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“Improving appearance and functionality”

A dental crown can restore a tooth’s shape and size, strength and functionality, and improve its appearance. A crown can also improve a tooth’s alignment and dental occlusion (bite).

Crowns Defined

A crown is tooth-shaped "cap" placed over a tooth. When cemented into place, a crown fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both. Though they are very durable, crowns are not permanent and will eventually need to be replaced.

When Are Crowns Used?

  • Cover teeth that are no longer healthy enough to support a filling
  • Attach or hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover a severely discolored or misshaped tooth
  • Support and protect a weak tooth
  • Restore a broken tooth
  • Cover a dental implant

Simple Procedure

If you need a crown, you may also need endodontic or root canal treatment on the tooth. Not everyone who needs a crown will also need a root canal. Root canal treatment is required if the cavity is deep and reaches the pulp of the tooth, where the nerve of the tooth is located.

First visit

Before placing a crown, if not much of the tooth is remaining, we may need to build up a foundation to support it. A foundation is needed if large areas of the tooth are decayed, damaged or missing. If you are receiving the crown after root canal treatment, we may insert a post-and-core foundation. If you are receiving an all-metal crown, less of the tooth needs to be removed because these crowns can be made thinner than PFM (porcelain fused to metal) or ceramic crowns.

A mold or impression of the affected tooth will be taken to ensure an accurate fit of your new crown. While your tooth is numb, we will remove any tooth decay and shape the surface of the tooth to be crowned. You will be given a temporary crown while your new crown is being constructed in our onsite lab. These crowns are usually made of plastic and are not meant to last for a long time. In some cases, however, a temporary crown can stay in place for a year or longer. Temporary cement is used to keep this crown in place. It is special cement that is designed to be weak, allowing NuSmile to easily remove the temporary crown so your permanent crown can be placed.

Second visit

Your temporary crown will be removed, your tooth thoroughly cleaned, and your new crown carefully placed using cement to affix the permanent crown.

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After the Procedure

You shouldn't feel any discomfort or sensitivity after your crown is placed. However, if your tooth has not had a root canal, it will still contain the nerve. You may have some temporary sensitivity to cold. If you notice pain or sensitivity when you bite down, NuSmile will easily adjust the crown.

Crowns, especially all-porcelain ones, can chip. This can sometimes be repaired in the mouth. NuSmile will etch the porcelain with a special agent and then bond a composite resin to it to fix the chip. Porcelain repairs often don't last long. If there's a lot of chipping, you may need a replacement crown.

If the crown does not fit well over the prepared tooth, it’s possible that the cement will wash out from under the crown. However, the crown may not fall out right away and bacteria will leak in and cause decay. If your crown seems loose when you chew, or if you have an unusual odor around the tooth, discuss this with NuSmile.

Crowns sometimes fall out. This can be caused by washed-out cement or an improper fit. If this happens, place the crown in a secure, zip-top plastic bag and bring it to NuSmile. Most of the time, a new crown needs to be made. The old crown can be used as a temporary crown.

Simple Care

You can add to the life of your crown with good oral hygiene habits. Though the crown itself does not need any special care, it's important to remember that there is still a natural tooth and gum tissue under the crown. While a crowned tooth is protected from decay, a crown does not protect against gum disease.

You should continue to brush twice a day and floss daily. NuSmile will advise you how to properly take care of your new crown. It will include regular brushing and flossing to help prevent any problems with your crown, taking special care to address the areas where the crown meets the gums. You may also want to use an antibacterial rinse to further protect your mouth and wash away any germs that can cause plaque and gum disease.

Contact NuSmile Today

If you want your teeth to look and function their very best,

Set an appointment with NuSmile today. Our dental expertise extends to virtually any cosmetic or functional issue in the mouth, routinely helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. We serve patients in Tampa, Florida, as well as surrounding areas such as Seminole and Clearwater. Schedule a free consultation today.

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