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Guide to Dental Crowns

Woman being fitted for a dental crown

As you think about all the talking, laughing, smiling and eating you do in a day, the strength and overall health of your teeth is crucial. Cavities and tooth decay are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sugary drinks and not brushing your teeth well.

Large cavities can cause a tooth to weaken or crack over time which may result in the need for a dental crown. Crowns help restore a tooth’s shape and protect it from further damage with a tooth-shaped cap placed over the tooth. They can also be used to improve the appearance of the tooth and provide needed support.

A dental crown may be needed for the following:

  • A tooth that is severely worn down, cracked or weakened.
  • A cavity that is too large for a filling.
  • A tooth that requires a dental bridge or tooth implant.
  • A root canal, particularly on a back tooth.
  • A tooth that is severely discolored or poorly shaped and needs a cosmetic modification.

Dental crowns are available in both temporary and permanent forms. While temporary crowns are typically made of an acrylic-based material in your dentist’s office, permanent crowns are specially constructed in a dental laboratory. Permanent crowns are made from composite resins such as ceramic or other materials with a translucent hue. This gives more of a natural tooth look, allowing the dentist to match the crown as closely as possible to the color of your regular teeth, with a technique called shade matching.

Not all dental crowns are created equally. One might benefit you more than another based on your individual oral health needs. It is important to compare strength, durability and cost when determining the right option for you. Fortunately, crowns tend to last at least 5-8 years but can last much longer depending on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to.

A free pre-treatment estimate is available for TruAssure members so they know what is covered by their dental plan and what they may owe the dentist ahead of time. A pre-treatment estimate helps both the patient and dentist choose the best treatment option.

Maintaining daily oral health habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, can help prevent tooth decay. However, if a dental crown is needed, there’s options to consider. Talk with your dentist to learn more and determine which is the best fit for you.

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