Dr. Erika Whitehouse shares everything you need to know about dental crowns.
Dr. Erika Whitehouse is committed to continuing her education to stay up to date on industry advancements and best practices. Her practice, Derby Dental, is a full-service dentist office offering a variety of services, including dental exams and cleanings, wisdom-tooth removal, porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, Invisalign, dental implants and more. Born and raised in a small town in Kentucky, Whitehouse grew up going to the same family dentist for years. Her dream is to build long-lasting relationships with her patients and bring that small-town feel to the city of Austin.
What exactly is a crown?
A crown is a protective cover or cap that seals a tooth, making it stronger to chew with. If a tooth has a big filling or cavity that makes up more than half of the chewing portion, the tooth is susceptible to breaking. If a tooth breaks, it can cause pain, the need for a root canal or even worse: losing the tooth altogether.
What are some of the signs indicating I may need more than a filling fix?
Often, there are no signs to the patient that indicate a tooth is in need of a crown. It usually takes advanced imaging from X-rays or clinical exams. However, signs could include pain when chewing, broken or chipped teeth or changes with sensitivity to cold.
What can I expect from the procedure and will it hurt?
The crown procedure is a two-step painless process. The first appointment is when the work is done on the tooth while the tooth is numb, and you will leave our office with a temporary crown we make for you that day. After just a few weeks, our talented lab technician completes your custom-made strong crown that we will insert at our office during your second appointment. The crown is permanently placed over the tooth and will look and can be treated as a normal tooth.
Why would my dentist suggest I get a root canal and not a crown?
A root canal is a procedure to treat a dead or dying nerve inside the tooth. After a tooth has had a root canal, it will always need a crown to protect it from breaking. A crown procedure is used to fix a broken or damaged tooth and does not require a root canal as long as the nerve is still healthy. This is why it is important to treat a tooth needing a crown as soon as possible after it is recommended in order to avoid breaking the tooth or injuring the nerve. However, sometimes a nerve is damaged beyond repair and that is not always known until after the crown has been completed. So, it is important to keep up with regular follow-up appointments so your dental providers can keep a close eye on all your teeth and address problems early.
For more information, visit derbydentaltexas.com.