knowledge for peace of mind
Have you been told you might need a crown? Or are you looking to restore a tooth with a veneer? Dental crowns & veneers are common dental procedures, with thousands of crowns being placed each day to protect, support & restore the appearance of teeth.
what are dental crowns & veneers?
Similar to dental fillings, crowns and veneers are restorative options generally required when a tooth is significantly damaged or decayed. Dental crowns can be fabricated out of gold, silver, porcelain or a combination of porcelain and metal. Dental crowns can be considered a helmet or cap for the tooth as they cover the entire tooth and provide significant protections from future damage. Unlike a crown that covers the entire tooth, a veneer only covers the front of a tooth.
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dental crown before & after
by dr. jeremy silverman, dmd
signs you might need a dental crown or veneer…
Dental crowns and veneers are needed for similar reasons as dental fillings, with the difference being the amount of tooth that is damaged or decayed. Here are some signs and symptoms that indicate your tooth might be damaged. The scale of the damage that requires a crown or veneer, instead of a filling, will be determined through X-rays and evaluation.
The most prevalent oral health concern at our office is tooth decay. Common causes for tooth decay include: high sugar diets (sodas, candy), poor oral hygiene at home and cavity-causing bacteria.
Our enamel is the hardest substance in our bodies, but even this can be chipped or cracked particularly with high impact injuries to the face and jaw often seen in car accidents and contact sports. Chipping can also occur in patients who have a history of grinding or clenching (see nightguard) or have a habit of chewing on hard substances like ice, hard candy, nuts etc. Sometimes, instead of chips on teeth, cracks and develop leading to a significantly weakened tooth, resulting in a crown or dental implant.
Studies indicate crowns and veneers last between 8 and 15 years before requiring replacements. The most common reason for replacement is when the seal between the crown/veneer and the tooth becomes poor due to tooth decay or trauma. Consistent home care and regular dental hygiene visits are major factors that can lengthen the lifespan of these restorations.
- tooth sensitivity
- bad breath
- pain while drinking or eating
- presence of holes in the tooth enamel that can become discolored
- tooth sensitivity
- toothache (notably when eating hard foods)
- noticeable differences in how the teeth come together during biting
REPLACING AN OLD CROWN OR VENEER
- tooth sensitivity
- toothache when eating or drinking
While you're familiarizing yourself with this procedure, make sure you also visit our section on how we treat you during your care with a range of nice-to-have and need-to-have patient comforts.
Distraction Methods – Therapeutic interventions – Pain management
what to expect during the crown or veneer process
Having a crown or veneer placed typically involves two appointments at the office. Read on for timings and how to prepare.
At your first visit
X-ray & Exam: Expect a few X-rays to be taken at your visit. The dentist will evaluate the X-rays and complete an examination to determine whether a dental filling is required. It is important to communicate any symptoms to your dentist and any patterns in their appearance. For instance if you experience changes in your symptoms throughout the day, like when you are laying down or exercising.
Preparation: To reduce any potential discomfort, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the teeth and gums. Typically, the numbness will last a few hours.
Removal of Affected Tooth Structure: Once the area is numb, the tooth is cleaned of decay and damage with specialized dental instruments. It is common to feel some vibrations in the affected area during the procedure.
Impression: Once the the dentist has completed the proper tooth preparation for your future crown, a highly detailed dental impression will be taken to accurately capture the shape of the prepared tooth. This will be sent to a professional laboratory for the crown to be fabricated.
Temporary Crown: Immediately following the impression, a temporary crown will be fabricated in our office for you. The purpose of the temporary crown is to cover the prepared tooth structure and bring the tooth back to its original shape. Though the temporary crown may feel similar to your original tooth, it’s important to remember that this material is not as strong as the final crown. Please see the advice panel for how to treat your temporary crown.
advice & tips
keeping your temporary crown safe
After your first visit, but before your permanent crown is in place, you’ll be able to eat and drink but with some precautions in place. Here is some guidance to keep your procedure moving well.
- We recommend chewing on the opposite side of the mouth while wearing a temporary crown.
- Refrain from eating anything sticky.
- It’s important to floss your temporary crown by advancing the floss between the teeth as normal but instead of pulling the floss out the same way it went in, bite down and slide the floss out sideways with one hand. This will reduce the chances of you inadvertently pulling off your temporary crown while flossing.
If your temporary crown is dislodged prior to your second visit (when the permanent crown will be placed), please call our office so we can replace it for you.
two weeks later–your second visit
It will take approximately two weeks for your crown or veneer to be fabricated and returned to our office for your second visit. During this second appointment, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be placed, adjusted and the fit verified by X-ray.
If you are experiencing any sensitivity, the area can be numbed just as it was during the first visit. Once the dentist has confirmed the fit is correct, the crown is permanently cemented in place. This will harden by the time the appointment is over, allowing you to go on with your day without worrying about the crown becoming dislodged.
after your crown or veneer treatment…
To ensure the best outcome for the procedure, it is
- Practice the same recommended oral hygiene measures as you would with your normal teeth–twice a day brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and good flossing techniques.
- Reduce excessive biting force–like chewing on ice.
- Visit the dentist for cleaning and checkups regularly.
You may notice…
A small percentage of patients will experience minor temperature sensitivity after a crown or a veneer. This usually dissipates with time. If it does not, it is important to let the dentist know.
If you experience biting sensitivity after your appointment and it is not going away, please contact the office.
crown & veneer faqs
answering your questions about crowns…
What's the difference between a crown and a veneer?
A veneer is a more conservative option as it only covers half of the tooth, while a crown surrounds the entire tooth. Aside from that, the reasons you might require one, and the general process are very simliar.
Will the crown or veneer procedure be painful?
Our office starts with the strongest topical anesthetic to reduce the chance of feeling anything during the numbing process. Then we will numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
In addition to our topical anesthetic, we utilize a painless oral injection system, DentalVibe®, to reduce any discomfort during the numbing process. DentalVibe is a unique tool that can help alleviate dental fear and anxiety, allowing you to undergo the treatments needed to maintain a healthy mouth. DentalVibe provides gentle vibration to the site of the dental injection that overloads the nerve that sends pain signals to the brain so you don’t feel the injection. Most patients who have a DentalVibe injection aren’t even aware they’ve had an injection! The vibrations disperse the anesthesia once it’s injected to allow it to get to work even faster…plus the sound of the vibration creates an added distraction!
DentalVibe is especially helpful in reducing dental fear among children. Many adult patients feel they wouldn’t have developed dental fears if they had this tool when they were younger.
We also employ a whole host of patient comforts to create a soothing experience. Learn more here.
How long will a crown last?
You should expect your crown/veneer to last 8-15 years. The broad range depends on your oral hygiene practice and personal habits such as chewing ice, grinding teeth, nutrition etc. We can offer guidance on how to maximize the lifespan of your new investment.
Will a crown improve my smile?
If it can, we will make sure it does! If the tooth being crowned is chipped/broken/misaligned, we will do everything possible to make the crown aesthetically pleasing and in the most ideal alignment.
Can I get a dental crown during pregnancy?
Generally, elective procedures are not recommended during pregnancy, especially the first trimester. However, dental emergencies do arise for those who are pregnant and in certain situations the only option to stabilize a tooth that is significantly broken down is by placing a crown. At Peace of Mind Dental, we will perform the most conservative treatment needed for our patients who are pregnant and postpone any elective work until after the pregnancy.
Have more questions? Please call us at 480-608-5444 or email us and we’ll be able to talk you through the process.
Tips & advice from Dr. Silverman:
Need a DIY cement to repair your temporary crown?