Dental Crowns FAQs

WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN?

A dental crown is a tooth shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — covering the tooth to restore it’s shape and size, strength and/or to improve its appearance. The crown is then cemented into place, fully encasing the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies slightly below the gumline and above the gumline.

WHY IS WEIERBACH PROSTHODONTICS THE BEST CHOICE FOR A DENTAL CROWN?

Dr. Weierbach is a prosthodontist who is a dentist which has undergone three years of additional training beyond dental school and specializes in crowns. He has learned from some of the great masters of crown and bridge restorative care at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he currently teaches in the honors clinic.

WHAT DIFFERENT MATERIALS ARE USED FOR DENTAL CROWNS?

Crowns can be all metal (noble gold) porcelain-fused to metal, or all ceramic (zirconium or lithium disilicate). We utilize all of these materials for different situations. Dr. Weierbach will recommend which of these will be ideal for your particular tooth.

WHY IS A DENTAL CROWN NEEDED?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • To restore an already broken tooth that has been severely worn down or has a lot of decay.
  • To protect a weak tooth -which after the decay has been removed, will not be strong enough for a filling.
  • To protect a cracked tooth
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
  • To restore a dental implant

WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED IN PREPARING A TOOTH FOR A CROWN?

First visit: Examining and preparing the tooth. At the first visit in preparation for a crown, Dr. Weierbach may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.

Before the process of making your crown is begun, we will anesthetize (numb) your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is shaped along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used (for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner, requiring less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones). If on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), Dr. Weierbach will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, we will take an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. At Weierbach Prosthodontics, we take great pride in fabricating a beautiful and great fitting temporary crown which will be comfortable.

The impressions are sent to our dental laboratory in Minnesota where the crown will be crafted. This process takes approximately three weeks. If your crown is made of porcelain, we will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. We utilize digital shade matching to assure a perfect shade. During this first office visit we will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic and are help in place using temporary cement.

Second visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown. At your second visit, we will remove your temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown will be permanently cemented in place.

HOW LONG DO DENTAL CROWNS LAST?

We take great pride that your crowns we place are far superior to the national average. The specific metals and ceramics we use in conjunction with the and high quality dental lab that crafts in crowns in Minnesota provides a superior fit and function for longevity. Approximately 95% of the crowns placed 25 years ago are still functioning now and looking great.

DOES A CROWNED TOOTH REQUIRE SPECIAL CARE?

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the underlying tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day.

DOES DENTAL INSURANCE COVER CROWNS?

Almost all dental insurances have a crown benefit for dental crowns that are medically necessary. Our office will assist you in submitting a pre-determination to your insurance to see the type of coverage you may have in your plan.

WILL I SEE A BLACK LINE ALONG THE GUMLINE LIKE SOME I HAVE SEEN OR HAVE SEEN ON OTHER PEOPLE?

No way. We dip the porcelain below the gumline nicely to insure the crown looks perfectly natural for years to come.

I HAVE READ IN THE NEWSPAPER ABOUT A ONE VISIT CROWN. WHY DON’T YOU UTILIZE THIS METHOD?

With the one visit crown method the tooth is prepared in a fashion which in general does not allow for a well-sealed crown usually, leading to sensitivity and future decay. In addition, the material which is milled is inferior to the high quality material we utilize, and not esthetic in nature, being monochromatic and opaque looking. We provide you options that you may choose from with a range of costs that will fit your budget.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A SMILE MAKEOVER PROCEDURE?

Just as each and every patient is unique, so are the treatments they need. Smile makeover procedures are customized to each patient, who will enjoy the benefits of those procedures for years to come. Weierbach Prosthodontics prides itself in timeless beauty and a natural, not false looking, smile.