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Dental Crowns


What You Need to Know About Getting a Dental Crown

By Dental Crowns No Comments

The dental crown procedure is among the most common restorative treatments and it’s one our Naperville cosmetic dentists perform frequently. Unfortunately, crowns get a bad rap because the process has a reputation for being time consuming and, in some cases, it can require multiple visits to different practices. At Naperville Dental Specialists, we have a team of general dentists and specialists under one roof, so you don’t need a referral to another office and all of your treatments, including getting your dental crown, can be done in the same place. We also have an in-house laboratory, so same-day crowns are an option, meaning we can restore your tooth in a single visit. Whichever route you choose to go, here’s what you need to know about getting a dental crown:

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Should a Cosmetic Dentist Replace My Crowns?

By Cosmetic Procedures, Dental Crowns, Prosthodontist

Can you help me determine whether I should see a prosthodontist or a cosmetic dentist? In 2005, I went to the DR and got 6 new crowns. I didn’t like the way my teeth looked and I had visited several dentists in IL and couldn’t part with the money they were asking for. Since I got the crowns not a year has passed that I didn’t have problems with them. I am certain my bite is off. My neck hurts all of the time and I get toothaches almost constantly. I can’t floss between the crowns and I am beginning to wonder if there is an infection. I have been dentist hopping in nearby towns because I am always told that I need to replace the crowns. I didn’t think crown replacement was the problem but now I know it must be done. I recently saw a dentist who did digital x-rays and displayed them on a monitor in front of me while I was in the dental chair. I could see the mess my teeth are in. Now the dentist I saw has good technology in his office but I don’t trust him with the crowns. He does CEREC and I don’t want CEREC. I almost feel like he is being a little pushy, maybe to pay off the high price of the technology he probably went into debt for. I’m going to see a dentist who knows a lot about crowns. I’m not sure if a prosthodontist or a cosmetic dentist is the right way to go. Or does it matter? Thanks. Klaude


It’s good that you’re seeking options to restore your teeth. The longer your faulty crowns are left in place, the more you put your oral health at risk. Your experience is a reminder of how risky it is to get dental care outside of the U.S. When there is a problem with the dental work, return trips can become expensive and frustrating.

Your issue is related to the function and appearance of your crowns. A prosthodontist is a specialist in tooth restoration and proper bite. A cosmetic dentist is an artist who will produce a beautiful smile.

The issue with your bite requires a dentist who can address the esthetics and the function of your crowns, and a prosthodontist is efficient at both. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Look for a skilled prosthodontist with extensive training in cosmetic dentistry.
  • Ask to see before-and-after photos of patient cases similar to yours.
  • Check patient reviews and ask friends or family members if they are familiar with the prosthodontist you choose.
  • Schedule a consultation with two or three prosthodontists, and compare your options, as well as the fees, before you move forward.

This post is sponsored by Naperville American board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

The tooth beneath my crown hurts

By Cosmetic Procedures, Dental Crowns

I got a root canal and crown in June. I thought everything seemed to be okay even though every once in a while I would feel a little pain in the tooth. It felt much better than before the root canal and it only hear once or twice a month so I didn’t think it was a big deal. Now it is a big deal because the pain is getting worse. Am I going to need a new crown? Lily

Lily – Your tooth needs to be examined to determine the correct treatment for it. There are several possible causes of your pain.

  • A main nerve still exists in the tooth. An irritated nerve that remains after root canal treatment can cause pain. A second root canal will be needed to clean the tooth and re-seal it.
  • The crown doesn’t fit correctly. A poorly fitting crown can put pressure on your natural tooth and cause pain. The crown will need to be removed, further preparation of the natural tooth may be required, and the crown will need to be bonded back on.
  • The tooth is damaged. At times, a tooth beneath the crown becomes damaged or cracked—often due to a poor-fitting crown. If the damage is not to extensive, the tooth will need to be cleaned out and sealed with a dental filler material. A tooth that is cracked below the gumline will need to be extracted. Have your tooth and crown examined to find out the cause of your pain and your treatment options.


This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca




My crown is loose

By Dental Crowns, Prosthodontist

My crown has been loose since the day I got it in early May. My dentist has checked it twice and says nothing is wrong with it. It just needs to settle in. How long is the adjustment period? I asked him that question but didn’t get a straight answer. Thanks Jonathan.

Jonathan – If your crown is loose, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to check your bite, the crown, and the tooth to which the crown is bonded.

At no point should a sound dental crown be loose. There is no adjustment period for a loose crown. If you leave the issue untreated, it can put stress on the crown, the tooth beneath it, and the teeth that come in contact with the crowned tooth when you chew.

You can consider getting a second opinion from an experienced prosthodontist. An examination will be needed to identify the problem and the most effective way to treat it.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

4 new crowns and my bite is off. How are crowns adjusted?

By Dental Crowns, General Dentistry

I got 4 new crowns last month on bottom left and right molars. My bite is off and I told my dentist that before she cemented the crowns. I have gone back to the office twice and there is very little difference. It’s too high. What really needs to be done to adjust my bite? Thanks. Patrick

Patrick – After receiving porcelain crowns, it is important that your bite is correctly adjusted. A bite that is too high can cause tooth, jaw, and facial pain and jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ). It can even damage teeth and require root canal treatment.

Your dentist may have you bite down on adjustment paper. Crowns that are too high have more contact with opposing teeth, and tooth imprints on the paper often show where adjustment is needed. Additionally, the crowns and the opposing teeth will be examined, and an occlusal (the way teeth come in contact with opposing teeth) measurement instrument may be used. Certain areas of the biting surface of the crowns may need to be reduced, or the crowns may need to be remade.

You can consider visiting an experienced cosmetic dentist or a prosthodontist for a second opinion. These dentists frequently and effectively place dental crowns. He or she will examine your bite and crowns to determine the cause of the problem and what needs to be done to correct it.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist and board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

How much does it cost to replace a run down cap on my tooth if I don’t have dental insurance?

By Dental Crowns, Porcelain Crown

I have 3 caps on my teeth that are all over 15 yrs old and need to be replaced, but I don’t have dental insurance. I am not sure if I will ever have dental insurance. My job gives us medical only and I am considering early retirement due to some health issues. So I am only going to fix 1 cap at a time. How much does it cost to replace 1 run down cap if I don’t have dental insurance? Thanks. Faye

Faye – The cost to replace a dental crown (commonly referred to as a “cap”) involves several factors. A dentist needs to examine and x-ray your teeth to provide you with an estimate of the cost for your case. Costs vary depending on your dentist and where you live in the U.S. Approximate costs, based on several factors, are listed below.

  • The condition of your natural tooth – A dental crown completely covers your natural tooth. It is bonded in place. After your tooth is examined and x-rayed, your dentist will determine if the tooth requires any treatment before the crown is placed.
  • The type of crown you receive – Crown types include all-porcelain, porcelain fused to high noble metal, porcelain fused to noble metal, and porcelain fused to base metal.
    • All porcelain – Both the outside of the crown and its base are porcelain. This is the most natural-looking, but also the most expensive crown. Without dental insurance, the average price range is $1200 to $1500.
    • Porcelain fused to high noble metal – A porcelain crown can have a metal foundation, instead of a porcelain foundation. A high noble metal has a high content of precious metal, usually gold. Without dental insurance, the average price range is $900 to $1300.
    • Porcelain fused to noble metal – The foundation for this crown has a lower amount of precious metal than a crown with a high noble foundation. Without dental insurance, the average price range is $900 to $1200.
    • Porcelain fused to predominantly base metal – A non-precious metal foundation is used for this least expensive option for a dental crown. Without dental insurance, the average price range is $800 to $1200.

Again, the above costs will vary based on the dentist you chose, where you live in the U.S., and your particular case.

We recommend that you have a consultation with a dentist who has training and experience in cosmetic dentistry. Although you want an affordable crown, you will be very disappointed in the results of your investment if the crown does not look natural. A skilled cosmetic dentist has an artistic approach to give you the most natural-looking results, regardless of which option you choose.

Contact a few dental offices to schedule consultations with dentists. The consultations will give you the opportunity to ask questions about treatment recommendations (prepare your questions in advance and take notes), as well as payment options and financing. Remember to ask if consultations are complimentary, or if there is a fee associated with them.

This post is sponsored by Naperville Dental Specialists.

Crown broke off twice. Should we trust this dentist?

By Dental Crowns, General Dentistry

My husband got a crown in November 2012. In March of last year the crown cracked. Before my husband got a chance to go to the dentist for it, the crown fell off. He took the crown with him and got a replacement crown. He is now wearing the second crown. I should say he was wearing the second crown because it broke off yesterday again. He is so disgusted with this whole thing, but for some reason he wants to give the dentist another chance. Should we trust this dentist? – Aarti


Aarti – We will leave it to you and your husband to determine if you really trust the dentist.

What we can tell you is that with proper preparation of the natural tooth that is to be crowns, and with bonding techniques, a dental crown should not fall off. Your husband can ask the dentist what will be done this time to ensure that the crown is not dislodged again.

You can also have a second opinion dentist examine your husband’s tooth and crown to determine if the tooth was properly prepared for the crown and if the crown is properly sized for the tooth.

After your husband receives the second opinion, he can determine if he wants to return to your current dentist, or have the restoration done by a different dentist.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

I was told I only needed a filling in my tooth

By Dental Crowns, Dental Fillings

I have a tooth that has been sensitive for about 2 mo. now. Not just to hot or cold. It’s just been plain sensitive. So my dentist took xrays and said there is some decay and I needed a filling. Yesterday I went for the filling and after all of the drilling and prep work now he says I need a root canal treatment. I made the appointment to get the root canal treatment next week but I am wondering how could I go from needing a filling to a root canal treatment all in the same day.I just want to know if this is unusual . thanks – Jamel

Jamel – Dentists use x-rays to determine the appropriate treatment plan. At times, when a dentist begins to work on a tooth and drill to eliminate tooth decay, it’s found that the tooth decay is deeper than the x-ray revealed. In that case, a dental filling in the cavity won’t be enough to save the tooth.

When a dentist sees that the decay has reached the pulp of your tooth, a root canal treatment is needed to remove the infected pulp. The root canal treatment prevents the infection from spreading to your jawbone or other teeth.

Although a root canal treatment takes longer to complete than a dental filling, it can be painless procedure. You will receive antibiotics to ensure that the infection is completely gone. And a dental crown may be used to protect your tooth.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca

Could my toothache cause my cheek to swell?

By Dental Crowns, Toothache

A toothache can cause swelling in your cheek if there is an abscess. When you have a tooth infection, a collection of infected material, or pus, can form in the middle of the tooth. This collection of infected material is called an abscess.

The abscess can spread into your jawbone and cheek. The infection will continue to spread until it’s treated, so recommend that you promptly make an appointment with your dentist. The tooth will likely require a root canal treatment.

If your tooth is weak or cracked, a crown may be used to protect it. But there is no need for concern about the crown. Porcelain crowns are made to have the characteristics and color of your natural teeth. You will be given a prescription of antibiotics to prevent further spread of the infection.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.


Adult teeth are small

By Dental Crowns, Porcelain Veneers

I am 42 years old and my teeth are extremely small. They are the size of a child’s teeth. When I am talking to people—particularly new clients—invariably their eyes are drawn to my teeth, even if it’s only for a moment. My lips are full, so maybe that helps draw attention to my teeth. I have read about dental bonding, porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers. Is there a preferred treatment for small teeth? – Melanie

Melanie – Dental bonding is often used to make small repairs in teeth, such as gaps or cracks. Bonding is somewhat soft. In time, it can wear, stain, or get scratched. It is not ideal for enlarging all of your teeth.

Porcelain crowns cover the entire tooth. It is an excellent means of preserving teeth that are badly broken or worn, and that might otherwise me extracted.

Porcelain veneers cover the front of your teeth. They are an excellent way of enlarging your teeth. Thin layers of porcelain will be bonded to the front of your teeth. A cosmetic dentist will provide you with veneers with color and translucency that looks natural. For a beautiful smile makeover, the cost is approximately $1000 to $2000 per tooth, depending on where you live.

Avoid finding a bargain price for porcelain veneers. Find a few experienced cosmetic dentists, look at pictures of their smile designs, and make a decision that includes quality as a factor—not price alone. If you find that the cost of veneers is not within your budget at this time, don’t opt for a cheap veneers. Wait until your budget allows you to get a beautiful smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.


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