Dental Crowns 101: Purpose, Types, and Procedure


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Dental crowns are considered to be one of the most popular dental procedures. They help enhance your smile and protect damaged teeth. If you are considered getting dental crowns, you have come to the right place. This post takes a look at their purpose, types, and procedure.

What Are Dental Crowns?

A close up photo of the girl isolated on white who is pointing at her teeth with her finger

In the simplest of words, dental crowns are caps that the dentist puts over your teeth to replace the natural crown. They are cemented permanently onto your teeth. Dental crowns are required when you have excessively decayed, damaged, or cracked teeth. Thus, the original shape, function, and size of the teeth would be restored by the dental crowns.

What Is the Purpose of Dental Crowns?

Generally, a dental crown is required in the following situations.

  • The tooth is oddly shaped or discolored and you are interested in improving its aesthetic appearance.
  • Have had a dental implant.
  • When you undergo root canal treatment and require a crown for protecting the restored tooth.
  • A tooth is weakened because it is excessively worn down or cracked.
  • The tooth cavity has become too large to get a filling.

Which Types of Dental Crowns Are Available?

Dental crowns are made using a variety of materials. Therefore, the material you select depends on your preferences, the visibility of the dental crown, the tooth location, and so on. The following are some of the most common types of dental crowns.

  • Gold Alloy: It is made from a combination of copper, gold, and some other metals. Gold alloy crowns bond rather well onto the tooth. They do not fracture and can last a long time. Patients who are not concerned about achieving a completely white smile will find gold crowns to be the perfect option. Some people opt for gold crowns to make a fashion statement.
  • Zirconia: These types of crowns are made using a white powdered metal known as zirconium oxide. The metal is used as it does not produce a toxic response. The crowns are a great option for people that suffer from allergies. A great thing about Zirconia crowns is that they can easily withstand biting and chewing forces. Besides, they match with your natural teeth.
  • Porcelain-Fused-to Metal: These crowns offer a strong bond to your teeth as they are connected to the metal structure. They tend to be very durable. Moreover, the porcelain part of the dental crowns would blend in with the natural teeth. This makes the crowns functionally and aesthetically pleasing.

What Is the Procedure For Placing Dental Crowns?

In order for the dental crowns to be placed, you need to visit the dentist twice. The following steps would be performed by the dentist.

  • Tooth Preparation: The first thing that the dentist would do is prepare your teeth for the dental crowns. If any of your teeth have decayed, the dentist would remove the decay through the root Then, the outer portion of the tooth would be shaved off for the crown to be fitted.
  • Take an Impression: Next, the dentist would take an impression of the tooth for making an exact model.
  • Temporary Crown Placement: A temporary crown will be placed by the dentist initially while the impression is sent to the lab to make the permanent crown. Expect to wait about 2 to 3 weeks for the permanent crown to be made. During this time, you will experience tooth sensitivity. Hence, you should not bite hard or eat anything sticky.
  • Cementation of the Permanent Crown: Once the permanent crown is made, the dentist will contact you for a second visit where the crown would be placed in your mouth.

How Long do Dental Crowns Normally Last?

A doctor is selecting dental crowns for the girl

Generally, you can expect dental crowns to last you about 5 to 20 years depending on the type of dental crown selected, the location of the crown, recurrent tooth decay, and wear and tear.

To ensure that the dental crowns last a long time, it is advised that you practice good oral hygiene such as by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Furthermore, you should also stay away from hard foods as they can cause damage to the crown. Make sure to visit the dentist regularly for check-ups.

What Is the Cost of Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns can cost you anywhere from $800 to thousands of dollars. The cost of the dental crowns depends on the crown material, the amount of preparatory work required, and what the insurance plan covers.