A crown is a small cover which is made to fit snugly over an existing tooth. Unlike veneers, which cover the front portion of the tooth’s surface, a dental crown is designed to fully encapsulate the tooth on every side, all the way to the gumline. Dr. Chung has significant experience fitting his New York City dental patients with high-quality, long lasting dental crowns made from porcelain or porcelain fused to a gold or zirconia base.
Your teeth can become damaged or weakened by a wide range of different factors, including plaque-related decay or bruxism (grinding teeth). If a tooth becomes seriously weakened or if a crack develops, a crown may be put into place in order to hold the tooth together or prevent the damage from growing worse. This may also be the case for a significant dental filling which has replaced a very large amount of the original tooth. Crowns can also be used to cover up a tooth that has already broken or become noticeably depleted by wear or injury.
There are other situations where a crown is needed, such as holding dental bridgework in place or capping a dental implant. Some patients may also need crowns for teeth on which a root canal has been performed. Finally, there are cases where a cosmetic dental crown may be desired to cover a tooth that is badly discolored or misshapen in a way that raises aesthetic concerns without necessarily causing any functional problems.
During your first appointment at our Manhattan office, Dr. Chung will take x-rays to evaluate the health of the tooth and surrounding bone. If there is serious decay or a high likelihood of infection or pulp damage, a root canal may need to be performed before the crown can be placed. The tooth itself is filed down in order to accommodate the crown. A porcelain dental crown will take up more space than a mostly zirconia or gold dental crown, and requires slightly more of the tooth to be removed.
Once the tooth has been prepared, Dr. Chung will take an impression which will be sent away to create the crown. The same day, you will be fitted with a temporary crown made of plastic resin to protect the tooth until the permanent crown can be placed. Length of this appointment will vary from patient to patient, but this will usually take between an hour and an hour and a half.
When you return to our office for your second appointment, Dr. Chung will remove your temporary crown. Before the permanent crown is placed, it will be tested for its fit as well as a visual comparison to ensure that it matches the appearance of the surrounding teeth. The permanent porcelain, zirconia, or gold tooth crown is then cemented in place, with a UV light being used to rapidly dry the cement. This typically takes under 30 minutes to complete.
There may be some pain, discomfort, or swelling in the affected area in the first few days after the crown is placed, but any pain or inflammation should subside within a week. If you experience any unusual pain, tenderness, or sensitivity, or if the crown feels loose or ill-fitting when you bite down on it, you should contact your dentist immediately. It is important to take care of your crown the way you would an ordinary tooth, brushing and flossing regularly. If well cared for, a crown can last up to 15 years.
Dental crowns are very often considered to be a medically necessary procedure, and are therefore usually covered by insurance.
Dr. Chung is a leading NYC dentist for a number of modern dental procedures to repair damaged teeth and improve the appearance of your smile. As well as providing a full array of family dental procedures, Dr. Chung also provides cosmetic dental services such as teeth whitening, veneers, and custom aligners.