Dental Crowns 101: Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns 101: Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns By Maylands Dental Centre | May 4, 2023

Dental Crowns 101: Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

Good oral health is vital for maintaining a beautiful smile and overall well-being. A set of healthy teeth can make you feel confident and contribute to your general health. One dental procedure that can help you achieve this goal is dental crowns.

Dental crowns can be a significant step towards improving your oral health. It’s important to clearly understand the dental crown procedure, dental crown materials, and dental crown cost before embarking on this journey.

This comprehensive guide will provide valuable information about dental crowns, including why you might need one, the different materials available, and what to expect during the procedure. We’ll also discuss the benefits, lifespan, cost, and aftercare of dental crowns and potential risks, complications, and alternatives.

So, sit back, and keep reading to learn everything there is to know about dental crowns!

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental crowns offer improved functionality, oral health, and confidence.
  • Various dental crown materials include porcelain, metal alloy, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and zirconia, each with unique characteristics and applications.
  • The dental crown procedure involves consultation, tooth preparation, taking dental crown impressions, fitting a temporary crown, and adjusting the permanent crown.
  • Dental crown longevity depends on factors like material, oral hygiene, and dental habits, with proper care and maintenance essential for long-lasting results.
  • The average cost of dental crowns in Australia is $2,100, with factors like material, dentist experience, and location influencing the price; insurance and payment options may help cover expenses.
  • Dental crown aftercare includes regular dental check-ups, cleanings, and proper oral hygiene practices.
  • Potential risks and complications with dental crowns include tooth sensitivity, discomfort, and dental crown issues requiring professional help.
  • Alternatives to dental crowns include inlays, onlays, and dental veneers, which may be more suitable for specific dental needs.
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What are Dental Crowns, and Why Might You Need One?

Dental crowns play a crucial role in preserving and restoring the function and appearance of damaged or compromised teeth. Let’s discover the purpose of dental crowns and discuss common reasons why someone might require this treatment.

Understanding the purpose of dental crowns

Dental crowns are artificial restorations that serve as a protective cover for a damaged or weakened tooth, restoring its function, strength, and appearance. The term crown in dentistry refers to custom-made caps designed to cover the entire visible portion of a tooth, from the gum line to the chewing surface.

Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including metal, porcelain, resin, and zirconia, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right material for your tooth crown depends on several factors, such as the tooth’s location, personal preferences, and dental crown cost.

Common reasons for needing a dental crown

There are numerous reasons why a patient might require a dental crown. Here are some common situations that call for this dental treatment:

  1. Large cavities:
     A dental crown may be the recommended solution when a cavity becomes too large for a regular dental filling. The dental crown preparation process involves removing the decayed part of the tooth, taking an impression, and placing a temporary crown to protect the remaining tooth structure until the final crown is ready.
  2. Cracked or fractured teeth:
    Dental crowns can help restore the function and appearance of a cracked or broken tooth by providing a durable cover that protects it from further damage.
  3. Tooth discolouration or misshapen teeth:
    Dental crowns can offer a more aesthetically pleasing option for people with discoloured or misshapen teeth. Beautiful crowns made from porcelain or zirconia can colour match natural teeth, blending seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
  4. After a root canal treatment:
    A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy may become weak and more susceptible to fractures. The placement of a dental crown is a common practice after root canal treatment since it can cover the entire tooth and provide added strength and protection, prolonging its lifespan.
  5. Dental implant restoration:
    Dental crowns are often used to complete a dental implant procedure
    , acting as the visible portion of the implant, which replaces the anatomical crown of the missing tooth.
  6. Wear and tear:
    Over time, teeth can become worn down due to habits like teeth grinding or clenching, which can lead to a need for dental crowns to restore the function and appearance of the affected teeth.

Dental crowns play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and improving the aesthetics of your smile. The type of crown, dental crown materials, and dental crown procedure all influence the final outcome, cost, and lifespan of crowns.

Whether you opt for metallic crowns, resin crowns, porcelain crowns, or zirconia crowns, knowing the advantages and limitations of each material can help you make an informed decision and invest wisely in your oral health.

Dental Crown Materials: Exploring the Options

When it comes to dental crown material, there are a variety of options available, and each has its unique characteristics and advantages. Here, we’ll discuss four common dental crown materials, highlighting their unique properties and where they are used. This information will help you make an informed decision when considering the dental crown procedure and dental crown cost.

Porcelain Dental Crowns

Porcelain crowns, also known as all-ceramic crowns, are well-known for their lifelike and natural appearance, as they closely resemble natural tooth colour as well as a tooth’s translucent appearance. They are often the go-to choice for front teeth, where aesthetics are of utmost importance.

While porcelain crowns are relatively strong, they may not be the ideal choice for teeth exposed to significant biting force, such as molars. This type of crown is also not recommended to patients with bruxism as the grinding and clenching of teeth may exert abnormal bite pressure and lead to breakage or chips in porcelain crowns. E-max crowns are an example of a porcelain crown.

Metal Alloy Dental Crowns

Metal crowns, including gold alloy and other base metal alloys, are incredibly durable and can withstand heavy biting forces. This makes them a common option for restoring the back teeth, where strength is a priority. Due to their metallic appearance, gold and base metal alloy crowns are not typically chosen for front teeth, where aesthetics are more critical.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Dental Crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns combine the best of both worlds, offering the strength of metal crowns and the aesthetic appeal of porcelain crowns. The metal core provides structural support, while the porcelain layer covers the visible part of the tooth.

The core of this crown features a silver-hued metal enveloped by porcelain in a shade that matches natural teeth. It boasts a clear aesthetic advantage over gold crowns. However, the metal structure lends a somewhat opaque look to the crown.

PFM crowns can be an excellent choice for both front and back teeth, but they may wear down the opposing teeth over time.

Zirconia Dental Crowns

Zirconia crowns are made from a strong, tooth-coloured material that provides both strength and aesthetics. They are a popular choice for patients who want a durable and natural-looking crown. Zirconia crowns can be used for any tooth in the mouth and often require minimal tooth preparation than other types of crowns, preserving more of the natural tooth structure.

In conclusion, the type of crown you choose will depend on factors like aesthetics, strength, and the tooth’s location. Discussing your preferences and dental needs with your dentist to select the most suitable dental crown material for your situation is essential.

The Dental Crown Procedure: What to Expect

Understanding the dental crown procedure can help alleviate any concerns you might have about the process. In this section, we’ll walk you through the four main stages of the procedure, giving you a clear idea of what to expect at each step. We’ll touch on aspects like dental crown materials and dental crown cost so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment.

Consultation and Tooth Preparation

  • Consultation:
    Your dentist will assess your tooth and take a dental x-ray to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a dental crown. They will then discuss your options, including the type of dental crown material suited for your needs.
  • Tooth preparation:
    The dentist will remove any tooth decay and shape the tooth to accommodate the crown. This will involve reducing the tooth’s size or building it up if there’s extensive damage.

Dental Crown Impressions

Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take an accurate impression or a digital scan of the tooth and surrounding teeth. This dental impression serves as a mould for fabricating the custom dental crown. This will help create a crown that fits your tooth and natural bite precisely. 

Temporary Dental Crowns

While waiting for your final dental crown to be fabricated (which typically takes about two weeks), your dentist will place a temporary restoration to protect the prepared tooth. Temporary crowns are usually made from acrylic and are designed for short-term use.

Fitting and Adjusting the Final Dental Crown

  • Crown fitting:
    Once your final dental crown is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and clean the tooth.
  • Crown adjustment:
    The final dental crown will be placed on your tooth and checked for proper fit and bite. Your dentist may make minor adjustments so that it’s comfortable and functional.
  • Crown cementation:
    Once the fit and bite are satisfactory, the dentist will secure the crown to the tooth using dental cement or dental adhesive, completing the dental crown procedure.

By familiarising yourself with the dental crown procedure, you can feel more confident and prepared when discussing your options with your dentist.

Remember, each case is unique, and your dentist will provide guidance on the most appropriate dental crown materials and help you understand the dental crown cost involved in your treatment.

The Benefits of Dental Crowns: More Than Just Aesthetics

Dental crowns offer a range of benefits that go beyond simply improving the appearance of your smile. Let’s talk about how dental crowns contribute to your oral health and overall confidence, making them a valuable investment in your well-being.

Improved Functionality and Oral Health

Dental crowns play a vital role in restoring the function of a damaged or weakened tooth. By covering the entire crown of the tooth, they provide structural support and stability, improving one’s biting and chewing functions.

Moreover, crowns protect the underlying tooth structure from further decay, damage, or wear, helping to maintain your oral health and potentially preventing the need for more invasive procedures in the future.

Enhanced Appearance and Confidence

Aesthetics are an essential aspect of dental crowns, as they can significantly improve the appearance of chipped, misshapen or discoloured teeth. You can achieve a seamless and beautiful smile by choosing a crown that matches the colour and shape of your natural teeth. This enhanced appearance can boost your confidence and self-esteem, enabling you to smile with pride and enjoy your daily interactions without feeling self-conscious about your teeth.

Dental crowns offer a combination of functional and aesthetic benefits, making them an excellent solution for individuals seeking to improve their oral health and overall confidence. By discussing your needs and goals with your dentist, you can determine if a dental crown is the right choice for you.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

The lifespan of dental crowns can vary, depending on several factors. Let’s explore the factors that affect the longevity of dental crowns and provide tips on proper dental crown care and maintenance to help you get the most out of your investment.

Factors Affecting Dental Crown Longevity

  1. Material:
    The dental crown material can impact its durability. For example, metal crowns tend to last longer than all-porcelain crowns, as they are less prone to chipping or cracking.
  2. Tooth location:
    Crowns placed on teeth subjected to heavier biting forces (such as molars) may experience more wear over time compared to those on less-used teeth.
  3. Dental hygiene:
    Good dental hygiene plays a crucial role in the longevity of dental crowns, as it helps prevent decay and gum disease around the crown.
  4. Personal habits:
    Habits such as clenching or grinding your teeth, chewing ice, or using your teeth to open packages can put additional stress on your dental crown, potentially shortening its lifespan.

Proper Dental Crown Care and Maintenance

  1. Brush and floss daily:
    Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Pay special attention to the area where the crown meets the gum line.
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush:
    Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging the surface of your crown.
  3. Avoid hard or sticky foods:
    These foods can potentially damage your crown or even dislodge it from your tooth.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly:
    Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings to monitor the condition of your dental crown and detect any potential issues early.

By understanding the factors that influence dental crown longevity and practising proper dental crown care and maintenance, you can help extend the life of your crown and protect your investment in your oral health.

The Cost of Dental Crowns: Investment in Oral Health

Understanding the cost of dental crowns is an essential aspect of making an informed decision about your oral health care.

Factors Influencing Dental Crown Cost

According to the 2020 national dental fee survey, the average price of dental crowns in Australia is $2,100. However, this price can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of material:
    Dental crown materials have different price points, with metal crowns generally being more affordable than all-porcelain or zirconia crowns.
  • The complexity of the case:
    More complex cases may require additional procedures or treatments, which can increase the overall cost.
  • Geographic location:
    Dental fees can vary depending on the region or city in which you live.
  • Dental practice:
    Individual dental practices may have different fee structures or offer special promotions on dental crowns.

Insurance and Payment Options

Navigating dental insurance and payment options can be crucial to managing your dental crown cost. Some dental insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost, depending on the type of crown and the reason for the treatment. Reviewing your insurance policy or discussing your coverage with your provider is important to understand your financial responsibility.

In addition, many dental practices offer payment plans or financing options to help make dental crowns more affordable. These options can vary, so discussing your needs with your dentist and exploring the possibilities available to you is essential.

Being aware of the factors influencing dental crown cost and exploring insurance and payment options can help you make an informed decision about this important investment in your oral health. Discussing your options with your dentist will help you find a solution that meets your needs and budget.

Dental Crown Aftercare: Keeping Your Crown and Smile Healthy

After receiving a dental crown, it’s essential to prioritise dental crown aftercare to prolong the life of your crown and maintain your oral health.

Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleanings

Scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings is vital to monitor the condition of your dental crown and the health of your surrounding teeth and gums. Your dentist can detect any potential issues with your crown early and address them promptly, preventing further complications.

Furthermore, professional cleanings help remove plaque and tartar that may accumulate around the crown, minimising the risk of decay and gum disease.

Oral Hygiene Practices for Dental Crown Care

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for dental crown aftercare. Some effective practices include:

  • Brushing twice a day:
    Clean your teeth and dental crown thoroughly by brushing at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing daily:
    Floss between your teeth and around your dental crown once a day to remove plaque and food debris.
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush:
    A toothbrush with soft bristles is gentle on your crown and less likely to cause damage.
  • Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash:
    Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce plaque and bacteria around your dental crown, further protecting your oral health.

By incorporating regular dental check-ups, cleanings, and diligent oral hygiene practices, you can effectively care for your dental crown and enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.

Potential Risks and Complications with Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a safe and effective treatment option. Still, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and complications associated with the procedure.

Tooth Sensitivity and Discomfort

Following the dental crown procedure, it’s common to have sensitive teeth, especially when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages. This sensitivity is usually temporary and should subside within a few days.

If you continue to experience sensitivity or discomfort, it’s essential to discuss your concerns with your dentist, who may need to adjust your crown or recommend additional treatments.

Dental Crown Issues and When to Seek Help

Occasionally, dental crown issues may arise, such as:

  • Crown loosening or falling off:
    Contact your dentist immediately if your dental crown becomes loose or falls off. They can re-cement or replace the loose crown as needed.
  • Chipping or cracking:
    Although dental crowns are durable, they can still chip or crack under certain circumstances. If this happens, your dentist may need to repair or replace your crown.
  • Infection:
    If the tooth underneath the crown develops an infection, you may experience pain or swelling. It’s crucial to seek dental care as soon as possible in this case.

Being aware of potential risks and complications with dental crowns allows you to monitor your oral health and seek professional help when necessary. Your dentist is your reliable resource for addressing any concerns and making sure your dental crown remains in optimal condition.

Dental Crown Alternatives: Weighing Your Options

While dental crowns are an effective solution for various dental issues, alternative treatments may be suitable depending on your specific needs.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are custom-made restorations used to repair damaged teeth, particularly when the damage is too extensive for a filling material but not severe enough to require a full dental crown. Inlays fit within the cusps of the tooth, while onlays cover one or more cusps and may extend onto the biting surface. Made from porcelain or composite resin, inlays and onlays preserve more of your natural tooth structure than a dental crown and are a less invasive option.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin shells made from porcelain or composite resin that cover the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers are an excellent option for addressing minor chips, cracks, or discolouration without needing a full dental crown. They require minimal tooth reduction and provide a more conservative approach to enhancing your smile.

It’s essential to discuss your unique dental needs with your dentist, who can help you determine whether inlays, onlays, dental veneers, or another treatment option is the most suitable choice for your situation. By exploring various alternatives, you can make an informed decision about your dental care and achieve the ideal outcome for your oral health and smile.

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns play a crucial role in restoring the function and natural appearance of damaged teeth, offering numerous benefits for your oral health and confidence. By understanding the various dental crown materials, the procedure itself, and how to care for your crown, you can make an informed decision about this treatment option.

Additionally, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks, complications, and alternative treatments so you can choose the most suitable solution for your needs.

Maylands Dental Centre is committed to providing personalised and professional dental care. If you’re considering a dental crown or exploring alternative treatment options, our experienced team is here to help.

Book a dental appointment through our website or give us a call to discuss your dental needs and begin your journey towards a healthier, more beautiful smile.

Maylands Dental Centre
Maylands Dental Centre
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