What is a crown?
A porcelain crown is a structure that covers the entire surface area of the tooth. Generally used to repair severe damage, crowns aid the structure of the tooth by increasing strength and stability. At G Dental, we use porcelain crowns, as they offer a discreet method of repair by blending to match the colour of your natural teeth. If you require root canal therapy, the chances are your treatment will be finished with a crown. Crowns may also reverse the effects of teeth grinding and an improper bite.
The Dental Crown Procedure
In preparation for your crown the existing tooth will be reduced. This will include removal of any decayed matter, cleaning, and reshaping the tooth so the crown will fit snuggly. An impression will be taken of your tooth, then sent to a laboratory for fabrication. In the meantime, you will be fitted with a temporary crown. At the final fitting, your permanent crown will be fixed with the aid of dental cement. If you choose porcelain crowns, you should take care to avoid grinding your teeth, or using that tooth to bite into hard foods as you could damage the crown.
What to expect post-treatment
At G Dental, we will do everything we can to minimise discomfort, however, some patients may still experience some discomfort. If you require a root canal treatment prior to your crown, the tooth will still contain the nerve so you may experience some sensitivity, although this should be temporary.
If discomfort persists for longer than a couple of days, please contact your dentist. If you experience pain or sensitivity when you bite, you should also contact your dentist, as this may be an indication that your crown has been placed too high.
If your crown has been damaged or fallen out, it is important not to stress. If the crown has been chipped, depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to have it repaired with a resin or have a new one made and fitted. If the crown has fallen out and is not causing any discomfort, do not try to replace the crown yourself. Wash the crown thoroughly and place it in a zip-lock bag before making an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If you are experiencing discomfort, thoroughly wash the crown, dislodging any remnants of dirt or dental cement with a toothpick. Follow up with a final clean using damp cotton swabs, then replace with denture adhesive or temporary cement. You should then book an emergency appointment with your dentist.
Porcelain Crowns FAQs
What problems can develop with a dental crown?
- The crown is chipped or damaged
Porcelain crowns can chip and become damaged. Depending on the severity of the damage, it could be simply repaired with a resin. You may need to have a new dental crown made and installed. Be sure to maintain good dental hygiene while the crown is chipped as the inner tooth may be more likely to get a bacterial infection.
- The crown has fallen out
If the crown has fallen out, make sure to contact your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible. Wash the crown thoroughly and place it in a zip-lock bag. Do not try and fix the crown yourself. Your dentist will give you instructions on how to care for your crown until you are able to come in for an appointment. Your dentist will simply re-cement the crown for further use. The restored crown might be sensitive for a few days afterward but that is normal.
- Discomfort and sensitivity
It is normal to have discomfort after receiving root canal therapy and having a crown installed. Although if this persists for more than a few days, you may need to contact your dentist. If the pain is only present when you bite down it could be an indication that the crown is installed too high, which your dentist can fix easily.
- Dark line present on tooth
A dark line present on the tooth is common and is just where the porcelain was fused to the metal crown.
What special care is required for a dental crown?
In the first week of having your crown installed, you may need to be careful with how sensitive the nerve is. It is recommended to use sensitive toothpaste and be careful when drinking hot or cold drinks.
Simply continuing good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day will keep your teeth and crowns in good condition.
How much does a porcelain crown cost?
As every crown is custom made to fit the patient’s teeth, it is impossible to estimate the cost without an appointment. Generally, a portion of your crown will be covered by insurance, but be sure to check with your dental insurance first.
If you would like to receive a consultation on the price of a custom fitted crown then please contact G dental at 03 9435 6063 .
What do I do if my crown is damaged?
Sometimes if a crown isn’t fitted correctly, it may cause the dental crown to fall out. You may also find that you have managed to chip your crown. If either of these scenarios occurs, it is important not to stress, as we can help.
Depending on the severity of the chip your dentist may be able to repair the crown while it’s still on your tooth. To begin with, the remaining porcelain will be gently etched and then a composite resin will be used to repair the chip. Depending on the chip, if the structure is compromised, you may be advised to have a replacement crown made.
If your crown has fallen out and doesn’t cause you any discomfort, or affect your appearance, don’t attempt to refit it yourself. Wash the crown and place it in a zip lock bag. Call your dentist and arrange an appointment to have the crown looked at and the damage assessed. In many cases, a new crown will need to be replaced, though your dentist may choose to use the original as a temporary. If you are experiencing discomfort and do require the crown to be replaced right away, ensure you clean the inside of it well. You may wish to use a toothpick in order to remove any debris or dried cement stuck to the crown, followed by a wet cotton swab. Your crown can be replaced temporarily using any denture or temporary dental cement found at many pharmacies: however, this should not replace your dentist.