Having a dental emergency? Call us!
We understand that dental emergencies don't always happen during regular business hours. We're open on Saturdays and here for you when you need us most.
Everyone at the office is very friendly and helpful, and the technicians are great. I feel like Westerville Dental is very much on top of the latest screening and monitoring techniques, and I really appreciate the thoroughness of the appointments in terms of measuring gum health as well as tooth health. I chose this place when I moved down here based on the good reviews, and I haven't been disappointed.
So professional AND friendly. I know that I am getting the best care for my whole family. Plus, the waiting area is beautiful and comfortable--like a living room!--with a special area for young ones to read and draw on the chalk boards.
So glad I found this office when I moved back to Ohio. I’ve had so many bad experiences at the dentist, this place is understanding and open to my questions, they explain everything and it really seems like they care. They also have an open and inviting waiting room that is beautiful.
Discover Better Dentistry
Become a part of the
Westerville Dental family!
We're accepting new patients. Our dental team prides itself on delivering a truly efficient and enjoyable experience while you’re with us.
If you just heard that you need a crown, then you might be starting to get a little panicked. After all, dental crowns can be costly procedures and involve modifying your teeth, so it’s only natural that you feel a bit frustrated. Not to mention, a crown can be expensive, even when it is covered by insurance.
In some cases, a dental crown will be the best option for your teeth. If the damage is too extensive or fractures too deep, then a crown might be the only thing that will fix the tooth. However, in many cases, a crown may not be necessary and you can opt for an alternative. So if you are nervous about the prospect of getting a dental crown, let’s examine some of your alternative options.
1. Porcelain Onlay
Most of the time, a porcelain onlay will be the most suitable alternative to a crown. Porcelain onlays, as the name implies, are made from porcelain and are sometimes referred to as “partial crowns.” This is because they often do the same thing that crowns do but do not require you to remove as much tooth material. Porcelain onlays are made in a lad by a professional and then cemented onto your tooth.
Onlays are an ideal alternative because they preserve much of the tooth structure that you would have to remove to fit a crown. To that end, onlays can be used to fix teeth that have suffered serious chipping or damage. Porcelain onlays are also highly durable and can last up to 10-15 years or more if taken care of properly. Many people also like how porcelain matches the natural color of teeth.
However, porcelain onlays are fairly uncommon and only a handful of dentists in the US regularly perform the procedure. Porcelain can also be expensive because it takes a lot of time and labor to make the onlays custom fit for your teeth.
2. Phasing Treatment
Another common alternative to a crown is what is known as a phasing treatment. Phasing treatments consist essentially of breaking up a single treatment into smaller manageable chunks that fit the monetary and time constraints of the patient.
In the context of a crown, a phasing treatment would involve splitting up the procedure into smaller manageable chunks that address some specific issues. For example, one session might focus on the restoration of a specific portion of your teeth, like the cusp. Some sequences might only involve getting fillings while other parts of the teeth are shaped for further procedures.
The benefits of a phasing treatment are that it helps make the entire process more financially manageable and also helps a person physically and emotionally manage a large procedure that involves extensive work. Since crowns can be fairly expensive (~$1,000), a phasing treatment is a way that you can split that cost up into manageable chunks, assuming insurance does not cover any portion of it.
3. Provisional Crown
A provisional crown is another option as an alternative of a regular crown. A provisional crown is a crown that is fabricated in-office and bonded to your tooth. The good thing about a provisional crown is that it can solve any immediate issues such as tooth pain and exposure, but it is not a permanent solution. Most provisional crowns last around 9 months, after which they need to be reapplied or a more permanent solution is taken.
A temporary crown will restore most of the functionality to your tooth but you should be careful. Make sure you brush gently and avoid eating overly sticky foods as they can cause them to fall off. Again, a provisional crown is not meant to be a permanent solution but it can be a useful temporary one while you research alternative options.
Inlays are pre-molded fittings that are typically used for cavities but can also be used as an alternative to a crown if the damaged part of the tooth is located at the top near the cusp. Inlays fit the grooves of your teeth, which is how they prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Getting an inlay is a relatively straightforward process. The dentist uses a local oral anesthetic and drills away the decay and damage in the tooth. They then make an impression of the top cusp and send it to a lab to make the inlay. Inlays can be made of porcelain or resin. Porcelain inlays are generally considered superior as porcelain is strong, resists temperatures, and matches the natural coloring of the tooth.
Inlays are a lot like regular fillings but they cover a larger area, provide more strength, and also last longer. A good porcelain inlay can last between 15-20 years if you maintain good dental hygiene, potentially longer. However, if the tooth damage is too extensive and goes further than the top, an inlay may not be a viable alternative.
5. Tooth Removal
It might sound ridiculous, but removing your tooth is a way to ensure that you won’t have to get a crown. If the tooth has sustained enough damage, then it might be worth considering removing the tooth entirely and getting a dental implant. Think of it this way, if you remove the tooth entirely, you will not have to deal with potentially painful crown issues later down the road.
Also, dental implants are meant to function as permanent teeth, meaning that they are implanted once and are supposed to last the rest of your life. Crowns are very durable, but they can still wear down over time and are more prone to cracking and chipping than implants are.
Getting a crown is an important dental procedure and if it is necessary, it’s in your best interest to get one. However, a crown may not always be needed and there might be alternatives, such as:
- Phasing treatments
- Provisional crowns
- Tooth removal
So, if you decide on a crown alternative, make sure that you get a competent dentist to handle the procedure.