Dental Crowns: Misconceptions, Complaints, and the Part You Play in Success
Learn what to expect from dental crowns.
Dental crowns are one of the most common restorative dentistry treatments out there—and for good reason! They’re often considered the best way to restore and protect teeth that have been severely damaged by decay or an injury such as a major crack or break. They can even be the only way to save severely damaged teeth that would otherwise have to be extracted. If you’ve never needed a dental crown until now, however, you might not know much about them.
As you begin researching dental crowns, it’s easy to come upon misconceptions about them. Some of these are simply myths, and some are based on now-outdated information. After all, the internet is forever! Information remains on it even after it becomes outdated. To help you sort through all of this information, we’ve put together common misconceptions and complaints about dental crowns and explained the facts behind them.
Misconception #1: Crowns don’t look like real teeth.
While this is a common concern, modern crown materials have come a long way and are designed to blend in perfectly with your smile. Porcelain crowns are the most popular type of dental crown because they’re the best at blending. Each porcelain crown is custom-made for you, expertly designed, and crafted to match the shape and shade of your natural teeth.
Porcelain crowns also have a unique natural luster that sets them apart from other types of crowns. This luster matches the slight translucence of natural teeth, which helps your crown blend in even better. As a result, no one will even know you have a dental crown!
Misconception #2: They can cause a dark line to form along the gum line.
This is common with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, where over time the metal beneath the porcelain, which was originally hidden by the gum line, becomes visible. This is a detail to keep in mind when you’re choosing the type of dental crown you want. Thankfully, since it only occurs with a specific type of dental crown, it’s easy to avoid this! At Parmer Lane, we offer porcelain, zirconia, and gold crowns.
If you’re not sure which type of crown is best for you, don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for! We can explain the pros and cons of each of these types of crowns to you so that you feel you have all the information you need to make a confident decision.
Misconception #3: They cause bite misalignment.
The process of custom-making your crown for you includes ensuring that it will fit into your bite perfectly. As a result, artistically, expertly shaped crowns will actually make your bite better! Choosing a dentist who has extensive experience and uses cutting-edge technology to design crowns, such as our i-Tero digital scanner, can help ensure that it maintains or even improves the alignment of your bite. Additionally, when Dr. Garcia places your dental crown, she’ll check your bite several times to ensure that everything is lining up perfectly. If you do notice lingering issues with the way your bite is fitting together after your crown placement, feel free to call our office so we can address the problem right away!
Misconception #4: Crowns carry the risk of dental decay occurring underneath them.
Tooth crowns themselves can’t decay and do a lot to protect the underlying tooth from decay when they’re placed correctly, but they can’t make the tooth completely impervious to decay. As a result, it’s true that decay can occur underneath them. When it comes to this issue, prevention is key—and, thankfully, it’s usually very simple!
As long as your crown is placed well, all you need to do is take good care of your teeth to prevent decay. This includes brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day as well as flossing and using mouthwash daily. If plaque does accumulate on your crown, Dr. Garcia will spot this during your regularly scheduled appointment and can replace the crown to prevent decay.
Misconception #5: They cause sensitivity and discomfort.
This is a relatively common complaint that affects people shortly after the placement of their dental crown. Although you might experience some sensitivity and discomfort initially, especially when you’re eating hot, cold, or hard foods, the good news is that it shouldn’t last! As your body adjusts to the dental crown, this should subside and then disappear. For most people, this happens within a few days to a week of their procedure, but it can sometimes take as long as four to six weeks. This is rare, though, and if you’re worried about lingering sensitivity or discomfort, don’t hesitate to call and ask Dr. Garcia about it.
Misconception #6: Crowns can be or become loose.
A crown that is placed properly shouldn’t be loose. It should feel snug, secure, and natural. Over time, though, it could become loose because of habits like bruxism, which is when you habitually clench or grind your teeth. Taking steps to curb bruxism, such as managing your anxiety and stress levels or wearing a nightguard to bed to prevent sleep bruxism can help protect your crown and keep it secure. It’s also a great idea to keep to the recommended schedule of seeing Dr. Garcia for a dental checkup every six months, as she’ll be able to spot and remedy issues with your crown early.
Misconception #7: They might chip or fracture.
Modern crown materials aren’t just beautiful—they’re also strong, and we offer you plenty of high-quality options to ensure you get the level of strength you need or want. Porcelain crowns aren’t as strong as some other options, but they’re still about as strong as your natural teeth. This means that anything that risks chipping or breaking your natural teeth could also chip or break your porcelain crown. Preventing this is a simple matter of treating your crown with the same care you do your natural teeth, including avoiding using them as tools to open packaging, crack nuts, or crunch down on ice.
If you want a stronger material, gold and zirconia crowns are both strong, incredibly durable, and long-lasting options. While gold crowns won’t blend into your smile, zirconia crowns are naturally white and can be tinted to match the shade and gloss of your natural teeth. Zirconia crowns are a new type of ceramic crown on the cutting-edge of dental technology made from a metal related to titanium, making them incredibly strong. In fact, one study has found that they’re the most split-resistant tooth crown material.
Misconception #8: Crowns cause nerve issues.
In rare cases, dental crowns can cause nerve pain after they should have healed. This is sometimes due to the crown needing to be adjusted, but if you didn’t get a root canal before your crown placement, it could also be that one of the nerves was damaged during that process. If it’s simply a matter of adjusting your crown, this is an easy fix, but damaged nerves will likely need to be removed during a root canal. Thankfully, though, this is a rare complication, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it!
Misconception #9: They cause allergic reactions.
Metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can trigger reactions if you have a metal allergy, so this is definitely a concern that you should be aware of if you have a metal allergy. The most common metal allergy is nickel—gold allergies are very rare, so gold may still be an option for you if you’re interested in a metal crown.
Porcelain and zirconia crowns should also be safe options if you have a metal allergy, though you should ensure that you get a fully porcelain crown rather than one with a metal interior. If you have a metal allergy, make sure to let Dr. Garcia know about it so she can take this into account when recommending a dental crown for you.
Call us today for a consultation if you think you may need a dental crown.
While a lot has changed about dental crowns over the years, what hasn’t changed is that they’re widely relied upon as the best way to protect and restore severely damaged teeth for years to come. Once you understand crowns a little better, it’s easy to see why! Plus, modern dentistry ensures that you have more choices than ever when it comes to your dental crown, from the type and strength of the material used to create it to what it looks like. If you’d like to learn more about dental crowns and which type might be best for you from a good Austin dentist, feel free to call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Garcia at any time.