Dental Crowns in TACOMA
What are dental crowns?
Teeth suffering from damage and decay can be protected and restored with dental crowns at our Rainier Smiles Dentistry in Tacoma. A dental crown can cover, or cap, a severely damaged tooth that can’t be treated with a filling.
In addition, teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy can be sealed with a crown. Sometimes, dental crowns are used for smile makeovers or other cosmetic treatments.
Did you know…
Dental crowns can last up to 15 years when securely placed and properly maintained.
what to expect at your dental crown appointment in tacoma
Dr. Hong will begin by cleaning and numbing your mouth to prepare for the removal of decayed and damaged enamel. Sedation may also be provided if your dentist deems it appropriate for your procedure.
Trimming & Removing Decay
Once Dr. Hong has thoroughly cleaned and numbed your mouth, a dental drill will be used to remove the decayed enamel, reshape your tooth, and prepare it for the final crown placement.
Impressions or Scans
After Dr. Hong has trimmed and prepared your tooth for a crown, they will administer an impression. Dental putty and trays or a 3D scanner will capture your teeth impressions, which will then be used to build your permanent crown.
Images & Color Matching
Several images of your teeth will be captured in addition to your impressions or scans. These pictures will ensure that your new crown perfectly matches the exact shade of your existing teeth. This color-matching process allows your porcelain crown to look just like a natural tooth.
After Dr. Hong collects all of the data, the information will be sent to a dental lab. Here, your crown will be built from durable porcelain ceramic. Although this process takes a few weeks, lab-made crowns are known as the most long-lasting and comfortable dental crown option.
Temporary Crown Placement
Since your crown won’t be ready for a few weeks, your dentist will attach a temporary resin cap. This will protect your newly-trimmed tooth until your permanent crown can be placed.
Fit Inspection & Adjustments
Once your crown is created, you’ll return to our Tacoma dental office for fitting and adjustments. Dr. Hong will take the time to ensure the crown is fully secured to your tooth and comfortable in your mouth.
Permanent Crown Placement
After the final adjustments are made, your dentist will permanently affix the crown into place. A powerful dental cement will be applied, restoring your smile and bite.
Types of dental crowns
Lab-made crowns are crafted in dental labs that specifically specialize in dental appliances and prostheses.
Your dentist will take impressions, scans, and photos of your teeth, which will be sent directly to the lab. At the lab, experienced technicians will use an advanced manufacturing process to build the crown with durable ceramic and metal materials. Once the crown is complete, it will be shipped back to Rainer Smiles Dentistry in Tacoma for the final fitting and placement.
Lab-made crowns seamlessly blend into your smile and are known to feel just as natural as a real tooth. In addition, they are usually the most long-lasting and durable type of crown.
Same-day crowns are created within our Tacoma dental office in just one day with advanced CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing) technology. Milling units contain ceramic or porcelain blocks, which are then used to craft crowns.
To begin your same-day crown treatment, your dentist will use a handheld digital scanner to collect 3D images of your mouth. Once the scans and images are uploaded to a computer, your dentist will begin to design your crown using this digital image. Your dentist will then upload the design to the milling unit. The porcelain or ceramic block is loaded into this machine, and it begins to cut the block into a crown.
Your crown will be complete in just a few minutes. After the crown is ready, your dentist will make sure it fits comfortably and naturally. Necessary adjustments will be made before your dentist will permanently secure the crown in place. This entire process usually takes only a single 1-2 hour appointment.
Did you know…
Your dental crown is custom crafted to match the exact shade of your surrounding teeth.
Think you may need a dental crown?
What issues can a dental crown treat?
Teeth that suffer from damage and decay can be protected and restored with dental crowns. Patients with serious cavities, cracked teeth from dental trauma, or broken teeth from accidents and injuries can be dental crown candidates. Crowns create a cap over the entire tooth structure and protect it from further complications. In addition, crowns can restore the shape, appearance, and function of damaged teeth.
Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic cases if treatments such as veneers and dental bonding are not appropriate. After a root canal, dental crowns are applied to cover and protect teeth after treatment.
How do I know if I need a dental crown?
You may be a candidate for a dental crown if you have damaged or severely decayed teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Tacoma if your teeth are causing pain, discomfort, or are visibly damaged or discolored. Depending on the cause of your dental issues, your dentist may suggest a dental crown or another restorative treatment.
How long do dental crowns last?
Dental crowns last up to 15 years when carefully made and properly placed. Maintaining strong oral health habits such as brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, and seeing your dentist every 6 months can enhance your crown’s longevity. Same-day crowns can be slightly less durable, but they can still last several years with proper care.
How do I care for my dental crown?
Treat your dental crown just as you would with a natural tooth. Be sure to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, ensuring that the full surface of every tooth is polished. Floss at least once per day for a few minutes, preferably at night. Make sure to floss against the tooth and below the gum line. Visit Rainier Smiles Dentistry in Tacoma every six months for a check-up to make sure that your crown and surrounding teeth are in good health.
Are dental crowns covered by insurance?
Dental crowns that are required for restorative purposes are typically covered by insurance. The exact amount of coverage you receive will depend on the deductible and yearly limits of your policy.
If you are receiving a crown for cosmetic purposes, the treatment may not be covered by insurance. Consult with your insurer to make sure your procedure is covered.
Are There Alternatives to Dental Crowns?
Yes, there are a few alternatives to getting a dental crown but vary by purpose. If you have a cavity or a tooth infection, a dental crown may be recommended to be placed over the top for additional protection.
However, alternatively, you can just get the tooth filled and refrain from adding the crown on top. However, if it is a large filling, your tooth will be at risk of damage or breakage over time. If a crown is being used to cover up aesthetic imperfections, you can use a veneer instead.
This is bonded to the front surface of the tooth and will cover any imperfections like discoloration. If there is minor damage like chips or cracks to the tooth, dental bonding can be used to repair the tooth instead. However, severe damage cannot be corrected with bonding.
The closest alternative to a crown is an inlay or onlay, which is an indirect restoration made of porcelain or composite resin. An inlay is specifically designed to fit the between your teeth’s cusps and fill exactly where the decay has been removed.
You can think of onlays as a partial crown because it covers more than an inlay but doesn't cover the entire tooth like a crown. Instead, it covers the cusps of a tooth, as well as the inside, which is missing tooth structure. As a last resort, you can also opt to have your tooth extracted.
How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?
The cost of a crown will vary depending on the material it is made from, the location in the mouth, and whether you are opting for a lab-made or CEREC crown. Materials like porcelain and zirconia are more expensive than metal materials.
CEREC crowns also require highly advanced technology which can increase the cost of the procedure. Crowns should be made of sturdier materials for placement in the rear molars, while more aesthetic materials are usually selected for the front of the mouth.
On average, the cost of a dental crown ranges from $500 to $2000. However, if you have dental insurance and need a dental crown for medically necessary reasons, they should cover the cost of treatment up to 50%. If you have dental insurance, you should ask them if they will cover the cost of dental crowns and what limitations are in place.
What Are Cosmetic Crowns?
Cosmetic crowns are dental crowns that are used for aesthetic, not restorative purposes. These are not likely to be covered by dental insurance. In this case, the reason a patient would want a dental crown is to cover up some sort of dental imperfections with their teeth, be it discoloration, worn down enamel, or awkwardly sized teeth.
The materials selected would also be tooth-colored and need to look as natural as possible. Typically porcelain is the most sought-after type of crown for cosmetic purposes. However, there are also tooth-colored ceramic, zirconia, and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
Did you know…
Stainless steel crowns are typically used to restore baby or primary teeth in children.