You might have a lot of questions about a nickel-free crown or metal-free dentistry in general and that’s okay. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we believe in education. We want you to have the information you need to make an informed decision. It’s important to make good decisions about the care you receive and your overall well-being. In our article we’ll cover:
-Do dental crowns contain nickel? Crowns contain a combination of metal. We’ll tell you what we think you should know.
-What type of crown is best? We’ll explain the different types of Nickel-free crowns.
-How much does a crown cost? The cost of a Nickel-free crown in Lincoln, NE isn’t as bad as you might think!
What is a Nickel-Free crown?
A crown is also called a “cap.” It is a restoration that covers the white part of the tooth above the gum line. If a tooth has had extensive dental work that is breaking down, cracks or root canal treatment. Crowns can be placed on teeth for cosmetic reasons to change the shape and size of the teeth as well. In addition, crowns offer more support for teeth versus large fillings. Crowns are indicated for teeth that have large cavities or are prone to fracture.
Often crowns are needed to support teeth with large mercury/amalgam dental fillings. Teeth with extensive amalgam fillings have a higher chance of developing cracks. Crowns can help protect those teeth from being broken or cracked.
When do you need a Nickel-free crown?
When a tooth has already had extensive fillings that are failing, root canal treatment or is fractured, the top treatment option is to crown the tooth to provide chewing support and prevent tooth loss. Teeth that have the conditions mentioned above are very fragile and prone to fracture. Often when these teeth fracture, they are not salvageable. Crowns help to hold the remaining healthy tooth structure together, preserving the tooth for years to come and providing the patient with strong chewing support.
How is a Nickel-free crown placed?
Crowns usually require two appointments. The first appointment is when your dentist removes your old filling and any decay and reshapes your tooth. Impressions are taken of the prepared tooth and sent to a dental lab where your permanent crown is custom-made to fit your prepared tooth. During this time, you will wear a temporary crown for about two weeks. While you are wearing your temporary crown, you should avoid chewy or sticky foods and avoid flossing your tooth with a temporary crown. During the second appointment, your new crown will be cemented into place. Once this is complete, your crown is ready to chew and help you enjoy foods again.
What Types of Nickel-Free crowns are available?
At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we offer two different nickel-free crown materials. The material your dentist selects depends on which tooth is being restored as well as the location and any special needs you might have due to grinding or clenching your teeth.
Zirconia crown is a Nickel-free crown
Zirconia is a very durable material that rarely causes allergic reactions to patients. This material has a beautiful, natural translucent appearance that blends with natural teeth. The shape, size, and color of this type of crown can be customized to match your natural teeth.
The e-max crown is a Nickel-free crown
This material is the strongest and most beautiful available. This material is lithium disilicate ceramic which gives a very life-like white color to the crown. There is no metal in an E-max crown, so patients do not need to be concerned about a gray line along the gums with this material.
What steps are involved in applying a metal free dental crown?
In order to place a crown, you will come to our office for two separate visits. The first visit is to prepare your tooth for the crown. Your Lincoln, NE dentist will shape your tooth, remove any decay or old silver/mercury fillings to ensure a strong core underneath the crown. Impressions are taken of your newly shaped tooth and sent to a dental lab along with your unique tooth shade where your permanent tooth is custom made to fit your tooth. It usually takes the lab for about two weeks to make your crown. During this time, you will wear a temporary metal-free white crown over your prepared tooth to protect it until your new crown is complete.
The second visit is when your crown is cemented into place and adjusted by your dentist. After this appointment, the crown process is complete.
How long does a Nickel-free crown last?
Nickel-free crowns are made of very durable materials. They can last anywhere between 5-25 years. This really depends on a patient’s oral hygiene as well as any functional habits they may have like grinding or clenching the teeth. For patients who grind and clench, it is recommended to wear a nightguard to protect their crowns and help them last longer. Although a crown covers the majority of the tooth structure above the gum line, it is possible to get cavities around the margins of the crown. You can prevent cavities around your crown margins by brushing thoroughly along the gumline twice daily, flossing every day and avoiding drinking sugary beverages between meals.
What is the cost for a metal free crown in Lincoln, NE?
The cost of Nickel-free crowns can vary for patients depending on individual insurance plans and any limitations the plan may have. The price varies from $800 to $1200 depending on the dental clinic and your insurance plan. For patients who have dental insurance coverage, it is possible that insurance may offer some coverage for a metal-free crown. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we offer affordable dentistry to patients. We try to keep costs low for patients by accepting PPO dental insurance and offering various payment options.
The information on this page was written by Dr. Brooke Kittell.
This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “Dentistry is about so much more than teeth, and the world is finally starting to acknowledge this. Besides making patients feel welcome and at ease as soon as they enter the office, I also believe that trust is crucial, and not just in dentistry, but in any health care setting. Trust is best established through sincere connections and honest patient education.”
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