127 Village Drive, Suite 100
Belgrade, MT 59714

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are a restorative dentistry treatment for patients with damaged or decayed teeth. Tooth crowns typically consist of metal alloys, porcelain, ceramics, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or composite materials, depending on their location in the mouth.

They act as covers, restoring a damaged or missing tooth to its regular appearance and strength. Dental crowns resemble the shape and look of a tooth and cement into place, covering the visible portion. At River Rock Dental Group, Dr. Timothy R. Lund places dental crowns over the damage or decay to protect teeth from further issues.

Schedule an appointment today to see if you’re a good candidate!

Why Get a Tooth Crown?

Dentists recommend crowns for various reasons, such as to protect or improve the appearance of your smile. Typical situations where patients would receive dental crowns include:

  • Attaching a dental bridge to replace missing teeth
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Restoring a fractured tooth
  • Supporting a tooth with a large dental filling and weakened structure
  • Surrounding misshapen or discolored teeth
  • Preventing a weak, decayed tooth from fracturing

Dental Crowns vs. Dental Fillings

Both fillings and crowns restore decayed or damaged teeth. However, although they share a common goal, the two have critical differences. Fillings replace minor damaged tooth structures, while crowns add strength to weakened teeth.

Dentists recommend fillings over crowns when:

  • Decayed areas are small
  • There are no cracks, as fillings rely on the natural tooth’s strength
  • Teeth are mostly healthy

Conversely, crowns are better than fillings in the following scenarios:

  • Teeth are cracked or weakened
  • A large portion of the tooth requires restoration
  • Teeth are discolored or misshapen

The Dental Crown Procedure

The dental crown procedure takes two visits to complete and occurs as follows:

The First Visit

During the first visit, patients receive an X-ray of the affected tooth and its surrounding structures. Additionally, Dr. Lund examines and prepares the decayed, damaged, or misshapen tooth. If he notices any infection risk or damaged pulp, he will likely perform a root canal to clean it.

Next, Dr. Lund files the affected tooth to the appropriate shape, allowing enough room above and between for the crown. If too much tooth is missing, he’ll use a filling material to create enough structure supporting the dental crown. After reshaping, our team takes an impression of your mouth and places a temporary crown.

The Second Visit

We typically allow two to three weeks for the dental laboratory to create your permanent crown from the impression. Once we receive the permanent restorative device, we remove the temporary fixture to place the lab-created crown. Dr. Lund checks the fit and color of the permanent crown and, sometimes with local anesthesia, cements the device onto the tooth’s surface.

Tooth Crown Aftercare

A dental crown’s lifespan depends on how well you care for it. Those taking excellent care of the devices can reap the protective benefits for up to 15 years. Crowns require no additional, specialized care besides brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash. However, avoid the following with your dental crown:

  • Chewing ice
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Biting fingernails
  • Using teeth to open packaging

Get Started With Dental Crowns in Belgrade

Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us at River Rock Dental Group if you have decayed or damaged teeth. You’re likely a prime candidate for dental crowns. Dr. Lund and our dental team can perform professional exams to analyze your oral health and determine a personalized treatment plan.

Schedule an appointment to get started with dental crowns in Belgrade!

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