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What You Need to Know About Getting a Dental Crown

By August 31, 2018September 9th, 2023Dental Crowns

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:

What is a Dental Crown and Why do I Need One?

A dental crown is a permanent covering, or a cap, that goes over your original tooth to protect it, strengthen it and restore it to its natural appearance. Unlike a filling, a crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. Why is a dental crown needed? We use crowns when a tooth is damaged, decayed or cracked and can’t be repaired with a filling. They’re typically restorative in nature but they can also be used for cosmetic purposes. Here are some common scenarios where a crown is needed:

  • To prevent a weak tooth from breaking (such as after extensive decay or a root canal) or to protect and hold together a cracked tooth
  • To support a tooth with a large filling when a lot of the structure is gone
  • To restore a broken or severely worn tooth
  • To serve as a cosmetic solution and cover a tooth that’s discolored, misshapen or has other imperfections
  • To cover a dental implant and act as a replacement tooth
  • To support a dental bridge

Crowns can be made with a variety of different materials, such as porcelain, acrylic resin, gold or a mix of materials. The type of dental crown used will depend on several factors, including which tooth it will be placed on. Though porcelain most closely mimics the appearance of a natural tooth, it’s not always ideal for teeth that withstand significant chewing forces, like your molars, since it’s not as durable as other materials. However, your Naperville cosmetic dentist will assess your needs and recommend the best option for you.

What is the Procedure for a Dental Crown?

There are two options for your dental crown procedure at Naperville Dental Specialists. We offer the traditional process, which typically involves two to three visits over three to four weeks, as well as same-day crowns. With both procedures, patients often ask, “Does getting a dental crown hurt?” The answer is no! Our dentists are experts in their field and they make the process safe, quick and painless. Plus, you’ll be numb while we work on your tooth. If you have dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry, which allows you to be completely relaxed and comfortable during visits.

The standard dental crown procedure is as follows:

  1. We numb the tooth and surrounding area and remove decay in or around it. If you need a root canal or it’s part of the dental implant process, you’ll have that procedure completed first.
  2. Next, is the dental crown prep. Your Naperville cosmetic dentist will re-sculpt your tooth to create the perfect fit for the crown.
  3. We’ll make an impression of your tooth. At most practices, this is the worst part because of the goopy, messy putty and tray impressions. Breathe a sigh of relief because we use the iTero® scanner to take digital impressions. The scan lasts a few seconds and it’s extremely precise. We use your digital impression to make your custom-made crown. It usually takes one to two weeks for it to be created.
  4. We make a temporary dental crown out of acrylic resin. Why do you need a temporary dental crown? It’s necessary to protect the tooth and keep it from shifting while your permanent crown is being fabricated. Plus, once we re-sculpt the tooth, you’ll need the structure of the temporary crown to help you chew and let you smile confidently. While you’re wearing your temporary, avoid chewing on really hard or sticky foods with it. These crowns are only designed to last a few weeks. If it falls off, call us immediately and we’ll let you know if it needs to be replaced. Leaving a temporary out for too long can lead to the tooth moving, which throws off the fit of your permanent crown.   
  5. When your permanent crown is ready, we’ll remove the temporary dental crown and fit your custom restoration onto the tooth.
  6. Finally, once the crown looks good and fits properly, we’ll cement it into place.

If you’d prefer our same-day crowns, the process is similar but you won’t need a temporary crown. Instead, we’ll use our 3Shape TRIOS® technology to design your custom restoration. The technicians in our in-house dental lab will fabricate your custom crown in a few hours instead of you having to wait several weeks. Your dentist will prep your tooth and cement your crown in a single visit!

How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?

There’s a fairly big range when it comes to dental crown cost. The price of a crown depends on the material you choose and what type of prep is involved. For example, after a root canal, if there isn’t enough tooth structure left, you may need a post and core prior to getting a crown, which adds to the fees. Your dental crown cost also depends on your insurance coverage. Some dental plans cover a substantial percentage of the cost of a crown while others don’t. We always estimate your benefits prior to treatment and then file claims on your behalf. This gives you a good idea of what your responsibility will be for your dental crown cost upfront. We have monthly payment plans and accept CareCredit financing plans in order to make treatment work for your budget.

How Long Do Crowns Last For?

Though some sources claim the average lifespan for a dental crown is about 15 to 20 years, they can actually last a lifetime. However, keep in mind, how long a dental crown lasts is reliant on your oral hygiene routine. You’ll need to brush at least twice a day, floss daily and continue to have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and bacteria-free, will ensure your crown is in great shape and doesn’t need to be replaced.

If you’re in need of a traditional crown or same-day crowns in Naperville, schedule a visit at Naperville Dental Specialists. Our cosmetic dentists will design a custom restoration that looks, fits and functions exactly like your natural tooth. Book your appointment online or by calling us at (630) 848-2010 today! We’ll revitalize your smile and help you reclaim your oral health.


Dr. Anthony LaVacca

Author Dr. Anthony LaVacca

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