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When you have a cracked or damaged tooth, or a cavity too large for a dental filling, a dental crown can help restore your smile without the need for a tooth extraction. Also called “caps,” dental crowns are used to cover a damaged tooth, strengthen a weak tooth, or improve the size and shape of a tooth for improved appearance and better functioning. The crown covers the entire portion of the tooth that sits above the gum line. The dental crown can be affixed over the top of a natural tooth or a dental implant. Dental crowns are also used in certain types of dental bridges. At Smile Designers in San Diego, we use the highest quality materials for maximum beauty and natural-looking results.
Dr. Hage customizes the crown materials depending on their location in the mouth in order to maximize both functionality and aesthetics.
1/ Posterior crowns – For crowns placed in the back of the mouth, we use solid zirconia. Zirconia is known for its strength and durability, which allow it to withstand the daily pressure of chewing – for decades. Additionally, zirconia does not react to acidic foods or bacteria, and because it’s biocompatible, it also won’t cause pain or inflammation of the gums. One of the drawbacks of solid zirconia is that it has an opaque quality that makes it difficult to match to the surrounding teeth for a natural appearance. This is why Dr. Hage prefers to use it on the posterior teeth (molars and premolars), which are less visible than the anterior teeth.
2/ Anterior crowns – For the front of the mouth, we use crowns that are handmade with layered zirconia or Emax, which is an all-porcelain crown, for a more natural appearance. These two materials are both incredibly durable and aesthetically pleasing, as they can be easily color-matched to the surrounding teeth. However, it’s important to note that these types of crowns may not whiten in the same way your natural teeth will, so if you plan to whiten, you may want to do so prior to your crown procedure.
The cost of dental crowns ranges between $800 and $3000 per tooth, depending on a variety of factors, including local rates, your dental insurance coverage, the location of the tooth, the materials used, the size of the tooth, and any additional procedures you may need to prepare for the crown. The best way to get a clear estimate of the cost of your dental crown is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hage. He’ll assess and evaluate your treatment needs, discuss your dental coverage, and present you with your options.
The exact procedure for a dental crown will, of course, depend on the individual treatment plan and whether it’s a standard procedure or part of a larger treatment plan involving implants, tooth extractions, or other additional procedures. In the case of a standard dental crown, the steps are as follows:
A standard dental crown is a relatively simple procedure that can have maximum impact on the patient’s oral health and smile confidence.
Dental crowns are often needed when a tooth has a cavity that’s too large for a regular filling. If you have a fractured tooth, a broken tooth, a fragile tooth, or a tooth that has been treated with a root canal, a dental crown can help repair the damage and restore the strength, shape, or size of the tooth. Dental crowns are also used as a component of other types of tooth restoration options, including dental implants and dental bridges.
Getting a dental crown is a painless procedure. Dr. Hage will begin the tooth preparation or filing only after the treatment area has been sufficiently anesthetized.
Permanent dental crowns can last 5 to 15 years or more, depending on the patient’s oral hygiene routine and other habits. Dental crowns are subject to the same types of wear and tear as natural teeth, so it’s best to avoid chewing on ice, pen caps, and hard candies. And for patients who tend to grind their teeth, wearing a mouthguard at night is important for maximizing the longevity of dental crowns.
Temporary dental crowns are not designed for durability or longevity. Typically, patients will only wear their temporary crowns for a couple of weeks before they return to our office for their permanent crowns. The cement that holds the temporary crown in place during the waiting period is not meant to create a permanent bond, so very sticky foods, gum, and dried fruits can pull the crown off the tooth. Hard foods like nuts, certain raw vegetables, and popcorn kernels could also damage the temporary crown, which does not have the same durability as permanent crowns. It’s best to stick with softer foods while you wait for your permanent dental crown.
Dental crowns typically require the same kind of care your natural teeth require. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular visits to the dentist should help keep all your teeth in good shape, including your dental crowns. Additional attention is sometimes needed for flossing around the crown properly. Dr. Hage will send you home with clear instructions at the time of your procedure. Otherwise, continue to follow the same habits that keep your natural teeth strong and healthy: avoid chewing on ice, pen caps, and hard candies; and wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night.
Our Point Loma office is located close to Sports Arena blv.
At Smile Designers, we’re committed to patient comfort and satisfaction. If you’re looking for dental crowns in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Hage understands the functional and social benefits of a beautiful, healthy smile, and he provides the highest quality dental services to help optimize the oral health of all his patients. Give us a call at (619) 222-6000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hage today.