What Is a Dental Crown?
According to the American Dental Association’s glossary of dental terms, a dental crown is an artificial replacement that restores missing tooth material by surrounding the remaining tooth structure, or is placed on a dental implant. Dental crowns are made of metal, ceramic or polymer materials or a combination of these materials. Dental crowns are retained by luting cement or mechanical means.
In simple terms, a dental crown is basically a cap, which is placed over a compromised natural tooth in order to restore its shape, size, strength, and function. Generally, a dental crown can last up to 15 years, depending on your dental habits, chewing patterns, and nighttime grinding. Dental crowns across the US are generally very expensive, averaging upwards of $1200. Fortunately, with the emergence of dental tourism, or traveling across borders to receive cheap dental care, Americans can save big on their dental crowns.
Beyond Borders Dental offers affordable porcelain dental crowns in Palomas, Mexico. Our dentists in Mexico have been installing dental crowns on Americans for decades. For residents of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces, this equates to saving thousands of dollars on their dental crowns. Want to learn more about getting your dental crown in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.
Why Are Dental Crowns Necessary?
There can be a number of reasons a dental crown is necessary:
- The tooth is weakened, broken, or worn and must be restored.
- A dental crown may be necessary to cover and protect a tooth that has had fillings, leaving little of the remaining tooth.
- To conceal discolored or otherwise damaged teeth for cosmetic reasons.
- To hold a dental bridge in place or to cap a dental implant.
- To conceal misshapen or discolored teeth.
- Teeth that have had root canal treatments.
The Process of Getting a Dental Crown
The procedure of getting a dental crown usually requires two visits to complete the entire process, although some clinics offer a specialized service to manufacture the tooth on site. Otherwise, the initial visit involves preparing the tooth to receive the dental crown. This usually means some filing of the tooth to make sure the dental crown can fit over the remaining tooth structure. In cases of extreme damage of the original tooth, or if the roots are damaged to the point that they can’t support the dental crown, a root canal may need to be performed first.
Then the dentist will take either a physical impression, or a digital image to determine who to fabricate the replacement dental crown so that it fits properly in the space and accommodates your bite properly. In the meantime, a temporary dental crown covers the prepared tooth until the final crown is installed. Once the final dental crown is made, you will return for the second visit, at which time the temporary dental crown is removed and the permanent dental crown is installed using a special dental cement.
You may also hear the term “onlays” or “3/4 crowns”. These are variations from traditional dental crowns that involve covering less of the natural tooth. As you might expect, these variations cover less of the underlying tooth, and are used only in special circumstances.
During the time you have your temporary dental crown, there are some precautions your dentist may recommend:
- Avoid sticky or gummy foods such as gum, or caramel candy on the side where the temporary is placed
- When you can, chew more frequently on the other side of your mouth
- Alter your flossing techniques to slide floss through and out the side, rather than lifting the floss up between the teeth. This can dislodge the temporary dental crown
What Types of Dental Crowns Are Available?
Metal Dental Crowns: These dental crowns could include gold alloy, base metal alloy (nickel or chromium) or other alloys (palladium). Since the color is less desirable, this option is not the most popular. But they do have excellent longevity. Often they may be an option in the less visible quadrants of the mouth.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Dental Crowns: Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are often used for the most visible teeth, such as the front teeth. These dental crowns are usually undetectable with the porcelain outer appearance and they can be matched to look very much like your original teeth.
All Ceramic or All Porcelain Dental Crowns: While not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal, all porcelain dental crowns or all ceramic dental crowns are the most realistic, especially for the front teeth. Still, many people prefer all ceramic dental crowns or porcelain dental crowns because they are the most bio-compatible material, and it is unlikely to cause any adverse reactions in the patient.
Zirconia: This makes a good base for porcelain dental crowns because it bonds well and strengthens the dental crown. This material has been used for years in dental restoration. It is still a metal, so if someone is acutely reactive to metals, they may want to be tested for reactivity first. It creates an excellent cosmetic result.
Your dentist can discuss these options with you and the costs, to help you decide which approach is most suitable for both your dental needs and your budget.
As discussed below, the cost of dental crowns vary depending on how much preparation work needs to be done to place it and what type of crown you select. Porcelain dental crowns are typically more expensive than metal dental crowns, which are typically more expensive than porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns. Residents of New Mexico, hoping to find cheap porcelain crowns in Albuquerque or Santa Fe will be surprised that, despite the growing number of dentists competing for business, the price of dental crowns continues to increase, instead of decrease. With Beyond Borders Dental serving the residents of both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, we offer a safe and cheap alternative in Palomas, Mexico to the expensive dentists in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Want to learn more about getting your dental crown in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.
How Much Do Crowns Cost, and How Much Can I Save with Beyond Borders Dental?
The cost for a dental crown can vary widely, based on factors such as competition in your city or even where you live in the US. In New Mexico, dental crowns usually cost from $1000 to $1500 per crown. Albuquerque crowns, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces crowns are generally at the higher end, with prices being a little less at New Mexico dental clinics in other areas. But affordable porcelain crowns can be found through Beyond Borders Dental. At our clinics in Palomas, Mexico, crowns start at a cost of about $250, affording a savings of over $1000 per crown in most cases. Whereas it can be difficult to find cheap porcelain crowns in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, the porcelain crowns in Palomas are affordable.
Our approved dental clinics use the same materials as are used in the US. For a more detailed breakdown of cost savings, see “How Much Can I Save?” This section on our website details the costs of various procedures, and also discusses why cost savings of up to 80% can be achieved.
You may also have questions about the quality of the work done in Palomas, considering the huge savings that can be enjoyed. Be sure to review our section “What About the Quality?” You will see that 90% of people getting dental work from dentists in Mexico were satisfied according to an extensive survey, finding their treatment either “good” or “excellent”. You will also learn some important information about the inconsistencies of dental care in the US. Made in America is not always what we might think.
Problems that Can Arise with Dental Crowns
In most cases, dental crowns are well accepted by the body and cause few problems. While there may be sensitivity in the beginning, this usually resides quickly. If you have a continuing issue of sensitivity, you could consider one of many special toothpastes developed for tooth sensitivity. If your bite does not feel right, there may need to be some adjustment to the height of the crown. This is easily adjusted and not uncommon.
In some cases a dental crown may become loose or even fall off. A number of things can cause this,
including a lack of adequate cement at the time of permanent installation, or in some cases, an improper fit. Contact us if you have a problem with your dental crown and we will arrange for your dentist to address any issues.
In very rare cases, there can be an allergic reaction to the materials in the dental crown, or the cement that is used. However, extensive research has been used to develop materials that are bio-compatible, and it is highly unlikely that you will have such a reaction. Contact us if you think you are having an allergic reaction.
Want to learn more about getting your dental crown in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.
A porcelain bridge is a single dental appliance with a fake tooth, or teeth, in the middle of two crowns which permanently attach to the natural teeth or Implants adjacent to the space of missing teeth. The two most traditional methods of replacing teeth are with Conventional Fixed Bridges and Maryland Bridges. These are used when Implants are not an option for various reasons. One great reason for a dental bridge to replace teeth is their affordable price from our clinics in Mexico.
Conventional Fixed Bridges
A Conventional Fixed Bridge looks like three or more crowns attached together, where the middle pontic (replacement tooth) is solid porcelain, and the abutment (attachment teeth) is hollowed porcelain fused over metal to fit over the existing teeth. If natural teeth are involved vs. Implants, the dentist uses the same procedure to shape an individual tooth for a single crown as they do for a bridge. The only difference between preparations is that a bridge involves more than one tooth. A bridge is permanently fixed in place by cementing the crowns over the existing prepared teeth. The significant difference between crowns and bridges is the price! Think the cost of one crown times three, which could be around $3,600 for a dental bridge in the US. In Mexico, a dental bridge is so much more affordable, where you can get three crowns (the price of a dental bridge) for only $780. A three unit dental bridge in Mexico is about half of the price of ONE crown in the US, and much cheaper than an Implant anywhere.
The Maryland Bridge, mostly used for front teeth, is a crown with “wings.” The most common construction is where a porcelain pontic has metal bands on either side and is bonded behind the two adjacent teeth. Although it is not as durable as a Conventional Bridge, it is used in appropriate cases, such as a child too young for Implants. The advantage of this bridge is that it is reversible because the abutment teeth are not drilled away for crowns and they are often less expensive than Conventional Bridges. An inconvenient limitation of the Maryland Bridge is one must be cognizant of avoiding hard foods that could break the bridge, which is a hardship, especially when a reliable permanent Conventional Bridge can be made in Mexico for such an affordable price.
There is a small gap between where the bottom of the pontic tooth meets the gum. Food can easily slip or wedge under the fake tooth and can cause gum problems below or around the crowned teeth. Therefore, it is imperative that the bridge is kept clean, under both the fake tooth, and the sides between the gum and the crowned teeth attached to it. Proper oral hygiene home care not only will prevent gum inflammation and infections, but it will prolong the life of your bridge. Water Picks are a great tool to flush particles out of dental bridges. However, if gadgets aren’t your thing, simple floss threaders or Superfloss are cheaper ways to run floss under the fake tooth. With a small amount of attention given to your dental work, you can make your affordable Mexico investment last a lifetime. Want to learn more about getting your dental bridge in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.