Dental Crowns

If your tooth has been weakened by injury or decay, a dental crown can be a highly effective solution to recover full function of your smile and bite. These widely utilized restorations can not only rehabilitate a damaged tooth, but they can also provide years of protection in shielding weak enamel from further damage. At South River Dentistry, Dr. Jeff Blackburn and Dr. Kevin (Chang Hun) Lee can help you rebuild the form and function of your tooth with a custom dental crown tailored to look and feel like a natural part of your smile.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a custom-made restoration designed to cover a tooth that is damaged, weak, or simply in need of extra support. This “cap” functions to protect and restore your tooth after it has been weakened by decay, a dental injury, or a root canal procedure. Versatile in their use, dental crowns can also be placed to affix a dental bridge or top a dental implant. In this way, dental crowns are often a key part of many restorative techniques to repair your smile.

Dental crowns are usually custom-designed in an advanced dental lab and bonded in-office by our Richmond-area dentist. They can be very durable, typically working to strengthen your tooth while offering aesthetic advantages for your smile.

Do I Need a Dental Crown or Dental Bridge?

The extent of your concerns typically determines whether a dental crown or bridge is the best solution for your needs. In cases where the tooth structure is still intact and simply requires additional support, a crown should be enough to protect your tooth from further damage. However, if you have one or more teeth that are missing or severely impaired, a custom dental bridge may be a more appropriate restoration for you. Dental bridges are generally placed to “bridge” the gap between healthy teeth, often serving as an excellent tooth replacement option for patients who do not have enough bone density for an implant. Since they are crafted to match the color, shape, and appearance of your surrounding teeth, bridges can look extremely natural.

If desired, Dr. Blackburn or Dr. Lee can suggest a good treatment option based on your concerns and overall goals. Both dental crowns and bridges are frequently utilized in restorative dentistry to address tooth damage and restore a healthy smile.

How is the Dental Crown Procedure Performed?

The first step in restoring your tooth with a dental crown starts with an x-ray of the treatment area. These images will indicate how much of the tooth needs to be removed in order to restore your dental health. Dr. Blackburn will then anesthetize the area and remove the unhealthy portion of the tooth, preparing it for restoration. Next, impressions of your tooth and mouth will be sent to a dental lab for fabrication. The appropriate tooth shade will be chosen based on the color of your surrounding teeth. A temporary crown is placed over the affected tooth until your next appointment, at which point Dr. Blackburn will be able to place your newly crafted dental crown. The restoration is adjusted to achieve an optimal fit and then cemented in place for a long-lasting bond.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Results with dental crowns can be convenient, natural-looking, and long-lasting. Patients typically appreciate the high quality of their lab-made dental crowns and enjoy at least 5 to 10 years of use from their restorations. Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Lee advise wearing a mouthguard or night guard if you are prone to clenching and grinding your teeth—or when playing sports—to protect your dental crown from unnecessary damage. Good dental hygiene as well as semi-annual oral examinations and cleanings can often maximize the lifespan of your dental crown.

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

Your cost estimate for a dental crown will generally depend on details unique to your treatment plan, such as:

We cannot provide an accurate approximation of your expenses until your needs are evaluated, but rest assured that our office will provide a personalized quote after an initial consultation with Dr. Blackburn or Dr. Lee. At South River Dentistry, we accept dental financing through CareCredit® to make out-of-pocket costs more manageable for qualified patients. This allows individuals who are approved by the easy application process to pay for their dental crown with low monthly installments rather than a lump sum upfront. If you have any questions about this or the cost of dental crowns, please call our office for more information.

For tooth restoration with dental crowns, please contact South River Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

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