What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a custom dental prosthetic that is placed over a damaged tooth to enhance its strength and protect it from further harm, while restoring proper function and a healthy bite. In addition, crowns can be used for esthetic purposes, typically to cosmetically enhance the appearance of a misshapen or severely decayed tooth. When a tooth is missing or needs to be replaced, a single implant prosthesis (often called an implant crown) may be secured to the tip of a dental implant.
The dental crowns from our practice are carefully crafted to achieve natural-looking, long-lasting results. We understand the importance of a healthy, beautiful smile and strive to provide our patients with outstanding service and exquisite outcomes. Following a comprehensive dental exam, one of our experienced dentists can determine whether a dental crown is necessary, approximate the degree of tooth preparation required, and suggest the best restoration material for your needs and priorities. Crowns are often preferred for posterior teeth such as molars, since they have more surface area to cover.
Contact our practice to schedule a consultation to discuss your dental concerns and determine the right course of treatment for repairing your smile. You may also review the informative sections on dental crowns we have provided below for more information.
- Dental Crown Types
- Dental Crowns vs. Veneers
- Dental Crown Procedure
- Dental Crown Recovery
- Dental Crown Lifespan
- Dental Crown Cost
- Additional Dental Crown FAQs
What Are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?
At our dental practice, we offer dental crowns made of a variety of materials:
- All-Ceramic Crowns: Typically used for the front teeth, these crowns can most closely match the color of your natural teeth. Today’s advanced ceramic materials are very durable and natural-looking.
- Zirconia Crowns: Our certified zirconia crowns are typically used for posterior teeth such as molars or patients that are bruxist (have a hard bite).
- E.max® Crown: We prefer to use on anterior teeth and bicuspids (only when veneers aren’t an option) because of their esthetic appearance.
During the consultation process, your dentist can help you decide which materials your dental crown(s) will be best for your unique needs, goals, and budget. Our highest-quality options are e.max® and zirconia, and you will discover that our prices on these premium crowns are significantly lower than you would find at an equivalent cosmetic dentistry practice in the United States.
Dental Crowns vs. Veneers
While dental crowns and porcelain veneers share some similarities in terms of what they can accomplish, there are also some differences between these two options that can make one more ideal than the other when it comes to an individual’s dental needs. Generally, dental crowns are more of a restorative procedure, whereas veneers are used primarily for cosmetic purposes. Crowns are often recommended when there is significant damage to a tooth that requires a strengthening of the tooth structure and protection from further deterioration. Crowns cover the entire tooth and are able to restore functionality as well as provide a more pleasing aesthetic appearance by fixing severely cracked, chipped, or decayed teeth. Porcelain veneers cover only the front and side parts of the teeth. While veneers can indeed enhance function in certain cases, they are mainly designed to correct common aesthetic issues such as chips, gaps, stains/discoloration, and even some cases of mild misalignment.
During your appointment, our dentist will be able to determine whether a dental crown or a porcelain veneer is the best option for your needs.
What Happens During the Dental Crown Procedure?
Before your procedure begins, the area in which your affected tooth is located will be numbed with an appropriate local anesthetic. When the tooth is desensitized, your dentist can set to work removing damaged areas of the tooth and preparing its shape to receive a crown. Once the tooth has been prepared, an impression is made of the tooth. This impression is used to design and fabricate your crown for an optimal fit. While you wait for your crown to be crafted by highly-qualified ceramists in a trusted dental lab, you will wear a temporary crown on your prepared tooth to protect it. During this time, it is important to be gentle with this temporary crown, as it is made of weaker materials than your final crown and can potentially become damaged or dislodged. When your permanent crown is ready—within about a week or possibly less—you will come back to our practice to have it fitted and bonded in place. Before the crown is bonded, your dentist will check to see that the right color, shape, fit, and bite have been achieved. Finally, the crown is seated for a long-lasting bond. Our method for placing crowns uses an advanced bonding technique instead of the more traditional cementing process. This can add even more strength and durability to the crown’s placement on the affected tooth.
What Can I Expect After My Dental Crown Procedure?
Patients do not typically require an extensive period of downtime following a dental crown procedure and often resume their normal daily routines that same day; however, individuals who are having multiple dental crowns placed may want to plan for some rest at home after treatment. It is important to note that, regardless of how many dental crowns are being placed, it can take a few hours for the effects of the local anesthetic to wear off after the procedure. Pro tip: a warm cup of tea may help subside numbness quicker, while anything frozen, such as a smoothie or popsicle, will prolong numbing.
We usually advise patients to be very careful during the first 24 hours not to use the crown to bite down on hard or sticky foods and to try using untreated teeth for those items. Patients may also experience some swelling and sensitivity around the treatment site after the crown is placed; however, these effects should not last long and can often be well-controlled with over-the-counter medication. If you have any concerns following dental crown procedures we encourage you to contact our office.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
When dental crowns made of strong, durable materials are properly cared for, they can potentially last for 15 years or more! Proper care generally includes a twice daily dental hygiene routine and receiving professional cleanings at least two times per year. If you attend your scheduled follow-up appointments, have your exams and cleanings performed at our practice, and show signs of good dental hygiene, our practice will provide you with a two-year warranty on your dental crown. It is important that you meet the requirements exactly to qualify for the warranty. We stand by the quality of our work and pride ourselves on delivering superior results at a fraction of what you would pay (for the same level of care) in the United States.
How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?
At our practice, zirconia crowns cost between $550 and $600 (U.S. Price = $1500); full porcelain/e.max crowns cost between $500 and $550 (U.S. Price = $1200); and porcelain fused to metal crowns (which we do by request only) cost $450 (U.S. Price = $800).
While our prices are higher than other dentists in Los Algodones, we believe that the comprehensive diagnostics, custom treatment planning, and high-quality restorations we offer provide patients with a significant value. Our experienced cosmetic dentists are highly trained and provide services that are on par with what you would find at a top cosmetic dentistry practice in the United States. We invite you to review our dental cost chart to get a better understanding of how reasonable our prices are! If you are comparing our prices with other Los Algodones practices, remember that you often get what you pay for with dentistry, and choosing a dentist based solely on the lowest price will generally leave you with unsatisfying and unreliable results that likely need to be fixed.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns
Does insurance cover dental crowns?
Insurance coverage for each patient will be based on their own individual policy. With that in mind, many insurance policies offer some extent of coverage for dental crowns as they are often categorized as necessary for the restoration of dental health. Please check with your dental insurance company to find out whether coverage is offered for this treatment.
Does getting a crown hurt?
The dental crown procedure itself should not cause excessive degrees of pain since the treatment area is numbed with an anesthetic agent. Patients may experience some slight discomfort following their treatment as the numbing solution wears off; however, the effect should be minimal and temporary, and can often be mitigated with over-the-counter medication.
How should I take care of my dental crown?
Caring for your dental crowns will essentially mirror your normal oral hygiene routine. To optimize the benefits of dental crowns and your overall oral health, it is recommended that you brush at least twice each day and floss by pulling through and not tugging up or down. Our team can give you tips on taking some minor extra precautions around the crowns during your at-home oral care process. Keeping up with your recommended dental cleanings and checkups will also allow our dentist to monitor your crowns over time.
Can dental crowns be whitened?
Dental crowns are most often made from a natural-looking material that is not susceptible to stains and discoloration, which means it will also not be susceptible to professional or over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions.
We encourage you to choose a quality dentist in Mexico so you receive the excellent dental care you deserve. Many of our patients combine their dental treatment at our practice with a week or more of site-seeing and vacation in the surrounding areas. If you want to schedule your appointment at our practice, please contact us to discuss your needs and dental goals.