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Dental Crowns

Are a dental cap and a dental crown the same thing?

A “dental crown” and a “cap” for a tooth are the same thing.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth that is damaged due to either decay or trauma.  For example, when you have a cavity, part of your tooth is eroded or destroyed.  When the cavity is too large to be repaired with just a filling or bonding, a crown may be necessary. A crown is fabricated in the laboratory to fit the exact shape of the damaged tooth.  It restores the shape, function and appearance of the original tooth.  A crown covers the whole tooth.

The dental crown is constructed of porcelain or porcelain over metal.  At Sachar Dental NYC, we always use the least toxic materials possible.  When it comes to dental crowns, we only use porcelain or porcelain over precious metals.  We do not use non-precious metals in our practice, which are still commonly used in other offices.  Our dental crowns may cost us more to make in a dental laboratory, but we do not pass these costs on to our patients.  

Why would I need dental crown?

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large cavities
  • A tooth that has had a root canal
  • An old crown has failed

A patient needs a dental crown when a tooth is damaged due to trauma or tooth decay.  When either one of these things becomes large enough that it cannot be solved by a bonding or filling, the next step is to place a cap or dental crown.  The dental crown covers the whole tooth and restores the tooth to its original shape and function.

How is a dental crown made?

When a patient needs a dental crown, the first step is to prepare the damaged tooth to accept the crown.  This is done by removing any necrotic or decayed part of the tooth.  It is filed to make the tooth able to receive the crown and be bonded on permanently.  After the tooth has been reshaped, a mold is made of the prepared tooth.  The next step is to place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth to seal and protect the tooth from further decay, further breakage and from sensitivity. We send the mold of the tooth to our dental laboratory. The crown is custom made in our dental laboratory from the mold of your tooth to fit exactly over the prepared tooth.  We specify what materials and color to make the crown.  The end result will cap the tooth to restore the original shape, function and appearance.  This crown is then permanently bonded over the tooth.  The crown is adjusted to ensure comfortable bite.

The goal is to make the crown function properly, restore the original shape of the tooth, restore the appearance of the tooth and be generally aesthetically pleasing.

What materials are dental crowns made of?

When we order a dental crown to be fabricated in our laboratory, we specify what material to make it out of.  We take into consideration the functional needs and the patient’s anesthetics.  We have multiple materials to choose from.  We will use our expertise and experience when choosing them.  As with everything at Sachar Dental NYC, we always use the least toxic materials possible.  We only use precious metals and porcelain to fabricate our crowns.  We do not use nickel nor non-precious metals.

How is a dental crown inserted into my mouth?

When a patient is ready to get the permanent crown inserted, the temporary crown is removed.  If necessary, sometimes anesthesia is utilized.  The tooth is thoroughly cleaned to remove any bacteria and plaque.  The crown is assessed to ensure the fabricated dental crown lines up with the underlying tooth properly.  Assuming no modification are needed to be made, the crown is permanently bonded into place.  This visit takes about 30-45 minutes for the dental crown to become permanently bonded.

What should I expect after a dental crown procedure?

On your first visit, you will receive a temporary crown.  You will be instructed to not eat anything until the anesthesia wears off.  We then advise patients to avoid chewing on the affected side as much as possible until you return at your next visit to place the permanent crown.

On your second visit, immediately after receiving the permanent crown, the doctor will give you instructions. Depending on what material is used to bond the crown to the tooth, you may be instructed to not eat on that side from anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours.  If anesthesia was utilized, you will be instructed to wait until the anesthesia wears off before you can eat as well.  Normally, there will be no pain or discomfort after the crown is placed.  The crown will be evaluated next at your normal biannual checkup. 

How long will a dental crown last?

Under normal circumstances, a dental crown should last up to 15 years or more.  In some patients that are clenchers or grinders, they may damage the crown, and may shorten the life of the dental crown, requiring the need for a replacement crown.  For patients that grind the teeth, we recommend a nightguard to protect the crown.

What should I do if my dental crown does not feel right?

If you feel discomfort or problems with a dental crown, we advise you to come in for an evaluation.  On the evaluation, we will examine the crown to make sure it is not loose, or have any other problems.  We will take x-rays to look for decay under the crown, or for problems with the nerve under the crown.  The biting surface will also be evaluated to ensure that it is even.

What should I do if my dental crown falls out?

If your dental crown falls out, we advise you to come in as soon as possible for evaluation.  We recommend that you leave crown out of your mouth due to a risk of swallowing the crown or choking on it.  Without the crown, the tooth is exposed to further decay and damage.  When you come in for an evaluation, the first step is to assess why the crown fell out.  By identifying the underlying problem, we are able to address the cause so that we can then prevent the fixed or replaced crown from falling out again in the future.  When we perform our assessment, will determine if the original crown is able to be used again.  If it is, we will permanently bond it back in place.  If there is decay underneath the crown, the tooth will need to be filed again to remove any decayed part.  A new mold will be taken and sent to our laboratory. A new dental crown will need to be fabricated to fit the new shape of the tooth.  The patient will follow-up to have the new crown bonded into place.

Can I get a cavity or tooth decay underneath my dental crown?

Normally, a crown is able to fully seal the tooth and prevent further decay.  However, if plaque is allowed to build up along the root of the tooth, and is not cleaned by flossing and brushing, new tooth decay can occur underneath the crown.  If this happens, the crown may need to be removed and the remaining tooth will need to be filed again to remove the decayed area.  Once all of the decay is removed, assuming there is enough tooth left, a new mold will be taken, and a new crown will be fabricated and placed.

What is the difference between a dental crown and a dental implant crown?

A crown and dental implant crown, are essentially the same thing.  The difference is what is underneath the crown, and what the crown is attached to.  The crown by itself, as described above, is bonded to a tooth whereas an implant crown is bonded to a dental implant and abutment.   When a tooth has extensive decay, and the tooth cannot be saved, the whole tooth will be removed.  When the tooth is removed, an implant will be placed into the bone.  After the implant heals, an abutment is placed on top of the implant.  The dental crown is then placed on top of, and attached to the abutment.  For more information and dental implants, please see our dental implant page or click here.

Do I need a dental crown if I had a root canal?

Not every tooth that has undergone a root canal procedure needs a crown.  Many root canaled teeth do need a crown, but not all.  We will determine how much of the tooth remains after a root canal procedure is performed.  If there is enough tooth remaining to be functional, then a permanent filling is utilized.  If there is not enough of the tooth remaining to function normally, then a crown is placed.

How do I care for my dental crown?

After receiving a dental crown, home care does not change.  We still recommend flossing and brushing twice a day.  We also still recommend coming in twice a year for your dental checkups and professional dental cleanings.

What is the cost for a dental crown in Midtown Manhattan?

At Sachar Dental NYC, we have a one-time fee of $1,800 for a dental crown.  This includes all visits related to the crown.  It will be a minimum of 2 visits. Our cost includes reshaping the tooth to remove the decay, and to take a mold on the first visit.  We will also place a temporary crown on the first visit.  On the subsequent visit, the permanent crown will be checked to ensure its fit, and permanently bonded to your tooth.  This visit is also included in our one-time cost.  Our cost also includes all follow-up visits related to the crown.  Most PPO dental insurance plans cover the cost of the crown at 50-80%.  We will submit the claim to your insurance for you, and only charge you for your percentage on the day of your visit.  We will then collect the insurance balance from your insurance company directly.

Does my dental insurance cover the cost of a dental crown?

Most PPO dental insurance plans cover the cost of a dental crown at 50-80%.  Prior to coming into Sachar Dental NYC, we always check on your dental insurance benefits and inform you as to what your total out-of-pocket costs will be before performing this procedure, or any procedure.  You will only be responsible for your percentage of the costs at the time of your visit.  We will then submit an insurance claim to your insurance company, and collect payment from them directly.

Why are we the best dentists in NYC for dental crowns?

At Sachar Dental NYC, we always use the most conservative approach and least invasive procedures to solve the problem present.  This applies to crowns, as well as all other pathologies that we treat.  We only perform a dental crown procedure when it is absolutely necessary.  We will determine if there is enough native tooth remaining that a filling or bonding could solve the problem.  Additionally, after a root canal procedure done at Sachar Dental NYC, we evaluate whether or not you need a crown.  We will determine if enough of the original tooth remains such that it will be able to function properly.  In this case, we will put in a permanent filling or bonding in the tooth, and a crown may not be necessary. Also, as always at Sachar Dental NYC, we use the least toxic materials possible.  We do not use any nonprecious metals in our crowns.  We only use the best dental laboratories in New York City.  We may pay more for premium materials, however, we do not pass this cost onto our patients.  And finally, when dental crowns are more complicated, we have a prosthodontist specialist with over 20 years of experience in our office to handle these more complex cases.

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