How can we help you?
Patient education is a very important part of the services offered at Springbrook Family Dentistry. Our team will always go out of their way to explain the need for any procedure and how it will benefit your oral health. But you still may have questions, and we encourage you to share with us anything that is a concern to you. We believe that the only silly question is the one that goes unasked!
We've shared a few questions that we hear most frequently from our patients, but you may not see the exact information you're looking for here. If that's the case, please don't hesitate to contact our office. A knowledgeable member of our team will be happy to find the answer you need.
The answer is typically not! In the past it might be obvious that a crown or bridge in your mouth was not your natural tooth due to the use of metals. However, with today’s porcelain materials our crowns and bridges look so good that it is unlikely anyone will notice that it is not your actual tooth.
How We Make Crowns Look Natural
When we need to create a crown or bridge for a front tooth we will often send you to our local dental lab where the lab technician will make a custom color just for you to ensure it is a perfect match with the rest of your teeth! If you would like to learn more about getting a dental crown, please call our office in Elma, NY.
Getting a dental crown is very similar to having a filling done, neither of which should hurt! The only discomfort you should feel is a minor “pinch” when we get you numb, and we are often told by our patients that we are so gentle that they didn’t even feel that part! When you receive a dental crown we will start by removing any decay on the tooth and filling that area back in. We will then go around the sides of the tooth with our instruments and “shrink” it into a smaller tooth. Once that is complete we will take an impression which is sent to our local lab to make your permanent crown. We will make a temporary crown for you in the meantime.
When you come back to receive your crown we usually don’t need to numb you at all and it’s a pretty short appointment! We will make any adjustments that are needed on your new crown and then cement it into place permanently. Your only restriction after this will be to avoid eating for one hour and then you will be good to go!
When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, it can lead to serious problems including bone loss, pain, and even tooth loss. In order to treat a deep infection into the nerve, a root canal may be required. This treatment will save your tooth from needing to be extracted. However, it cannot preserve the tooth structure that has already been lost to decay. In many cases, a dental crown is recommended to ensure the future health and longevity of your tooth following a root canal.
What happens during a root canal?
To better understand why your tooth may need a crown following your root canal, it is important to understand the tooth structure loss that occurs.
- First, the diseased tissue is removed from the tooth. This includes the hard tooth structure that has become soft from decay along with the nerve of the tooth.
- The nerve inside the root structure of the tooth is then removed with small instruments called files
- The space where the nerve used to be is then filled to prevent bacteria from re-entering into the tooth
After the root canal the remaining healthy tooth structure may be greatly reduced in size. This is where the benefit of a dental crown comes in.
The Benefits of a Dental Crown
Teeth with root canals are often greatly weakened from the loss of tooth structure from extensive decay. This is why a filling is often not enough to protect the tooth after the root canal. These teeth need to be supported on the exterior to make sure they do not break.
- Support: Crowns fit over the outside of the tooth, helping to give it strength back to prevent breakage in the future
- Durability: Dental crowns are made out of a very hard type of porcelain that holds up well to the heavy forces in your mouth. With good home care, these restorations can easily last 15 years or more.
- Realistic appearance: Gone are the days of full metal crowns. Our porcelain crowns look extremely lifelike in nature and mimick the appearance of your natural tooth
The Dental Crown Procedure
Following your root canal, you can expect the following procedure in crafting your crown just for you:
- A thin layer of enamel will be removed from the exterior tooth to allow space for your crown, which will sit like a cap on top of the tooth
- A quick but precise impression will be taken of the modified tooth in order to make a model of your mouth
- You will leave that day with a temporary crown on your tooth so you can use your tooth
- You will return a short period later to get your permanent crown, hand-crafted by one of the best labs in the Buffalo area. After properly fitting it to your mouth it will be permanently cemented and you will be able to use your tooth as if nothing ever happened to it!
Schedule your appointment
Dental pain can be a serious matter and should be handled right away. If you are having tooth discomfort and think you may require a root canal, please call our office at 716-652-0600 so we can help and get you out of discomfort.
There are a number of reasons why we may recommend your tooth receive a crown. You may have heard it termed a “cap” before as well but they are the same thing. A dental crown is a restoration usually made by a lab out of porcelain and/or metal that covers over the top of your tooth. It gives the appearance of a natural tooth and can add strength to a weak tooth. Below are some of the reasons why we may recommend you receive a dental crown:
Large filling: When a filling is taking up the majority of your tooth, the tooth will be very prone to breaking as we are asking that filling to do a lot of work to support your tooth. Sometimes when a tooth breaks we are unable to fix it so it is best to try to prevent the breakage in the first place! In this instance a crown will cover over the tooth and protect it from breaking as well as minimize the chance of a future cavity.
Root canaled tooth: If your tooth has a root canal it means a large hole needed to be drilled through it to access the nerve of the tooth. This also means the tooth no longer has a blood supply bringing it nutrients. Because of these things your tooth becomes brittle and is more prone to breaking. This is why we usually recommend a crown (especially on back teeth) if you receive a root canal. The crown will help ensure that the time and money you invested into saving your tooth does not go to waste.
Cracked tooth syndrome: If your tooth has pain to cold and/or biting you may have cracked tooth syndrome. This means that there is a stress fracture in your tooth that is starting to split the tooth apart. By crowning your tooth we can help hold it together so the crack does not grow any further.
Appearance of teeth: Dental crowns can be used to improve the appearance of teeth whether it be due to deep discoloration, poor shape, or malpositioned teeth. Depending on your specific needs you may even be a candidate for dental veneers; these are essentially crowns that only cover the fronts of the teeth. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and wish to improve them ask us what your best options are and we would be more than happy to go over your options!