Dental crowns are synthetic caps that are placed over a tooth, that may have been significantly damaged. The dental crown or cap provides a protective coating for the remaining part of the tooth and the attached nerves.
Dental crowns are generally fixed permanently into place and last a long time. They help in preventing further damage to the tooth. Additionally, they can also help you have a more confident smile! Especially if a visible tooth has been damaged.
Do I need a Dental Crown?
The primary purpose of a crown is generally to provide a protective coating to a damaged tooth. Whether the tooth has eroded naturally over time, a failed filling, or an accident - it is a good idea to discuss the possible options with your dentist.
Types of Dental Crowns
A variety of materials can be used to make dental crowns to fit your needs and requirements. Here are some more common types with their specific pros and cons:
- Base Metal/Metal Alloys (Gold Teeth!)
- Porcelain Fused Metal
Base Metal/Metal Alloys
Metal dental crowns have several advantages over other types of dental crowns. They rarely break or chip and can last for over 15 years. The metal is strong enough to withstand normal biting and chewing. This results in the thinnest dental crown, and the least amount of the original tooth is filed away.
The largest disadvantage (and the most visible one) of metallic dental crowns is their colour. Because they don’t blend in well with the rest of the teeth, they are generally recommended for out-of-sight molars.
Dental crowns made from porcelain offer the best natural colour to match existing teeth. In addition to their colour advantage, they are the ideal choice for people that are allergic to some kinds of metal.
However, porcelain crowns lack the strength of metal crowns, and are more prone to chipping and breaking. They also wear down the teeth opposite to them when teeth rub against each other.
Porcelain fused metal
A fusion of porcelain and metal offers more strength than porcelain crowns and a more natural colour than metallic ones.
One aesthetic disadvantage of these crowns is an appearance of a dark line underneath the porcelain. Additionally, it is not as strong as metallic crowns, and the porcelain is more likely to chip and break.
These can be recommended for front and back teeth, depending on your requirements.
Resin Dental Crowns
Resin crowns are the least costly option. However, the material wears down more readily than others. They are also more likely to chip and break- causing further damage.
What to expect?
The procedure itself is usually done over two appointments.
On your first visit, the tooth (or teeth) will be thoroughly examined by our dentists. They would also take an X-ray to check the health of the tooth and the underlying bone. A root canal may be needed if there are signs of decay, infection, or injury to the pulp.
If a root canal is not required, the tooth will be filed down to make space for the crown. Metal crowns are the thinnest and require the least amount of filing down.
Once these preparations are done, the dentist will take an impression of your tooth to create a custom dental crown. A proper fit makes sure that your bite and chewing are not adversely affected by the cap. The impressions are then sent to a lab, which can take 2-3 weeks to design your tailored dental crown.
Meanwhile, a temporary crown is fitted to your teeth to cover and protect the exposed tooth.
On your second visit, the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown will be placed to ensure it is the right fit before it is cemented in. A local anaesthetic is generally administered for this process. If you have any concerns about the anaesthetic, feel free to discuss them with our friendly staff.
It can take some time to get used to the new dental crown. However, it should look, function, and feel like a regular tooth. If over time it affects your biting, chewing, or overall mouthfeel- don’t hesitate to express your concerns with our dentists.
How Long do Dental Crowns Last?
Depending on the material used, dental crowns can last up to 15 years. However, resin and porcelain crowns can require replacement after just 5 years. If tooth grinding is a concern for you, it is best to express it before choosing the material for your dental crown.
Do I Need to Take Special Care of my Dental Crowns?
Even though there is no special care of your dental crowns, we still advise practising good oral hygiene practices. Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and visit your dentist every 6 months for a check-up!
Are Dental Crowns Expensive?
A dental crown could cost you between $1100 and $1600. The variation in the price largely depends on the type and material of the crown. Other factors include the charging policies of your surgery and the location of the crown within the mouth.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns about Dental Crowns. Our team is always happy to help you make the right decisions by providing accurate information about oral hygiene.