Answering your frequently asked questions about getting dental crowns.
Dental crowns are a popular restorative care solution for saving weak or damaged teeth that need extra protection to remain strong.
At Harris Dental, Dr. Harris will first examine your problematic tooth to determine what treatment is necessary and whether or not the tooth is salvageable. If the tooth can be saved you’ll move forward with a treatment plan and dental crown placement. (If not, don’t worry. You won’t be left with a missing tooth. Advanced restorative dentistry procedures such as tooth implants and modern restorations can give you the closest thing to nature’s tooth as possible!)
If you find yourself in need of a dental crown and you’re curious to learn more about the process, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions Dr. Harris hears from his patients.
From start to finish, what’s the process of getting a dental crown?
After your initial consultation, most dental crown procedures are broken down into just a few separate appointments, depending on whether you’re getting a porcelain crown or a same day CEREC crown.
Your first appointment will consist of tooth preparation and getting images taken for the creation of your crown. Dr. Harris will prep your tooth by removing some enamel to make space for your future crown. Dr. Harris will send these images, along with some other information, to a lab that specializes in sculpting beautiful and realistic crowns. You’ll be fitted with a temporary crown in the meantime.
Your second appointment will be the placement of your permanent porcelain crown and usually takes place two to three weeks after your first appointment.
Your third appointment is a follow-up with Dr. Harris to check on how your new dental crown is healing. This is usually done a few weeks after your permanent has been placed.
Same Day Crowns
Your first appointment involves the same tooth prep and imaging explained above. The difference is you’ll also have your permanent, same day crown designed, right in our office, at this same appointment!
Same day crowns is a very efficient service and they are just as strong and beautiful as porcelain crowns. Skipping the need for a temporary crown also eliminates potential discomfort issues, like sensitivity when chewing.
Your second appointment will be a standard follow-up with Dr. Harris.
If you’re wondering why we have two different ways to make crowns, the answer is that the type of crown that will benefit you depends on a variety of factors unique to you. These include where the tooth is in your mouth, the number of crowns needed, your dental habits, budget, and preferences.
Am I going to feel any pain during or after dental crown placement?
Dr. Harris and his team do everything they possibly can to keep patients comfortable and pain-free during dental care procedures.
A dental crown procedure is minimally invasive and most patients don’t feel any sort of pain or discomfort during placement. Patients with a very low tolerance for pain may feel mild discomfort, similar to a filling.
After the numbing wears off, it’s normal for the newly crowned tooth to feel sensitive and uncomfortable. Your gums around the teeth may also feel tender. This mild discomfort typically lasts two or so days after the appointment and over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken during this time.
Are there any risks associated with dental crowns I should know?
Aside from fillings, dental crowns are the most frequently performed restorative care service. The dental crown procedure is exceptionally safe and complications are very rare. That being said, as with any sort of dental or healthcare procedure, sometimes things don’t quite go as smoothly as we anticipate.
Dental crown procedure complications often revolve around some sort of sensitivity issue related to the enamel removal process during tooth preparation. This is why Dr. Harris goes to great lengths to prep your tooth with minimal enamel removal.
Though unrelated to the dental crown procedure itself, some dental crowns may fail years later due to the decay of the underlying tooth. Porcelain and same-day crowns offer durable protection, but they don’t make your tooth impervious to decay if proper oral hygiene isn’t being practiced.
What’s the healing process like and how long does it usually take?
Dental crowns heal quickly and easily the majority of the time.
As mentioned above, it’s normal to feel some discomfort. If you are feeling uncomfortable, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever is often all that’s needed.
We also recommend you wait to eat anything until the numbness is completely gone and you have full feeling in your tongue, lips, and cheeks. Sticking with softer, easy-to-chew foods for the next couple of days is also encouraged.
If you’re wearing a temporary crown while waiting for your porcelain crown, steer clear of any foods that are sticky, crunchy, or hard as they may dislodge your temporary.
How long it takes for someone to completely heal does vary as we’re all individuals. Some may feel completely back to normal within a few days while others take a couple of weeks for all tenderness to disappear. Both situations are normal.
If you do ever feel like something isn’t quite right, or your crowned tooth seems to be having trouble healing, we’re only a phone call away!
Do dental crowns require any special care or dental hygiene products?
A wonderful characteristic of dental crowns is the ease of care. In fact, you can treat your crowned tooth just like a natural tooth through a normal routine of twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and biannual dental checkups with Dr. Harris.
We recommend our patients use dental hygiene products that have the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. You can search for ADA-approved products by visiting this handy webpage.
How long will my dental crowns last with proper care?
A dental crown procedure is a permanent decision, meaning that a crowned tooth will always need a crown on it for protection. However, the actual dental crown itself is semi-permanent and will eventually need to be replaced.
You can expect porcelain crowns and same-day CEREC crowns to last about 10 to 15 years before wearing out. Some dental crowns last even longer.
Getting the longest life possible from your dental crown largely comes down to your oral hygiene routine. The healthier your teeth, the more likely your dental crown will last a full lifespan. Regular dental visits are also important as plaque build-up can result in a compromised dental crown and decay of the tooth underneath.
Book your dental crown appointment with Dr. Harris and his team.
Dr. Harris and his team strive to make every appointment as comfortable as possible for clients through a combination of advanced dental technology, skilled expertise, and a gentle touch. You can expect this same high level of care during your dental crown placement appointment.
If you haven’t yet scheduled your dental crown placement appointment, just give our office a call to book the best time for you or fill out this form.
If you’re a new patient in need of a dental crown and you’d like to choose Dr. Harris as your dental care provider, you can contact us the same way to get your first appointment booked.