Crowns Specialist

Healing Smiles

Sandra C Onukwugha, DMD

General and Cosmetic Dentistry located in New Brunswick, NJ

If you damage a tooth or a cavity develops, crowns can prevent further complications and restore your biting and chewing abilities. At Healing Smiles, Sandra Onukwugha, DMD, uses dental prosthetics, including crowns and bridges, to restore smiles and encourage good oral health. To make an appointment at the practice in New Brunswick, New Jersey, call the office to speak with a friendly member of the administrative team, or click the online booking tool.

Crowns Q & A

What are crowns?

Crowns are dental restorations that repair damaged or severely decaying molars or premolars (the teeth between your canines and your molars). Once bonded in place, a crown envelops the enamel, restoring your tooth to its near-original size, strength, and appearance.

What are bridges?

Bridges are dental restorations that fill a gap in your smile. They have an artificial tooth and two crowns. To hold the bridge in place, Dr. Onukwugha bonds the two crowns to the healthy permanent teeth on each side of the gap.

By replacing a missing tooth with a bridge, it’s possible to prevent more serious oral health problems like gum recession and bone loss.

Why might I need a dental crown?

At Healing Smiles, Dr. Onukwugha uses crowns to:

  • Protect weak or damaged teeth
  • Cover dental implants
  • Hold bridges in place
  • Repair deep decay
  • Make cosmetic modifications

You might also benefit from a crown if you undergo a root canal. A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment that removes infected or inflamed tooth pulp, preserving your enamel and preventing the need for an extraction.

What does getting crowns involve?

At Healing Smiles, getting crowns takes two appointments.

First appointment

First, Dr. Onukwugha conducts an oral exam and asks about your symptoms. Then, she takes a series of digital X-rays to assess the condition of your affected tooth.

If Dr. Onukwugha determines you’ll benefit from a crown, she administers a local anesthetic. When the anesthesia sets in, she removes the decaying or damaged portion of your tooth and takes digital impressions with an intraoral scanner.

Dr. Onukwugha sends your impressions to a dental laboratory, which uses them to design and manufacture a custom dental crown.

Second appointment

When the laboratory completes your custom crown, you return to Healing Smiles. Dr. Onukwugha administers a local anesthetic, lines up the crown with your affected tooth, and bonds it in place.

Afterward, she trims any excess material, polishes the tooth, and provides care instructions.

How long do dental crowns last?

Crowns last an average of 12-15 years, but it’s possible to extend their lifespan with good oral hygiene. Dr. Onukwugha recommends brushing and flossing daily and visiting Healing Smiles two times each year for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning.

To prevent damage to your crown, wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports, and avoid bad habits like chewing on ice cubes or opening objects with your teeth.

If you’d like to learn more about dental restorations, including crowns and bridges, make an appointment at Healing Smiles. Call the office or click the online booking tool today.