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Dental Crowns: Types, Procedures, & Care

If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, your dentist may recommend getting a crown for the teeth to restore their shape, appearance, and function. Dental crowns, also known as caps, are tooth-shaped coverings that are permanently cemented over teeth. With advances in dental technology, crowns today are very natural looking and can last many years if properly cared for.

What are Dental Crowns?

A crown is a prosthetic cap that surrounds and covers the visible part of a damaged tooth down to the gum line. The crown specialist dentist bonds the artificial crown to the stub of the natural tooth using dental cement for a secure and permanent fit. Crowns can be made of various materials such as ceramic, and porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys, or base metal alloys. The best material for you depends on factors like the location of the tooth, aesthetics desired, and cost. Your dentist will guide you on which type of crown for teeth is most suitable.

Why Do You Need a Crown?

There are many reasons why your dentist may recommend a crown for a tooth. The most common reasons include:

  • Protecting a weak tooth due to decay, cracks, fractures, or large fillings

  • Restoring a broken or severely worn-down tooth

  • Holding together parts of a cracked tooth

  • Covering and supporting a tooth with a root canal treatment

  • Covering misshapen or badly discolored teeth

  • Acting as an anchor for fixed bridges

Consult with your crown specialist dentist to determine why you need a crown based on your unique dental situation. Promptly restoring damaged teeth can prevent further decay and optimize long-term dental health.

Types of Dental Crowns

The dentist crown options include:

  1. Porcelain Crowns: Made of ceramic, these provide the most natural look to resemble real teeth. They are also quite durable but can chip or fracture under pressure.

  2. Gold Crowns: Prized for durability and longevity, gold crowns are gentle on opposing teeth during chewing. But their metallic color does not look natural.

  3. Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns: A very common type of crown combining the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. The metal below supports the fragile porcelain exterior.

  4. All-resin Crowns: A more affordable option made of composite resin. Not as durable as other types and wears down over time. Their color can also fade, discolor, or stain.

  5. Zirconia Crowns: Extremely strong crowns made of zirconia ceramic. More fracture-resistant than porcelain and can withstand heavy biting forces.

The crown procedure at your dentist will involve numbing the tooth and surrounding gum area with local anesthesia. The damaged portions of the tooth will be filed down and impressions or scans made of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth. Using these impressions, the dental lab then custom fabricates a precision crown that fits over your existing tooth for seamless integration. Getting a well-fitted crown requires working with a skilled crown specialist dentist.

Crown Placement Procedure

Getting a dentist crown takes two to three dental visits:

  1. First Visit – Tooth Prep: The tooth is prepared by removing decay or old fillings. The crown specialist dentist contours it so the crown can fit over it securely. Impressions are made of the area getting crowned along with adjacent and opposing teeth to ensure proper crown positioning and bite alignment. You may receive a temporary crown to protect your tooth before getting a permanent one.

  2. Second Visit – Fitting Crown: The custom-fabricated permanent porcelain, ceramic, metal, or zirconia crown is tested on your prepped tooth to ensure optimal shape, contour, and bite. Necessary adjustments are made before the final placement.

  3. Third Visit – Bonding Crown: When you and your dentist are satisfied with the fit and appearance, the inside of the crown is filled with dental cement. It is then seated over the prepared tooth, creating a tight seal as the cement hardens. Your bite may need minor adjustments before the process is complete. Proper oral care is reviewed so your new crown lasts long term.

Caring for Dental Crowns

Though extremely durable, crowns do require some care and maintenance. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily to prevent decay and inflammation under your crown. Avoid chewing excessively hard foods which could damage or dislodge crowns over time. See your dentist promptly if you experience any symptoms like crown loosening, damage, or decay to prevent further complications. With proper care, an average crown for teeth can last five to fifteen years, and even longer in some cases. Replace damaged crowns right away so adjacent teeth don’t shift. Regular dental visits are key to maximizing the longevity of your crown.


1.Is it painful to get a crown?

Getting a crown should not cause pain with proper anesthesia. Your dentist will numb the area being worked on so you do not feel discomfort during the procedure. Let them know right away if you experience any sensitivity or pain.

2.How much do most dentists charge for a crown?

On average, most dentists charge between $800 to $2,000 per crown but prices can vary higher or lower based on factors like material, dentist rates, insurance coverage, and procedure complexity. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are typically more expensive than gold crowns.

3.How long will a dental crown last?

With proper placement and ongoing care including good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a quality crown should last five to fifteen years, and even thirty years or longer in some cases. Harsh biting or chewing may shorten lifespan.

4.How expensive is a crown for a tooth?

A crown for a single tooth can range from $800 to $3,000 but averages around $900 to $1,500 depending on the type of crown material used and the dentist performing the procedure. Dental insurance usually covers a portion of the total costs.

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