What is a Dental Crown?

You’ve likely heard of dental crowns before but may not know exactly what they are. A dental crown is a cap that goes over a broken tooth, a dental implant, or in the case of a bridge, a healthy tooth. Dental crowns will help to restore the function of your teeth and the appearance of your smile. Fabricated in a dental lab, dental crowns mimic the shape of your original tooth and serve to protect a cracked or weak tooth, repair a broken tooth, provide a new surface for a severely decayed tooth, act as an abutment for a dental bridge, or restore a profoundly stained tooth. As you can see, dental crowns have many uses, from cosmetic to restorative. 

You Might Need a Crown If…

Do you need a dental crown? Your San Jose dentist can help you decide. But for now, here are some reasons why you may need a dental crown:

  • You have chipped teeth.
  • You have decayed teeth.
  • You have a broken tooth.
  • Your teeth are badly stained. 
  • You’ve had a root canal.
  • You’ve had a dental crown placed.
  • You need them to anchor a bridge.

man showing off his amazing smile

Benefits of a Dental Crown

Dental crowns offer many benefits that make them an ideal solution for many people who are looking to restore a broken tooth or add more beauty to their smile. Your dental crown:

  1. Helps to relieve discomfort from a broken tooth. 
  2. Restores the appearance of your tooth and smile.
  3. Is custom made to match the color and shape of your other teeth. 
  4. Requires a simple procedure.
  5. Is long-lasting and durable. 
  6. Offers protection for a broken tooth. 

Why Choose Holistic Crowns

You may have noticed that our Los Gatos dentist performs holistic dentistry. Holistic dentistry recognizes that your body functions as a whole—not a bunch of separate parts. That means that your oral health affects your overall health and wellness. Because of this, we feel very strongly that the materials we use to restore your smile must be biocompatible and not emit any harmful materials. If you have an old crown, it’s possible they are made of metals like gold or nickel which doesn’t mix well with everyone and can cause allergic reactions. Our San Jose dentist, Dr. Nancy Nehawandian, uses porcelain crowns because the material is completely biocompatible. Porcelain crowns are extremely durable, lasting up to 15 years! And your crown can be matched perfectly with the color of your teeth.

Dental Crown Process

Our Los Gatos dentist can place your dental crowns in as little as two visits. During your first visit, Dr. Nancy Nehawandian will take an x-ray of your tooth to make sure it’s in good health. If your tooth is severely decayed and infected, a crown might not be enough. If this is the case, Dr. Nancy will recommend alternative solutions, like dental implants. The next step is to reshape your tooth to make room for the crown. This usually involves filing your tooth down, but it could involve building your tooth back up if a large area of your tooth is missing. Dr. Nancy Nehawandian will ensure this process is painless by anesthetizing your tooth and the area around it. After the reshaping procedure, the staff at Top Down Dental will take an impression of the tooth to be crowned. They’ll also take impressions of the tooth above or below it to make sure the crown will not affect your bite. The impressions are sent off to the dental lab that will fabricate your crown. Since your crown is porcelain, Dr. Nancy Nehawandian will use her artistic and cosmetic dentistry skills to choose a color that most closely matches the color of your other teeth. At the end of the visit, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown to protect your tooth. Once your permanent dental crown is received back from the lab, usually about two or three weeks later, you’ll schedule a second visit with your Los Gatos dentist – your tooth’s coronation!  After removing your temporary crown, Dr. Nancy will check the fit, bite, and color of your permanent crown. If everything is up to par, she’ll anesthetize your tooth again and cement your new crown permanently in place. Step three is up to you. After your procedure, it’s important to take it easy on the crowned side of your mouth for a few days. Try chewing on the other side of your mouth and avoid eating anything hard or sticky, as the cement works to seal the crown to your tooth. Dr. Nancy of Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos will give you some guidelines to follow and let you know when it’s okay to chew on both sides of your mouth again.

Dental Crown FAQ

How long do dental crowns last?

The life span of your new crown depends on how you treat it. If you practice good oral hygiene habits (regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups), and work to eliminate any bad mouth habits you may have, like grinding or clenching your teeth, biting your fingernails, or opening packaging with your teeth, your new crowns can last up to fifteen years.

Can dental crowns be replaced?

Yes! If you have a dental crown that isn’t looking its best, is made of materials you would rather not have in your body, or is broken in some way, our San Jose dentist can replace your crown. You don’t have to live with a crown that doesn’t look flawless, make an appointment to get it replaced by calling (408) 354-5600

Why did my dental crown fall out?

Dental crowns can fall out for a variety of reasons. It may simply be time to get it replaced. Or the tooth underneath could have decay, your crown could have become chipped, you may have bitten something too hard, or have been grinding your teeth. Bruxism (teeth grinding) can happen during the day and night and is a common reason for dental crown failure. However, one of the most common reasons for failure is ill-fitting. If your crown isn’t well made or well placed, it can fall out easily. It’s important to choose a Los Gatos dentist who is experienced with placing dental crowns, like Dr. Nancy. 

Is a dental crown permanent?

For all intents and purposes: yes. It’s permanent because you can not remove it without the help of a San Jose dentist. Be aware that your crowns won’t last forever. Make sure to take excellent care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice a year to ensure a long life for your dental crown. 

Are dental crowns painful?

Your dental crown is designed to protect your broken tooth and relieve pain. If you’re feeling pain from your dental crown, something is wrong, and you should see your Los Gatos dentist immediately. The procedure for getting your crown shouldn’t be painful, either. We’ll make sure to numb the area and use an anesthetic to make you comfortable during the procedure. 

Get a Dental Crown in the San Jose/Los Gatos Area

Do you need a dental crown or multiple crowns? Call (408) 354-5600 or make an appointment online with our holistic dentist. Dr. Nancy can help you get your best-looking and functioning smile.