Tooth damage and decay can not only affect your oral health, but they can be a source of self-consciousness if not treated. Fortunately, porcelain crowns are a great long-term solution. It can seem daunting to wonder what to expect, so talking with your dentist about your options is a great place to start. Here’s what to know about the process and how porcelain crowns can help transform your smile.

What is a Porcelain Crown?

A porcelain crown is a fixed prosthetic that is attached to the tooth. Crowns replace the entire outside of the tooth down to the gum level, and are designed to look and feel the same as your natural, healthy teeth. This sets porcelain crowns apart from crowns made from other materials (like gold or other metals) which are more noticeable. Metal crowns vary from porcelain crowns in terms of their durability and biocompatibility, so each type will come with some benefits.

Why Do I Need Porcelain Crowns?

Most patients who opt for crowns are trying to preserve their teeth after damage or decay. If a portion of the tooth is visibly damaged, your dentist might recommend porcelain crowns to repair the tooth and improve your smile. In some cases, porcelain crowns can be placed on either side of missing teeth in order to support a dental bridge.

Porcelain Crown

What is the Porcelain Crown Procedure Like?

During your initial visit, Dr. Chern will take a look at the damaged or decayed tooth and prepare it to receive a crown. This involves reshaping the tooth by filing the top and sides so that the crown can properly fit around it. During this step, Dr. Chern will also treat any decay. An impression of the tooth is then made so the crown can be custom-made. Our porcelain crowns are always custom-made and sculpted to suit the size, shape, and color of your teeth so your results aren’t noticeable. Porcelain crowns are made in a dental lab, so you’ll need a second appointment to have the crown fitted.

Once the porcelain crown is made, it can be placed over the tooth. Dr. Chern will first make sure it properly fits and make any adjustments before permanently cementing the crown in place. After placement, Dr. Chern will schedule a follow-up appointment to check up on your crown and make sure it’s functioning properly.

How to Care for Porcelain Crowns

Getting the most out of your porcelain crowns is largely dependent on a good oral hygiene routine. Make sure to brush your teeth, including the crown, twice daily using an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush with soft bristles. You should also floss daily or use a Waterpik. Make sure to cut back on soft drinks and sugary foods to minimize further decay, and schedule regular dental checkups every 4-6 months with Dr. Chern. This can help you maintain your results and keep a healthy mouth for the long term.

Schedule an Appointment

Porcelain crowns are an excellent option for restoring your smile and keeping your teeth healthy. To meet with Dr. Chern and learn more about your options, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.

If you’ve ever had concerns about your oral health, you know it can be stressful to wonder if it’s time to call your dentist or not. There are times when it’s appropriate to call your dentist and even necessary. At other times, you can simply manage the issue at home. Here’s a cheat sheet for the most common symptoms and what to do to alleviate them. 

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain and toothaches are usually caused by cavities, infected nerves, and fractured teeth. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve pain. If medications are needed to alleviate the pain, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. If you need to wait to see your dentist because it’s nighttime (and pain is often worse at night), it can be helpful to sleep propped up on a few pillows and to take an NSAID before bed. This can often help with throbbing. If you’re traveling and the pain is severe, contact your dentist and their office can prescribe antibiotics, which can ease an irreversibly damaged nerve until you can come in for an appointment.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can be caused by increased tension in your head and neck muscles or damage to the TMJ rather than your teeth. Occasional jaw pain can be managed with medications and compresses. The key is to mention occasional discomfort at your next check-up appointment so that your dentist can find the source of your pain. Jaw pain can be an indicator of a clenching or grinding problem. If the pain in your jaw is constant, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to get a diagnosis and start working on a treatment plan so permanent damage to your joint and teeth doesn’t occur. Patients with jaw pain should generally avoid chewing gum, hard foods, and opening their mouth too wide. Treatments for jaw pain include NSAIDs, muscle relaxer therapy, oral appliance fabrication, Botox therapy, dental restorative therapy, and sometimes surgery.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity while eating or drinking things that have extreme temperatures can be an indication of gum (periodontal) issues or cavities. In this case, it’s important to see your dentist to find the source of the sensitivity. If the issue is cavities, restorative dentistry can alleviate the problem. If the sensitivity is gum-related, then there are some options like special toothpastes, cleanings, and grafting surgery. If you can’t see your dentist right away, stick to milder foods and start on a toothpaste such as Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief (specially formulated to help sensitivity in 60 seconds) or Sensodyne. 

Swelling

Swelling (with or without pain) is a major concern and can lead to hospitalization and death. If you have any head or neck swelling, call your dentist as soon as possible. Swelling can grow quickly and cause issues with breathing. If you have issues with swallowing or breathing, bypass your dentist and go straight to your emergency room or call 911. Dental swellings can be treated with antibiotics, root canal therapy, extraction, and drainage procedures. Dental swelling is one of the more serious issues in dentistry and should not be taken lightly. This will not resolve on its own so contact your dentist as soon as you notice a change in the symmetry of your head and neck!

Schedule a Consultation

Maintaining optimal oral health is important and will contribute to your overall health! Our integrative approach will provide you everything you need to know to stay healthy and symptom-free for the long term. Make an appointment today with Dr. Chern and her team to get started on a better smile! You can get started by calling or filling out our online form.