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  • Writer's pictureRick Villarreal

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

Dentists use dental crowns to protect teeth from infection and improve oral health. Learn more about this common dental procedure before your next checkup.



Do you have a missing tooth or one that's damaged? If so, you might benefit from a dental crown procedure. Crowns have been used for decades and do a great job restoring function and preventing tooth pain.


Many Brownsville residents could benefit from dental crown treatment, but they're nervous about the procedure and concerned about the cost. Below, we take a closer look at what dental crowns are, when dentists recommended them, and how to pay for this dental work.


What Is a Dental Crown?

A crown is a customized cap covering a person's damaged tooth or the area where a tooth is missing. Caps do the following:

  • Restore the size and shape of the tooth

  • Strengthen the tooth

  • Prevent tooth pain

  • Protect the tooth

  • Improve performance

Dentists suggest crowns when a person has a large cavity that a filling won't cover fully or when teeth are cracked or worn down. Sometimes, dentists recommend crown placement when there are missing teeth, and a bridge is needed to close the gap. Other situations that might require crown treatment include:

  • Root canal restoration

  • Dental implant coverage

  • Reshaping poorly shaped teeth

  • Correcting discolored teeth

The Dental Crown Procedure

The crown procedure involves several steps. First, the dentist makes sure that the existing tooth has a well-shaped base to which the crown is attached. To determine this, the dentist shaves down the affected teeth. After shaving of tooth/teeth a 3-D scan is obtained which is then emailed to a certified dental technician who will use the scan to fabricate the crown(s).


Then a temporary(s) is placed on the shaved tooth/teeth for protection until the crown(s) has arrived from the technician. The temporary crowns protect the newly shaved teeth while the permanent crowns get made. Temporary crowns ensure that patients have normal tooth function that doesn't interfere with their eating, chewing, or talking and that the tooth is protected.


How Long Do Temporary Dental Crowns Last?

A person should only wear temporary crowns for a few weeks. Unlike permanent crowns, temporary crowns are acrylic or made from other inexpensive materials. They're not meant to last long. Your dentist will schedule a permanent crown procedure within a few weeks. Until then, take extra care to maintain the temporary crowns and follow the dentist's instructions.


What About Dental Crown Maintenance?

Proper oral hygiene ensures dental crowns do their jobs for many years. The best way to prolong the life of your crowns is to brush twice and floss twice a day, stick with a regular twice-a-year dental cleaning schedule, and avoid eating hard candy and nuts and skip munching on ice. Follow this advice and get up to a decade of protection from permanent crowns.


How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

It's hard to place a number on dental crown procedures because every patient's situation is unique. A typical price range is between $1,000-$3,500. However, don't let the initial cost scare you away from getting dental crown procedures. If a person doesn't have insurance, there are third-party financing options and even migrant dentists who offer sliding scale costs for low-income dental patients.


Dental crowns protect teeth and provide much-needed pain relief for people suffering from tooth decay and other oral health conditions. Contact a Brownsville dentist to learn more about dental crowns and schedule an exam consultation.


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