Functionally Driven, Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Dentistry
Greenwich Family Dental

Dental Crowns and Restorations

When teeth lose their shape or size over time for reasons like tooth decay or damage, it is important to find a dental solution that can properly restore them to their proper form and function. Our dentist in Greenwich, Dr. George Tsangaroulis, offers dental crowns as a restorative dentistry option to help patients achieve their dream smile. Learn all about state-of-the-art dental crowns by reading the information provided below.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is made out of porcelain and designed to act as a “cap” to restore the appearance, shape, size, and strength of a damaged or decayed tooth. Additionally, dental crowns are placed on top of dental implants or used to cover an affected tooth after root canal therapy. Every crown is custom-fabricated to fit each patient’s unique needs and dental goals.

What Are CEREC® Same-Day Crowns?

We understand your time is valuable. That is why we invested in CEREC® digital technology that allows for a faster experience when you need a porcelain crown (cap) or large replacement filling, otherwise known as an inlay or onlay. CEREC® is a revolutionary way to restore teeth damaged by decay, fractures or cracks, old fillings, or root canal therapy in a single visit—rather than taking a mold, sending it out to a dental laboratory, wearing a temporary crown, and returning for a second appointment.

During the course of one visit, we can prepare your damaged tooth, create an optical impression, and use CEREC® computer software technology to digitally design and mill a precise dental crown, which is then permanently bonded to your tooth for full restoration of its function and stability.

In short, key benefits of CEREC® restorations include:

  • Greater Convenience – Only a single office visit is required to complete the restoration
  • Minimally Invasive Treatment – More natural tooth structure is conserved
  • High-Quality Materials – The porcelain material is tooth-colored and incredibly durable
  • Enhanced Precision – 3D imaging allows for improved design and fabrication of restorations

CEREC® Same-Day Inlays and Onlays

CEREC® inlays and onlays are alternative restorations to crowns, which enable the doctor to conserve natural tooth structure. They replace extensive amalgam (metal) or composite fillings for teeth affected by decay or structural damage to create a smooth, tooth-colored replacement of natural tooth material again in just one visit. They are superior to amalgam or composite fillings because of their enhanced strength, durability, and aesthetic benefits. With enamel-like material, they look and feel like your real teeth, and are typically longer-lasting.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Crowns?

Dr. Tsangaroulis carefully evaluates each patient’s teeth before recommending dental crowns. Patients with the following concerns are usually suitable candidates for a dental crown procedure:

  • Broken or cracked tooth
  • Weakened tooth due to dental decay
  • Missing tooth
  • Misshapen or severely discolored tooth

Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Tsangaroulis is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate for a dental crown procedure. If you are not the right fit for treatment, Dr. Tsangaroulis can give recommendations for other restorative solutions that are best suited for you.

Dental Crowns vs. Dental Veneers

Dental crowns and porcelain veneers share a few similarities in terms of how they can address certain concerns; however, there are also several distinctions which can make one option more ideal than the other. A dental crown is primarily restorative in nature—while it can provide significant cosmetic improvement to a tooth, it is usually recommended in cases where the tooth may need functional restoration and/or protection of its health. While dental veneers also offer some restorative benefits, they are typically recommended to correct conditions that are more aesthetic in nature. Those concerns can include mild misalignment, chips and gaps, and dark stains—issues that may not necessarily affect the overall health of the tooth. Dental crowns will likely be advised for teeth that are affected by particularly severe damage or decay. While a porcelain veneer is designed to fit only over the front and side portions of a tooth, a dental crown covers the entire tooth in order to reinforce its structure, protect it from additional deterioration, and enhance its appearance.

Both of these treatments are custom-designed to provide results that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. During your initial consultation, Dr. Tsangaroulis will evaluate your needs and make a recommendation as to whether a dental crown or a dental veneer is the best option.

What Does the Dental Crown Procedure Involve?

The first step of the dental crown procedure is numbing the affected tooth. Once the tooth is properly numbed, Dr. Tsangaroulis removes any decay that needs to be taken out. He shapes the tooth and takes an impression so that the crown can be made to properly fit on top. In some cases, the crown may need to be sent to an outside dental laboratory for creation instead of having it produced here at our office with the CEREC® system. The patient is sent home wearing a temporary crown until the final crown is completed and ready, which usually takes one to two weeks.

Once the dental lab sends the final crown to our office, our team helps the patient schedule a second appointment for the last step. During the final appointment, Dr. Tsangaroulis removes the temporary restoration and replaces it with the permanent crown.

What Is Recovery Like After a Dental Crown Procedure?

In most cases, patients are able to resume their normal daily routines rather quickly after a dental crown procedure. There will likely be some tenderness and soreness after the effects of the local anesthetic wear off; however, this should not last long. Depending on the extent of the procedure and the number of dental crowns placed, some patients may benefit from a brief period of recovery, but not all individuals will require this. Dr. Tsangaroulis can provide you with more precise expectations once you have been examined and the treatment plan has been discussed.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

With the proper care and maintenance, dental crowns can last decades. Patients should make sure that they are brushing and flossing at least twice a day and getting professional cleanings at least twice a year to maintain healthy teeth and gums and to ensure that the crowns last as long as possible.

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

The cost of a dental crown is determined on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the total price of these treatments can vary widely among patients based on several factors associated with the customized treatment plan. These factors include the number of crowns being placed, laboratory fees and the materials utilized to create the crowns, the extent of treatment, and other components. Our team will be able to provide a more precise cost estimate after we have assessed your needs and developed a treatment plan. Many dental insurance policies offer coverage for dental crowns, and our practice also accepts third-party financing for qualified applicants through CareCredit® and PatientFi®. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the most convenient ways to pay for your dental crown procedure.

Additional Dental Crown FAQs

Is it painful to get a porcelain crown?

During a dental crown procedure, a local anesthetic will be applied to the area surrounding the affected tooth. This should numb the area to sufficiently reduce the potential for pain and discomfort while the crown is placed.

Will my dental crowns look natural?

Dental crowns are designed to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile, thanks to the crown’s color and shape. When the procedure is performed by a skilled and qualified dentist like Dr. Tsangaroulis, patients are more likely to see natural-looking and long-lasting results.

Are there alternatives to dental crowns?

While dental crowns can be a reliable and restorative treatment option, there are alternatives. For teeth suffering from more mild cosmetic concerns, such as stains and minor misalignment, teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding, or porcelain veneers may be a better choice. Patients in need of serious repairs for weakened or decayed teeth may benefit more from dental implants and bridges that offer extensive aesthetic and functional improvements.

If you are interested in learning more about dental crowns and restorations or scheduling an appointment, feel free to contact us today.