What happens if i can’t afford a dental crown?

Kanata South Dental - Dentist Kanata

What happens if i can’t afford a dental crown?

If you can't afford a dental crown, there are several alternatives and strategies you can consider:

1. Payment Plans

Many dental offices offer payment plans or financing options that allow you to pay for the crown in installments over time rather than all at once.

2. Dental Insurance

If you have dental insurance, check to see if it covers part of the cost of a crown. Some insurance plans cover a significant portion of restorative procedures.

3. Dental Schools

Dental schools often offer reduced-cost services performed by students under the supervision of experienced dentists. This can be a more affordable option for getting a crown.

4. Discount Dental Plans

Consider joining a discount dental plan, which can provide reduced rates on dental procedures at participating dentists.

5. Alternative Treatments

Depending on the condition of your tooth, there might be less expensive alternatives to a crown, such as dental bonding or a filling. However, these options may not be as durable or effective for certain dental issues.

6. Government Assistance Programs

Look into any local or national programs that provide financial assistance for dental care to low-income individuals.

7. Non-Profit Organizations

Some non-profit organizations offer free or low-cost dental services to those in need.

8. Community Health Clinics

These clinics often offer dental services on a sliding scale based on income.

What Will Happen If You Lose or Break a Dental Crown?

If you need to temporarily reattach a dental crown at home, dental adhesive (commonly referred to as dental glue) can be a useful option. Here's what you need to know:

Types of Dental Adhesive

1. Temporary Dental Cement

Available over-the-counter at most pharmacies, this type of cement is designed for short-term use. It provides a temporary bond to hold the crown in place until you can see a dentist.

2. Permanent Dental Cement

Only used by dental professionals, permanent cement provides a strong, durable bond that secures the crown long-term. It's not recommended for at-home use due to the precision required for proper application.

Using Temporary Dental Cement

1. Clean the Crown and Tooth

Ensure both the crown and the tooth are clean and dry. Use a toothbrush to remove any debris from the tooth.

2. Apply the Adhesive

Follow the instructions on the product packaging. Generally, you'll apply a small amount of the temporary cement inside the crown.

3. Place the Crown

Carefully place the crown over the tooth, pressing down gently to ensure it fits snugly.

4. Bite Down

To ensure proper seating, bite down gently but firmly for a few minutes.

5. Remove Excess Cement

Clean away any excess cement from around the crown with a toothpick or dental floss.

Popular Brands of Temporary Dental Cement

1. Dentemp:.

A widely available option for temporary crown reattachment

2. Recapit:

Another commonly used temporary dental adhesive.

3. TempBond:

Often recommended by dentists for its ease of use and reliability.

Important Considerations

  • Temporary Solution: Remember that these adhesives are meant for temporary fixes. It's crucial to see your dentist as soon as possible to have the crown properly reattached with permanent cement.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Until you can get to the dentist, avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods that might dislodge the temporary bond.
  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene by gently brushing around the temporary crown and avoiding vigorous flossing in the area.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

The longevity of a dental crown can vary based on several factors including the type of material used, oral hygiene practices, and general dental health. On average, dental crowns last between 5 to 15 years, though they can last much longer with proper care.

Factors Influencing Crown Longevity

1. Material of the Crown

  • Porcelain and Ceramic Crowns: Typically last around 10 to 15 years. They are aesthetically pleasing but can be more prone to chipping.
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns: Also last about 10 to 15 years. They offer a balance between durability and aesthetics.
  • Gold and Metal Alloys: These crowns are the most durable, often lasting 20 years or more. They are less likely to crack or break but are less aesthetic for visible teeth.
  • Zirconia Crowns: Known for their strength and durability, zirconia crowns can last 10 to 15 years or more.

2. Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can significantly extend the life of a crown.

3. Diet

Avoiding hard and sticky foods can prevent crown damage and prolong its lifespan.

4. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Individuals who grind their teeth are more likely to damage their crowns. Wearing a night guard can help protect the crown.

5. Proper Placement and Fit

A well-fitted crown placed by a skilled dentist is less likely to have issues that could shorten its lifespan.

Maintenance Tips for Longevity

  • Regular Dental Visits: Regular check-ups help monitor the condition of the crown and address any issues early.
  • Avoiding Bad Habits: Avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, or using your teeth as tools, which can damage the crown.
  • Night Guard: If you grind your teeth, wearing a night guard can prevent undue stress on the crown.

Typical Lifespan

  • 5 to 15 years: Average lifespan for most types of dental crowns.
  • 15 to 20+ years: Possible with optimal care and for crowns made from durable materials like gold or high-quality metal alloys.

Ultimately, while the material and placement of the crown are critical factors, diligent oral care and regular dental check-ups are essential to maximizing the lifespan of a dental crown.


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