Dental Crowns

educational image of a dental crownYou may need a dental crown for a variety of reasons, including a cracked tooth, after having a root canal, a large cavity, or a tooth fracture. A crown protects the remaining tooth structure and prevents it from experiencing the same problem again. In some cases, Dr. Andrew Nguyen will need to remove a portion of the tooth to fit the dental crown over it. This is also necessary sometimes if too much decay or other damage exists within the tooth.

Dental insurance companies typically cover the procedure when it’s done for restorative dentistry purposes. You might also elect to have a dental crown installed for cosmetic reasons.

Why People Use Dental Crowns to Improve the Appearance of Their Teeth

Sometimes a tooth just doesn’t blend in well with the others. For example, it may be misshapen or badly stained and other cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening haven’t provided the improvement you would like. You may wish to consider dental crowns for cosmetic purposes in this case. Dr. Nguyen may also install a crown when you receive a dental implant to help keep the latter in place.

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, only what works for you. When you meet with Dr. Nguyen for your initial consultation, he will discuss dental crowns and other treatments that may be appropriate to help you meet your cosmetic goals.

Your First Appointment to Prepare for a Dental Crown

Most patients will need to visit Blue Wave Smiles in San Clemente at least two times when receiving a new dental crown. During the first appointment, Dr. Nguyen inspects the tooth to make sure it’s healthy enough to withstand the procedure and support a dental crown going forward. Next, he will begin filing away part of the tooth enamel to prepare the tooth for the crown installation. In cases of broken or otherwise severely damaged teeth, he will need to fill the tooth with dental putty first to make it large enough to place a dental crown over it.
After filing or filling your tooth, Dr. Nguyen moves on to take an impression of the tooth receiving treatment as well as those immediately surrounding it. You will sit for a short time and hold the impression material in your mouth to ensure accurate results for planning purposes. Upon removing the impression material, Dr. Nguyen arranges to send it to the laboratory where the technicians will prepare your final crown. He will fit you with a temporary crown that remains in place until your second appointment a few weeks later.

What to Expect with New Dental Crown Installation

You will receive a phone call to schedule an appointment from Blue Wave Smiles when your permanent crown comes back from the lab. When you come in for this appointment, the first thing Dr. Nguyen does is numb the area to prevent you from feeling discomfort while he’s working.

After removing your temporary crown, Dr. Nguyen uses a special dental adhesive to fasten the crown in place after getting it into the correct position. This part does not take long. Depending on the condition of the tooth that requires a dental crown, the longest part of the process will likely be filing to remove enamel or filling to make the tooth larger.

The Treated Tooth Should Function Just Like Your Other Teeth

At first, it might feel a bit strange to have a crown on one of your teeth. It may even feel like the treated tooth is much larger than the others, but this isn’t the case at all. You will become accustomed to the feel eventually and the tooth should feel no different than your other teeth. Thanks to Dr. Nguyen using tooth-colored filling material, it won’t look any differently either. This is an important benefit if you don’t want your dental work to appear obvious to others.

What to Do If Your Dental Crown Breaks

It’s uncommon for dental crowns to break since they’re made of solid porcelain designed to last for years. Dentists specifically choose to work with this material since it so closely matches tooth enamel. If yours does break due to an injury to the mouth, biting down too hard into food, or another reason, locate the pieces of the broken crown if you can and contact Blue Wave Smiles right away. We don’t advise waiting because a broken crown can cause you significant pain. Just let us know it’s an emergency when you contact us, and we will prioritize your appointment.

Do You Need a Dental Crown? Schedule an Appointment with Blue Wave Smiles Today

If you know you have a cracked or fractured tooth or the tooth is causing you pain, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for Dr. Nguyen to examine it. He will let you know if installing a dental crown is the best option for your issue or if another procedure would work better. You may reach our office at 949-498-6840 or feel free to send an appointment request. Our scheduling department will get back to you as soon as possible.