oral health. Dental crowns tend to fail prematurely if you do not brush and floss well, since decay can form under the crown and cause it to loosen or fall off of your tooth.

If you brush and floss regularly and see Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson for appointments every six months, though, your mouth will stay healthy, your crown should last at least 15-20 years. It’s even possible for porcelain crowns to last longer than 20 years, in some cases, but this is rare since your crown will become worn down over time as you chew, eat, and bite. 

And if your crown does wear out, it’s easy to replace it with a new one. Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will check your crown every time you come in for an appointment to make sure it’s in good shape. 

What Is The Alternative To A Dental Crown?

This depends on the reason you need a dental crown. If you have a very large cavity, an infected tooth, or a damaged tooth, for example, there is no alternative to a dental crown. It’s the best way to repair severe tooth damage and restore your smile. 

The only other option is a tooth extraction, and Dr. Carlson and Dr. Cade usually will not extract a tooth that could be saved with a dental crown. That’s because we practice conservative dentistry at Carlson Family Dentistry. Saving your natural tooth, when possible, is always better than removing it.

However, if you have a smaller cavity, a filling could be used as an alternative to a dental crown. Fillings are usually only used for small-to-medium cavities, though. Large fillings tend to be less stable and have a shorter lifespan when used to treat big cavities. 

You may also have options if you have a minor chip or slight damage to your tooth. If the chip only affects the outer layer of your tooth structure, a crown may not be necessary. Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson may be able to cover up the chip with a cosmetic dentistry procedure like a porcelain veneer or dental bonding. 

To learn more and see if a crown is really necessary for your situation, we recommend contacting Carlson Family Dentistry for a consultation with Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson right away.

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