Fillings are common, and most people have had them as children. By the time we get older, getting a dental filling is a familiar experience for most of us. Though we’d like it to be less familiar, we’re comfortable and used to it.

Dental crowns on the other hand are a little less common, and people sometimes get a little nervous when they first find out they need one. However, let the Wichita Falls restorative dentists at StarImage Dentistry put your mind at ease. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your first dental crown.

You’re Not Alone

Yes, dental crowns are less common than fillings, but that’s only because almost everyone (96%) gets dental fillings. Dental crowns remain one of the most common restorative dentistry procedures. Every year, dentists place about 800 dental crowns per 100,000 people. In other words, every year, about 1 in 125 people gets a dental crown. This might be your first dental crown, but the odds are good that your Wichita Falls restorative dentist has extensive experience with the procedure–we do at StarImage Dentistry.

Before Your Procedure

Here are some things to do to prepare for your dental crown procedure:

  • Consider getting a second opinion
  • Consider whether your current dentist is your dental crown dentist
  • Arrange transportation (if necessary)
  • Prepare for recovery

You should consider getting a second opinion for any significant dental procedure. Of course, get a second opinion before a tooth extraction, but dental crowns are significant enough that a second opinion is a good idea. In particular, not all dentists offer ceramic inlays and onlays, a more conservative approach that can sometimes take the place of a crown while preserving more of your natural tooth.

If you want to get a crown, decide if your general dentist is a good choice for your Wichita Falls restorative dentist. Make sure your dentist has experience placing dental crowns, can show you good results from a crown, and offers the type of crown you want. You should be able to choose from base metal crowns, gold crowns, porcelain fused to metal crowns, and all-ceramic crowns. Note that advanced ceramic crowns can be placed anywhere in your mouth. You don’t have to get gold crowns on your molars if you don’t want to. If your dentist isn’t giving you advanced ceramic crown options, talk to another dentist. Also, make sure your dentist has training in avoiding bite problems.

Most people can drive themselves to and from their dental crown appointments. However, if you want sedation dentistry to deal with anxiety, you will want to make sure you have an adult to transport you to and from your appointment and stay with you until you fully recover from the sedation.

Speaking of recovery, this is the time to lay in supplies for your recovery. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.

Immediately After Your Crown Procedure

Your Wichita Falls restorative dentist will usually place your dental crown in a two-part procedure. In the first part, your dentist will shape your tooth, take impressions, and place a temporary crown. Then the dentist will send impressions to the dental laboratory. There the laboratory will craft your permanent crown.

Once you get home, the following steps will help you get the fastest recovery possible:

  • Rest
  • Limit eating and drinking while you’re numb
  • Eat a soft diet
  • Take prescriptions and other medications as necessary
  • Follow your dentist’s hygiene instructions

Most people don’t have to take a full day off to get a dental crown. You can go back to work. However, if you have a strenuous job, it might be a good idea to take the rest of the day off. Don’t plan an active evening, and let yourself go to bed early if you want.

After your procedure, you might be numb. Try to limit eating and drinking until you recover the feeling in your mouth. You might bite your lip or tongue badly or burn yourself and not realize it.

Count on eating softer foods after your dental crown procedure. This doesn’t mean a liquid diet, but avoid anything too crunchy.

People usually don’t get prescriptions related to dental crowns. However, if you do have a prescription for antibiotics and/or pain medication, take medication as directed. If you don’t have a prescription, you can control discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication. Don’t exceed the label dosage unless your dentist tells you otherwise.

Usually, your dental hygiene will be unchanged after your dental crown procedure. However, sometimes your dentist might recommend a lighter hygiene routine for a while. Most commonly, a dentist might say not to floss around the crown for a few days to let the dental cement set. You might still be able to use a water flosser, though.

Long-Term Results from Your Dental Crown

Once you get your permanent dental crown, you can expect long-lasting results. When properly placed, most dental crowns last at least ten years. Fifteen years is not unusual for a dental crown; many last longer.

To help preserve your dental crown, follow these instructions:

  • Don’t bite anything but food with your crown
  • Practice good oral hygiene
  • Make regular dental visits
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play sports (even recreational, non-contact sports)

Like your natural teeth, your dental crown can be damaged if you chew on objects other than food. This includes ice and nutshells.

Take good care of your crown and the neighboring teeth. Receding gums can expose the tooth under the crown.

Make your regular dental appointments. Your Wichita Falls dentist will be able to detect signs of trouble with your crown to preserve it.

Finally, make sure to wear a mouthguard if you play sports, even if you’re just playing for fun. Remember, even non-contact sports can lead to injury, which can damage your crown.

Choose StarImage Dentistry for Crowns in Wichita Falls

If you need a dental crown in Wichita Falls, let StarImage Dentistry help. We can give you a second opinion to decide whether a crown is necessary. We offer advanced dental crown options. Our neuromuscular dentistry training helps us maintain a healthy bite when we place dental crowns and other restorations.

To learn more about the benefits we offer, please call 940-322-2252 or use our contact form to request an appointment at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, near Wichita Falls High School.