Everything You Need To Know About Dental Crowns

by | Dec 6, 2019 | Dental Advice | 0 comments

The modern and high-tech crowns at Ellicott City Smile Care look great, are durable, and are made from high-tech materials. Learn how they can restore the appearance, function, and the health of your smile!

When will I need a crown?

Crowns are used primarily in 3 situations:

1. Root canal – When tooth decay spreads into the inner layers of the tooth, a root canal is the most common course of treatment. Your dentist will remove the decay and the nerve from the tooth.  This will eliminate the infection from deep inside the tooth. This requires removing a significant amount of the tooth structure.

2. ImplantDental implants are a modern and high-tech way to replace missing teeth. Dental implants act as the tooth’s “root,” providing a solid foundation for a restoration like a crown.

3. Cavity repair – In some cases, a cavity may affect a large amount of tooth structure but not require a root canal. In this case, a crown can restore the shape, appearance, and function of the tooth. In these cases, it’s important to remember that the crown is a temporary solution and eventually a root canal or implant may be needed.

What’s the difference between a crown and a filling?




Made from…

Gold or tooth-colored porcelain Silver mercury amalgam or white composite resin

Used to complete…

Root canal, cavity repair, dental implant Cavity repair


Larger than a filling, often nearly the size of the original tooth As small as possible to repair the affected area

Depending on the material used, it can be expected to last…

Up to 15-25 years As long as 30 years

Made by…

Making a model of your tooth and custom-crafting the crown to be a perfect match “Filling” the cavity and then shaping and polishing the restoration

Answers to our patients’ questions about crowns

I don’t want my crown to show when I smile. Is this possible?

For decades, gold crowns were the gold standard. But gold crowns were very noticeable and sometimes made people feel self-conscious about their smiles. Today, our office specializes in natural tooth-colored crowns that look just like your natural teeth. They are made from a porcelain-like material that is custom-colored to look just like a real tooth.

Will I need to wear a temporary crown?

Your crown is custom-made to fit perfectly and look just like the rest of your natural teeth. However, this process takes a bit of time. We work with a trusted local dental lab known for their skill in creating beautiful and durable tooth-colored crowns. The process does take a week or so. During that time, you’ll have to wear a temporary crown and then come back in to have the final crown fitted.

Fortunately, our temporary crowns are very strong and you can eat like normal. If you do experience any discomfort or issues with your temporary crown, call our office right away at  (410) 964-9816.

What if I have more than one missing tooth?

Over 33% of people are missing at least one of their permanent teeth. If you have more than one missing tooth, there are a variety of options to replace them and restore the appearance and function of your smile. If the teeth are in different areas of the mouth, dental implants and crowns may be your best choice. If you’ve got a gap in your smile, a fixed or removable dental bridge might be the best option. If you’re missing more than a few teeth, an implant-supported full or partial denture might be a good choice for you.

The best way to learn more is to talk to your dentist and learn more about the options available to you.

Should I get implants or adhesive dentures?

Lost teeth set off a chain reaction of dental health problems. The most serious is bone loss in the jaw — otherwise known as resorption. The roots of your teeth actually strengthen and help preserve the integrity of your jaw bone. When teeth are lost, bone tissue begins to dissolve, a process that is irreversible.

In the past, adhesive dentures were the most common option for replacing lost teeth. Over time, this led to a sunken facial appearance caused by the ongoing bone loss. In addition, adhesive dentures require a lot of maintenance, and also slip, slide, and affect your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Modern dental implants, on the other hand, take the place of your tooth’s roots. They not only prevent bone loss, they actually make your jaw stronger, too. Plus the custom restorations used as part of your dental implant are more durable and more stable than old-fashioned adhesive dentures. With proper care, your implants and restorations can last for decades.

How do I take care of a crown?

Treat your crown just like it’s one of your natural teeth. Just keep brushing and flossing like usual. Be aware, however, that it’s especially important to pay close attention to the gum line. Gum disease is the #1 cause of preventable tooth loss, particularly in teeth that have been capped with a crown. Your regular checkups and exams will help you catch gum disease early and provide the greatest variety of minimally invasive treatment options. Many people want to know how long crowns last. The answer varies on the material used and how well it is cared for.

In addition to brushing and flossing, you’ll also want to minimize staining of your crown. While modern crowns are very stain resistant, foods like turmeric and beets and drinks like coffee and red wine can produce small stains over time. Just be conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth and you’ll be fine!

Have you been told you need a root canal or crown?

If you’re experiencing a bad toothache or have been told you need a crown by another dentist, let’s talk. We can take a look and offer a second opinion to help you make the best decision for your dental health. Schedule your appointment at Ellicott City Smile Care today.

 Dr. Stephen Levy

Dr. Stephen Levy

Dr. Levy graduated cum laude from SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and trained in a General Practice residency at New York Medical College. He is a member of a number of dental organizations, including the Buffalo-based dental volunteer outreach program, B.O.C.A. Dr. Levy is dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care with the most up-to-date, advanced dental technologies.