Dental crowns are a valuable asset in safeguarding your teeth from further damage. These caps, crafted from metals, porcelain, resin and ceramics, cover over broken or decayed teeth to reinforce their shape and prevent the need for more invasive treatments. Best of all? Crowns call for little extra care beyond practising good oral hygiene – making them an ideal choice when fillings don’t provide adequate protection.
There are different types of dental crowns, such as gold or metal crowns, resin crowns, all-ceramic and porcelain crowns etc. A dental crown can be made of many different materials and placed on top of your damaged tooth.
What are teeth crowns?
As time passes, your natural teeth can befall harm due to causes ranging from tooth decay and injuries to natural wear. Consequently, they may start changing shape or size – this is where dental crowns come in. These are like snug hats that fit onto the surface of your tooth, restoring its look as well as strength. Crafted into a similar shape to your own teeth and secured with cementing agents for lasting protection, these crowns mask the visible portion of each afflicted tooth.
Why do you need a dental crown?
You may need a dental crown for several reasons, including:
- Shielding a fragile tooth from splitting or preserving its integrity in case of cracks is essential for maintaining optimal oral health.
- Rebuilding a fractured or severely eroded tooth is an essential part of preserving your smile.
- When a tooth is left with minimal structure after being filled, there may be a need for added coverage and support.
- Ensuring a secure fit for your dental bridge.
- Disguising misshapen or profoundly discoloured teeth.
- Securing a dental implant.
- Protecting the tooth after it has been treated with a root canal.
What are onlays and 3/4 crowns?
When dealing with dental crowns, there are a variety of options available. Onlays and 3/4 crowns are two alternatives that don’t cover the entirety of your tooth as traditional ones do. This more conservative approach is suitable when you have sufficient solid structure remaining in the affected area, as it involves minimal reshaping by your dentist to place the crown over what remains of your original tooth structure.
What are teeth crowns made of?
When it comes to permanent crowns, you have a myriad of material options from which to choose. Such materials include:
- Metal: With metal crowns, you get a long-lasting solution that can withstand immense pressure and only requires minimal enamel removal. Plus, they are highly unlikely to chip or break! The silver lining is the metallic shade may be hard to hide in plain sight; however, these types of crowns make an excellent choice if used on teeth that are far back in your mouth. You won’t have any qualms about biting or chewing with them, either! Gold, palladium alloy, nickel-chromium alloys – pick whatever suits your needs best when it comes to dental work with metal crowns.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal: This type of dental crown is designed to blend seamlessly with the colour of your existing teeth, giving a natural and beautiful appearance. Though desirable, there are certain drawbacks to consider – such as metal showing through from beneath the porcelain cap or small chips in the surface occurring over time; additionally, it can be possible for them to wear down opposing teeth within your mouth. A porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crown is an ideal selection for your front or back teeth, as it helps to protect the other teeth from excessive wear when you close your mouth. This wear occurs especially on top and bottom teeth that come into contact with the crown.
- All-resin: Although dental crowns made of resin are more affordable than other types, they, unfortunately, deteriorate over time and can be much more prone to breaking when compared with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
- All-ceramic or porcelain crowns: All-ceramic or porcelain crowns are your go-to for front teeth, as they offer the best colour match out of all other types. Plus, if you happen to have a metal allergy – this is perfect! Although not as strong as porcelain fused with metal ones, these will do in most cases and won’t wear down adjacent teeth more than others like resin or metal ones.
- Pressed ceramic: When you opt for a dental crown, the inner core of it is made out of hard material. Pressed ceramic dental crowns are ideal if you want to go without metal liners that are typically used in the all-ceramic crown production process. The best part? They’re topped with porcelain which offers an excellent natural colour match and a longer lifespan than any other type of all-porcelain crown!
Dental crown procedure
To receive your dental crown, you will usually need to make two trips to the dentist. In certain situations, your dentist can create and fit a dental crown during a single visit.
The first visit
During the initial appointment, your dentist will assess and prepare the tooth that is set to receive a crown. X-rays of both the teeth and surrounding bone are taken for further examination. If there are any signs of decay, risk of infection or trauma to the pulp –the soft tissue inside each tooth made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue– then a root canal treatment may be necessary before applying a dental crown.
To make room for a crown, we will need to shave down your tooth across the top and sides. The extent of trimming depends on what material is being used–all-metal dental crowns are thinner than porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones. If the damage or decay has taken away too much of your tooth structure, we can use filling materials to ensure that there’s enough support for the coverage provided by the crown.
Following the alteration of the tooth, an accurate cast (also known as a dental impression) is created using a paste to record the details of the tooth that will be receiving a crown. To ensure your bite remains balanced and comfortable, impressions should also be taken from both teeth above and below it.
Your dentist will create an impression of your teeth and send it to a professional dental laboratory. The permanent crowns are typically delivered back to the office within two to three weeks, but in the meantime, you’ll receive a temporary one created by your dentist that can protect the tooth during its wait for its new neighbour!
The second visit
On the second visit to your dental practitioner, they will install a permanent crown. Firstly, the temporary crown is removed and then checked for its colour and fit. If everything looks right, an anaesthetic may be administered to numb the tooth before cementing in place the new crown -finalising this step of treatment.
Same-day dental crowns
If your dentist is equipped with the necessary machinery, they are capable of crafting beautiful dental crowns right in their office. This procedure begins similarly to traditional methods – decay removal and tooth shaping are executed first for an ideal fit inside the crown. The actual fabrication process, however, varies from standard techniques.
To create same-day crowns, a scanning device (a ‘wand’) captures digital images of the tooth located within your mouth. Powered by computer software, a 3D model of your tooth is built from pictures. This digital design is then transmitted to an in-office machine which precisely carves out the shape of the crown from porcelain. Known as Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), this technique rapidly produces your dental crown in under 15 minutes -ready for cementation!
What problems can develop with a dental crown?
As time progresses, you might encounter several issues with your crowns, such as:
- Discomfort or sensitivity: If you’ve recently received a dental crown and have found yourself feeling sensitive to heat or cold, then don’t worry – that’s normal! Your dentist may suggest brushing your teeth with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitivity. However, if the pain or discomfort continues when biting down on your crowned tooth, it likely means that the crown is too high up on the gum line. Reach out to your dentist immediately; they’ll be able to easily adjust this issue so you won’t experience any further pain!
- Chipped crown: Although crafted from the finest porcelain material, even dental crowns can be susceptible to chipping. Thankfully, minor chips are easily mended and can remain intact in your mouth for an extended period; however, larger fractures or numerous small ones may require a total replacement.
- Loose crown: Even with proper care, the cement that keeps your crown in place can become weakened and compromised. When this happens, it causes bacteria to seep in, which can cause decay in the remaining tooth structure. Don’t let a loose crown go unnoticed; ensure you contact your dentist’s office immediately for an appointment!
- Crown falls off: A dental crown can unexpectedly pop off due to an improper fit or insufficient cement. If this occurs, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist right away! Your dentist will provide advice on how you should look after your tooth and the fallen crown until they’re able to see you in person again. They may be capable of reattaching your existing crown – if not, a new one must be fashioned instead.
- Allergic reaction: When fabricating dental crowns, multiple metals are often fused together. Despite being a rare occurrence, one might experience an allergic reaction to the fusion of metal or porcelain used in the restoration process.
- Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line: If you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, it is completely normal to observe a dark line near the gum line. This simply means that the underlying metal of your crown is visible through the porcelain layer.
How durable dental crowns are?
The life span of a dental crown is subject to its wear and tear as well as your personal oral hygiene habits. If you practise good brushing and flossing, it can last anywhere between 5-15 years; however, certain mouth-related activities, such as grinding or clenching teeth, biting fingernails, gnawing ice cubes or using one’s teeth for opening packages, will considerably reduce the longevity of your crown.
Are there any unique considerations for caring for a crowned tooth?
- Temporary dental crown
A temporary dental crown is meant to stay in place until your dentist removes it – not the other way around. To make sure this happens, you’ll want to take great care of that crown by following a few simple rules: steering clear of hard and crunchy foods, very sticky or chewy ones too, and chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. When flossing, be aware that if the floss slips under its edge, it can cause irreversible damage.
With these tips in mind, we hope you will enjoy long-term success with keeping your temporary dental crown firmly where it belongs.
By staying mindful and using your intuition, you can quickly detect when certain activities or meals are putting stress on your temporary crown.
- Permanent dental crown
After your permanent dental crown has been fitted, you must take special care during the first 24-48 hours as if it were still temporary. Refrain from foods that are sticky and chewy to ensure the crown does not become dislodged. After this period passes, rest assured in knowing your new crown is firmly cemented in place – treat it like one of your own teeth!
Although you may initially still feel some tenderness in your gums around the crown, this typically fades after a few weeks. However, if there is any lasting discomfort that does not seem to be getting better with time, please reach out to your dentist for further guidance.
What to avoid after having dental crowns?
With a permanent dental crown, you can resume your typical diet and drinks with ease. You may also go back to smoking or vaping as normal (though be aware of the health risks associated). Yet, for your teeth and gums to remain healthy over time, make sure that you are sticking to standard oral hygiene methods such as gentle tooth brushing combined with flossing and mouthwash. Doing so will ensure that your new crown remains long-lasting!
Dental crowns cost
The cost of dental crowns in Australia can vary depending on the location of the clinic, the materials used for the crown, and the complexity of the procedure. On average, the cost of a dental crown in Australia starts from $1500 per tooth. This price may be higher for more complex procedures or if higher-quality materials are used. It is important to note that dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost, depending on the plan and coverage. Additionally, some dental clinics may offer payment plans or financing options to help patients manage the cost of the procedure. It is best to consult with a dental professional for an accurate estimate of the cost of a dental crown.
Get affordable and high-quality teeth crowns at Available Dental Care
At Available Dental Care, we are proud to offer a vast selection of cosmetic dental treatments, including crowns, braces for adults, and teeth whitening. Our professionals will be delighted to give you a piece of expert advice on how to restore your smile and offer the best possible solutions for your teeth. Contact us today and book your appointment at our modern, friendly clinic.
Everything you need to know about dental crowns