As much as possible, our team at MJM Family and Cosmetic Dentistry strives to preserve your natural enamel. Many times, this means that we can repair a cavity or cracked tooth with composite, tooth-colored fillings. However, when fillings aren’t enough to bring back a tooth’s strength and function, we use dental crowns. If you have a tooth in need of repair, give MJM Family and Cosmetic Dentistry a call to schedule an appointment. Let us help you have confidence in your smile again!
Dental crowns are also often called caps because they cover the top portion of your teeth on all sides. These caps are made from dental porcelain, which is shaped to mimic real tooth structure. They are also shaded to match the surrounding teeth, so you and others may find it difficult to tell which are your natural teeth and which are restored.
This restoration is utilized in many situations, such as to do the following:
For many teeth, a dental crown is the last option before extraction. In other words, without dental crowns, thousands of patients every year would lose teeth that otherwise could be saved. In addition, dental crowns are crafted to look and feel just like natural tooth enamel. As a result, you’ll be able to feel confident letting your restored teeth show in a smile. Because the porcelain material is durable and strong, you can also eat a healthy diet without worrying too much about your restored teeth.
Your experience depends on whether you’re getting a traditional crown or a CEREC same-day crown. Either way, the process starts with removing any damaged tooth structure or preparing the tooth for the crown. Then, we’ll take impressions of your teeth so that we can design the crown to fit your mouth perfectly. The traditional method of having a dental crown placed then requires sending the impression to a dental lab for fabrication. We’ll position a temporary crown while your permanent one is crafted. Then you’ll return once it’s complete. However, if it better suits your needs, we are able to create CEREC crowns right here in our Fairfax office, saving you time. We can help determine which type would be better for your smile.
As one of the most versatile treatments in the field of dentistry, dental crowns are incredibly common. In fact, an estimated 15 million people in the United States currently have at least one crown. Even so, it’s normal to not be entirely clear on what to expect when getting dental crowns in Fairfax. That’s why we’ve taken the time to answer some questions about crowns that we get asked often. Of course, if you still have questions, feel free to schedule a consultation so that we can address your concerns in person!
Dental porcelain cannot be whitened like natural teeth can. Tooth enamel contains microscopic pores through which dark-colored molecules in foods, beverages, and tobacco can enter and cause stains to develop. However, whitening products can also penetrate these pores and break up stains. Because porcelain is non-porous, neither discoloring molecules nor bleaching solutions can affect them.
In other words, dental crowns cannot be whitened, but they shouldn’t need to be. Your dentist in Fairfax will make sure that your crown is perfectly color-matched to the surrounding teeth for a flawless appearance.
Placing a crown requires the tooth to be permanently reshaped, so most dentists won’t recommend a crown unless they deem it absolutely necessary for your oral health. For this reason, if we suggest that you get a crown, it’s best to get the treatment taken care of in a timely manner, even if your tooth isn’t bothering you at the moment.
By putting off getting a needed dental crown, you risk exposing your tooth to chewing forces, food debris, and harmful bacteria. This could worsen existing decay or damage. After enough time has passed, the tooth may need root canal therapy or even an extraction! These procedures are not only more invasive, but often more expensive as well. That’s why receiving a dental crown right away can benefit your natural tooth and your bank account!
Thanks to Dr. Murray’s advanced training in CEREC crowns, the process should be 100% safe. Unlike with traditional metal crowns, porcelain and zirconia crowns don’t contain any mercury or other toxins that could negatively impact your health. These materials are also significantly less likely to cause allergic reactions than metal crowns are.
In extremely rare cases, a patient may have an adverse reaction to porcelain, but again, the risk of this happening is slim to none. Still, definitely let us know immediately if you experience swelling, redness, or irritation in the nearby gums after receiving your crown.
Before our dentists prepare your tooth for crown placement, they’ll make sure that section of your mouth is completely numbed by administering local anesthesia. As a result, you should barely feel anything during the process. Once the numbness wears off, though (which should happen a few hours after your procedure), your tooth might be sore or sensitive for a few days. To mitigate any discomfort, we recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, before the initial numbness subsides. Then, take it as needed until your tooth feels back to normal.