Restorative Dentistry Archives - St. Mary Family Dental in Whittier

Flossing 101

Flossing 101 Only 5% – 10% of Americans are regular flossers? According to studies done at Emory University by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis (an inflammation and/or infection of the Read more

Preventative Dental Care: Beyond the Basics You know to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly. Learn what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums looking their best. Come in to St. Mary Dental in Whittier CA to learn Read more

Diet and Your Dental Health There are good foods and bad foods but timing can make all the difference in maintaining your dental health. Come and see us at St. Mary Dental in Whittier for a checkup and dental Read more

Caring for Teeth with Braces

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Learn good oral hygiene practices for a bright, healthy smile after your braces are removed.  We offer both conventional braces and invisalign at St. Mary Dental.  Get an appointment with us to learn more!

Dentures in Whittier California

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Regain Your Confidence with Dentures in Whittier

If you’re thinking about getting dentures, you might be asking yourself some questions: “How will they fit? Will they look natural? Will anyone know I’m wearing fake teeth?” You might be concerned about practical matters such as the cost of dentures and whether affordable dentures are within your reach.

Although no one welcomes a partial or full set of replacement teeth, they help you chew, eat and speak normally and without pain. They also keep any existing teeth you have from drifting out of position, which prevents a range of dental problems. Most important, affordable dentures restore your smile and give you the confidence to show off your pearly whites without feeling self-conscious about missing teeth. With proper denture care, your replacement teeth will last for years.

Whittier Denture Basics

Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing; partials are used when one or more natural teeth remain. The cost of dentures will in part be determined by which type you choose:

Complete Dentures — These are either “conventional” or “immediate.” Conventional dentures are made after any remaining teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed (usually two to three months).

Immediate dentures are ready for wear the same day any remaining teeth are removed so you don’t have to spend the healing period toothless. The drawback is that you’ll need more adjustments, since your gums and bones shrink during this period.

Whittier Partial Dentures

There are two types of partials, removable and fixed. A removable partial (or dental bridge) consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Removable partials are connected by a metal framework that helps keep them in place.
Fixed partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth by placing a dental crown on each tooth surrounding the space and attaching replacement teeth to the crowns. This bridge is then cemented into place.

Common Whittier Denture Concerns

Talk to your dentist so you’ll know what to expect should you decide to seek out affordable dentures. Here are a few basic questions:
What will they feel like? Dentures may feel odd or even uncomfortable for the first few weeks. You may experience some minor irritation and soreness. These things usually get better as your mouth adjusts.

Will they affect the way I talk? Some words may be difficult to pronounce, so practice saying those words out loud for awhile. If your teeth click when you speak, contact your dentist.

Will people know I’m wearing fake teeth? Dentures are designed to resemble your natural teeth. You will be able to speak, chew and look just like someone with natural teeth.

Are replacement teeth expensive? The cost of dentures depends on what you need. A complete set may cost more than partials; dental implants cost more than a dental bridge. If you need a tooth extraction, that factors in to the cost of dentures, too. Affordable dentures provide value for your money; consider the cost of dentures an investment in your future. If you have dental insurance, find out if it covers the cost of obtaining affordable dentures.

What’s involved in denture care? Your dentist will offer tips on denture care. The better you follow your denture care instructions, the longer your replacement teeth will last. Professional denture care in the form of a denture reline may be needed every few years to adjust the fit. If your teeth become too loose over time — which can happen as your mouth’s structure naturally changes — your dentist may suggest a new set.

If you want to learn more about affordable dentures and proper denture care, come in to St. Mary Family Dental in Whittier CA for a free consultation!

Why You Need a Root Canal

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If You Need a Root Canal…

Has your dentist or endodontist told you that you need root canal treatment? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn how root canal treatment can relieve your tooth pain and save your smile, and find an endodontist in your area.

To understand a root canal procedure, it helps to know about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?

During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Contrary to jokes about the matter, modern root canal treatment is very similar to having a routine filling and usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable experience during and after your appointment.

Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:

  • Efficient chewing
  • Normal biting force and sensation
  • Natural appearance
  • Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain


Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as long as other natural teeth and often for a lifetime.

Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns

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Inlays, Onlays & Crowns

When more than half of the tooth is missing or the decay is large enough to undermine tooth integrity, a filling is no longer the best treatment choice. In these situations, we through proper training and experience, determine if the tooth needs an inlay, an only, or full crown.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay, but extending out over on or more of the cusps of the tooth. In some cases, where the damage of the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide an extremely good alternative.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice of inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.

How are they applied?

Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying are of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is mad by Dr. Reachi or Dr. Yarbrough, and sent to the lab for fabrication. We will then apply a temporary restoration on the tooth and schedule on my site the next appointment.

At the second appointment, the temporary restoration is removed. St. Mary Dental in Whittier will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth and polished to a smooth finish.


Many people have unexplained pain from filled back teeth, which is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain 96% of the time and allows a return of full dental function for these teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause “appearance” problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage.

Most dentistry looks like dentistry. Our goal is to provide dentistry that is undetectable. Where damage to a person’s teeth is extreme, and apparently beyond repair, we can use all porcelain or porcelain “baked on gold” crowns to make the smile appear “as new”. This is an extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe of dental problems. We are renowned for the quality of our work and the fantastic changes we make for people using this technology.

Teeth were designed to complement each other and plan an important role in speaking, chewing, and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders. Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge. A bridge also helps support your lips and cheeks, preventing your mouth from sinking in and face from looking older.

Whittier Restorative Dentist

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Having a broken tooth, a chipped tooth, missing tooth or dental cavity isn’t ideal for anyone.
While there are certain things you can do to avoid tooth decay and tooth loss – like brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly – you can’t always dodge the kind of accidents that might cause physical damage to your teeth.

Fortunately, restorative dentistry, which involves repairing and restoring damaged, decayed or dislodged teeth, is available to anyone who needs it.

Restorative Dentistry Basics

Two of the most common treatments in restorative dentistry are dental crowns and dental bridges. With new dental technologies like CEREC®, dental crowns can be placed in just one dental visit. On the other hand, dental bridges typically require at least two trips to the dentist. Let’s take a look at some common dental problems and the corresponding restorative dentistry solutions.

Problem: A Broken Tooth

Restorative Dentistry Solution: Dental Crown

A dental crown is exceptionally versatile and may be used for a number of purposes ranging from covering stained teeth and protecting teeth from tooth decay to restoring a broken tooth and holding a dental bridge in place. Made from a variety of restorative dentistry materials, dental crowns can either blend right in with your natural teeth or add a little “bling” to your smile. Patients who prefer the natural look typically choose porcelain, ceramic or composite dental crowns; those who want some extra shine can choose from gold, nickel or chromium dental crowns.

Problem: Missing Teeth

Restorative Dentistry Solutions: Dental Bridges, Dentures & Dental Implants

A dental bridge is a dental appliance that’s used to fill the gap created by a missing tooth. Made of a pontic (artificial tooth) and dental crowns, a dental bridge is permanently fixed to abutment teeth (the teeth that are on one or both sides of the gap). There are three types of dental bridges: a traditional bridge, which is made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal; a cantilever bridge, which is used when only one abutment tooth surrounds the gap; and a Maryland bonded bridge, which is primarily used for front teeth.

Dentures are another popular solution for replacing missing teeth. Partial dentures are available in removable or fixed form and are used to replace one or several missing teeth; full dentures are removable and replace all missing teeth, either on the upper or lower mandible or both. Compared to dental implants, dentures are the more affordable option but can take some time getting used to. Periodic denture relines are also necessary to ensure that your dentures fit properly and last for years to come.

Dental implants are the crème de la crème of missing teeth solutions. They can be used to replace one, several or all of your teeth. Because they’re surgically implanted into the jawbone, patients often rave that dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth. The downside is that dental implants can be costly and typically take several months to complete, unless you go with a same-day solution like Nobel Teeth in an Hour™.

Cosmetic Restorative Dentistry

For some patients, having a healthy smile is enough, but for others, aesthetics are just as important. This growing demand for picture-perfect smiles has changed both the techniques and the materials used in restorative dentistry. Now, many restorative dentistry treatments have cosmetic benefits built in, making it easy to have both optimal dental health and a beautiful, natural-looking smile!

Problem: Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Restorative Dentistry Solutions: Cosmetic Dental Bonding, Porcelain Dental Veneers

Cosmetic dental bonding is an easy fix for minor cracks or chips in teeth, protecting them from further trauma and even brightening up a tooth at the same time. Like dental crowns, cosmetic dental bonding is versatile and can be used to close diastemas (gaps in between teeth) and alter the shape of teeth.

Another plus is that cosmetic dental bonding is less expensive and less time-consuming than dental crowns.

Porcelain dental veneers are relatively new on the cosmetic restorative dentistry scene. Made popular on smile makeover TV shows, veneers are wafer-thin porcelain or ceramic shells that are placed over your natural teeth. On the plus side, porcelain dental veneers can completely transform the color, shape and alignment of your teeth in one fell swoop. In general, porcelain dental veneers only take one visit, too. On the minus side, they can be costly.

Problem: Dental Cavities

Restorative Dentistry Solution: Composite Dental Fillings

It’s estimated that about 90 percent of people in the U.S. have cavities. In fact, dental cavities are on the rise particularly among children, possibly due to the increased consumption of sugar-laden sports drinks, energy drinks and flavored waters. The good news is if you have a dental cavity today, you don’t have to wind up with a mouth filled with silver tomorrow. Today, a tooth filling can be made from natural-looking restorative dentistry materials such as composite resin. Composite resin fillings – also called white fillings – match your natural tooth color, virtually masking any signs of cavities!

Problem: Large Dental Cavities

Restorative Dentistry Solutions: Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

When left untreated for too long, cavities can get rather large. At this stage, a regular dental filling won’t suffice; you’ll likely need a porcelain inlay or onlay. Porcelain dental inlays fill cavities located in between a tooth’s cusps and porcelain dental onlays fill cavities on the cusps. (The easiest way to remember the difference is to focus on the prefixes – in- and on-.) The porcelain used for inlays and onlays match the color of your natural teeth, creating a flawless appearance.

Dental Implants in Whittier CA

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Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss – mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available.

What Are Whittier Dental Implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that your teeth might slip.

Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile, and help you feel better about yourself.

Improved oral health. Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing your dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Success rates vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for an implant procedure. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

In general, implants are not covered by dental insurance at this time. Coverage under your medical plan may be possible, depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of tooth loss. Detailed questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with your dentist and your insurance provider.

What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?

The first step in the process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by a team of professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach provides coordinated care based on the implant option that is best for you.

Next, the tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from 6 to 12 weeks.

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post – called an abutment – is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make your new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth, and creates a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). Your new tooth or teeth are based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.

Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.

Your dentist also will match the color of your new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

How Painful Are Dental Implants?

Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.

How Do I Care for My Implant?

Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

  • Toothaches
  • Extractions
  • Pain & Swelling
  • Root Canals
  • Teeth & Mouth Injuries
  • Complete Denture Service
  • Implant Dentistry
  • TMJ
  • Lost, Chipped or Broken Teeth
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Weekend Cleanings
  • Wisdom Teeth
  • Zoom One-Hour Whitening
  • Low-Radiation Dentistry
  • Invisilign
  • Veneers

Dental Crowns in Whittier

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Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.

The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
  • To cover a dental implant
  • To make a cosmetic modification
  • For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:
  • Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.
  • In such cases, a pediatric dentist is likely to recommend a stainless steel crown.


What Types of Crowns Are Available?

Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material. For children, a stainless steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that’s been prepared to fit it. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. In general, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to put in place and so are more cost- effective than custom-made crowns and prophylactic dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown.
Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.

All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office, whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by a lab.

What Steps Are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Crown?

Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist — the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.

First Visit: Examining and preparing the tooth.

At the first visit in preparation for a crown, your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.

Before the process of making a crown begins, your dentist will anesthetize (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used (for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner and require less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones). If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.

The impressions are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office in two to three weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.

Second Visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown.

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

How Should I Care for My Temporary Dental Crown?

Because temporary dental crowns are just that — a temporary fix until a permanent crown is ready — most dentists suggest that a few precautions. These include:

Avoid sticky, chewy foods (for example, chewing gum, caramel), which have the potential of grabbing and pulling off the crown.
Minimize use of the side of your mouth with the temporary crown. Shift the bulk of your chewing to the other side of the mouth.
Avoid chewing hard foods (such as raw vegetables), which could dislodge or break the crown.
Slide flossing material out-rather than lifting out-when cleaning your teeth. Lifting the floss out, as you normally would, might pull off the temporary crown.

What Problems Could Develop With a Dental Crown?

Discomfort or sensitivity. Your newly crowned tooth may be sensitive immediately after the procedure as the anesthesia begins to wear off. If the tooth that has been crowned still has a nerve in it, you may experience some heat and cold sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend that you brush teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain or sensitivity that occurs when you bite down usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, call your dentist. He or she can easily fix the problem.
Chipped crown. Crowns made of all porcelain can sometimes chip. If the chip is small, a composite resin can be used to repair the chip with the crown remaining in your mouth. If the chipping is extensive, the crown may need to be replaced.

Loose crown. Sometimes the cement washes out from under the crown. Not only does this allow the crown to become loose, it allows bacteria to leak in and cause decay to the tooth that remains. If a crown feels loose, contact your dentist’s office.

Crown falls off. Sometimes crowns fall off. Usually this is due to an improper fit, a lack of cement, or a very small amount of tooth structure remaining that the crown can hold on to. If this happens, clean the crown and the front of the tooth. You can replace the crown temporarily using dental adhesive or temporary tooth cement that is sold in stores for this purpose. Contact your dentist’s office immediately. He or she will give you specific instructions on how to care for the tooth and crown for the day or so until you can be seen for an evaluation. Your dentist may be able to re-cement the crown in place; if not, a new crown will need to be made.

Allergic reaction. Because the metals used to make crowns are usually a mixture of metals, an allergic reaction to the metals or porcelain used in crowns can occur, but this is extremely rare.
Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line. A dark line next to the gum line of your crowned tooth is normal, particularly if you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. This dark line is simply the metal of the crown showing through.

What Are “Onlays” and “3/4 Crowns?”

Onlays and 3/4 crowns are variations on the technique of dental crowns. The difference between these crowns and the crowns discussed previously is their coverage of the underlying tooth. The “traditional” crown covers the entire tooth; onlays and 3/4 crowns cover the underlying tooth to a lesser extent.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging).

Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the underlying tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day — especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Antibacterial mouth rinse can also help.

How Much Do Crowns Cost?

Costs of crowns vary depending on what part of the country you live in and on the type of crown selected (for example, porcelain crowns are typically more expensive than gold crowns, which are typically more expensive than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns). Generally, crowns can range in cost from $500 to $900 or more per crown. A portion of the cost of crowns is generally covered by insurance. To be certain, check with your dental insurance company.