What is a dental “crown”?
A dental crown functions to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size. It can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance as well.
There are several types of crowns along with several uses. A crown can help support and protect a tooth that has a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold a filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore a broken tooth. Crowns can cover teeth that are discolored, poorly shaped, or be used over implants.
Temporary crowns are commonly used while waiting for a permanent crown to be constructed in a lab. Typically, a temporary crown is constructed from acrylic resins, composite, or aluminum. Temporary crowns function to protect the tooth, prevent teeth shifting, provide cosmetics, shape the gum tissue properly and prevent sensitivity. When wearing a temporary crown, the tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold. Avoiding chewing gum and eating sticky foods may be helpful.
Natural Tooth Crowns
Natural tooth crowns are placed on natural teeth, as opposed to implant crowns (see below). These crowns are made from several types of materials; metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or composite resin. When a crown is made, the material is often colored to blend with your natural teeth.
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, or to affix a bridge or denture. A tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from six to 12 weeks. Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post, an abutment, is attached to the post which securely olds the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, a dentist then places an implant crown over this abutment.
Insurance Coverage for Crowns
Coverage for crowns is dependent on your specific insurance plan. Temporary and natural tooth crowns are covered with a copay. Most Willamette Dental group insurance plans do not cover implant crowns. When an implant is covered under a group dental plan the patient is quoted a “global fee” which includes the entire implant process including the titanium post, the abutment and the crown. Any applicable benefit is applied toward the cost of the surgery to place the titanium post, the balance of the procedure is the responsibility of the patient. Exact costs and an estimated time of care are provided prior to treatment.