Complete Dental Guide to Dental Crowns: Costs, Types, and Procedures Explained

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September 28, 2023

dental crown

A bright and healthy smile is a treasure, but sometimes, our teeth need a little extra support to maintain their strength and appearance. This is where dental crowns, also known as toothcaps, play an important role in tooth restoration and protection. Dental crowns are instrumental in restoring your teeth set in cases of an accident, and also is a good treatment for tooth decay. In this article, we will look at the different types of dental crowns, as well as their costs, materials, processes, alternatives, and more.

Types of Dental Crowns

  1. Temporary Crown: Temporary crowns are usually placed when you are required to wait for a permanent crown to be fabricated. They protect the tooth from further damage and maintain its function until the final restoration is ready.
  2. One-day Crown: Thanks to advancements in dental technology, one-day crowns, also known as same-day crowns, can be made and set up in a single visit. These crowns are convenient for those who want a swift solution to dental issues.
  3. Onlay or ¾ Crown: Onlays and ¾ crowns are a conservative alternative to traditional crowns. They cover only a portion of the tooth, preserving more of the natural tooth structure while providing the necessary protection and tooth restoration.

Who Can Get a Dental Crown

Dental crowns are a versatile solution for various dental problems. You might need a dental crown if you have:

  • Severely decayed teeth that cannot be treated with fillings.
  • A cracked or fractured tooth.
  • A tooth weakened by a large filling.
  • Discoloured or misshapen teeth.
  • A dental implant that requires a crown to complete the restoration.

Your dentist will assess your particular situation and recommend a dental crown if it is deemed necessary for your oral health.

Dental Crowns Cost in Australia

The cost of dental crowns can vary hugely depending on several factors, including the type of crown, the material used, the location of the dental clinic in the city, and the expertise of the dentist. In Australia, the average cost of a dental crown ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth.

It is imperative that you discuss the procedure’s cost in length with your dentist and examine any dental insurance coverage you may have to help offset the costs.

Dental Crowns Material

Dental crowns are available in a variety of materials, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Common materials for dental crowns are:

  1. Porcelain: Porcelain crowns are known for their natural appearance and ability to match the colour of adjacent teeth. They are a preferred choice for front teeth.
  2. Metal: Metal crowns, often made of gold or other alloys, are incredibly durable and resistant to wear. They are typically used for molars and premolars.
  3. Ceramic: Ceramic crowns offer a balance between aesthetics and strength. They are suitable for both front and back teeth.
  4. Zirconia: Zirconia crowns are highly durable and can withstand the forces of chewing. They are an excellent choice for posterior teeth.

Is Zirconia Dental Crown Better than Porcelain

The choice between zirconia and porcelain crowns varies based on personal preferences and requirements. Zirconia crowns are exceptionally strong and durable, making them ideal for posterior teeth that endure significant chewing pressure. Porcelain crowns, on the other hand, provide a more natural appearance and are often preferred for front teeth.

In the end, your choice should be based on your unique dental needs and your dentist’s suggestions.

Preparing a Tooth for a Crown

Before placing a dental crown, the tooth in question must be well prepared to accommodate the crown. The process typically involves:

  1. Tooth Shaping: The dentist reshapes the tooth by removing a portion of the enamel to make room for the crown.
  2. Impression: An impression is taken of the prepared tooth, which serves as a model for creating the crown.
  3. Temporary Crown: If a temporary crown is needed, it is positioned over the tooth to protect it while the permanent crown is being custom-made.

Dental Crowns Procedure

The dental crown procedure involves several steps:

  1. Tooth Preparation: As mentioned earlier, the tooth is shaped to accommodate the crown.
  2. Impression: An impression of the prepared tooth is taken to create a custom-fitted crown.
  3. Crown Fabrication: The crown is customised in a dental laboratory, a process that may take a few weeks.
  4. Temporary Crown Placement: If necessary, a temporary crown is set up on the tooth to protect the tooth enamel while waiting for the permanent crown.
  5. Crown Cementation: Once the permanent crown is ready, it is bonded to the prepared tooth using dental cement.
  6. Adjustments: The dentist ensures that the crown fits correctly and makes any necessary adjustments for comfort and function.

Dental Crown Care

To make sure your dental crown lasts a long time, proper care is essential. Here are some tips for maintaining your crown:

  • Adopt a good oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Avoid chewing on hard materials, such as hard candies, ice etc. as this can damage the crown.
  • To keep track of the crown’s and the teeth around it, schedule routine checkups.
  • Be mindful of any changes in bite or discomfort, and report them to your dentist promptly.

Complications Involved in Getting a Dental Crown

While dental crowns are usually safe and effective, there can be complications, such as:

  1. Sensitivity: You may experience temporary sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after crown placement. This typically subsides within a few weeks.
  2. Discomfort: Some discomfort or soreness in the gums and surrounding teeth is common after the dental crown procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage this.
  3. Crown Issues: Crowns can sometimes become loose, crack, or develop cavities around the edges. Regular appointments with your dentist can help identify and address these issues early.
  4. Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the materials used in crowns.

How Long Do They Last

How long your dental crown lasts will depend on many factors, like the material used, your oral hygiene practices, and how hard you tend to bite on your food. Dental crowns have a lifespan anywhere from 5 to 15 years or even longer with proper care. Regular oral health check-ups are crucial for monitoring the condition of your crown and ensuring its longevity.

Alternatives to Dental Crowns

While dental crowns are a highly preferred and effective solution for tooth restoration, there are alternative treatments  to consider:

  1. Dental Fillings: For smaller cavities and minor damage, dental fillings can be a less invasive option to restore teeth.
  2. Inlays and Onlays: These are conservative alternatives to full crowns and are used when a tooth doesn’t require full coverage.
  3. Veneers: Veneers are thinner porcelain or composite resin shells that are attached to the front of teeth to improve their appearance. They are an option for cosmetic issues rather than extensive restoration.
  4. Dental Implants: In the case of severe tooth loss, dental implants can replace missing teeth without the need for crowns on adjacent teeth.

Dental crowns are a dynamic and effective solution for various dental issues, providing both strength and aesthetics. The choice of the type of crown, material, and procedure of dental crown should be discussed with your dentist based on your oral health needs and preferences. Remember that proper care and regular dental check-ups are essential for the longevity of your dental crown and overall oral health. If you have concerns about your teeth, consult with a qualified dental professional to figure out the best course of action for your specific situation.

FAQs About Dental Crowns

Q: How long do teeth crowns last?

A: The lifespan of dental crowns can depend on factors such as the material used, your oral hygiene practices, and bite forces.The lifespan of dental crowns can range from five to fifteen years or even longer with proper care. Regular check-ups are crucial for examining the condition of your crown and ensuring its longevity.

Q: What is the downside of crowns on teeth?

A: While dental crowns offer numerous benefits, there are some potential downsides to consider. These can include sensitivity, discomfort, the need for tooth preparation, and the possibility of complications like crown loosening or damage. It’s important to discuss these factors with your dentist to make an informed decision about crown placement.

Q: How much does a crown usually cost?

A: The cost of a dental crown can depend on several factors, including the type of crown, the material used, the location of the dental clinic in the city, and the expertise of the dentist. On average, the cost of a dental crown in Australia ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth. It’s best to speak with your dentist to get a more precise estimate depending on your unique requirements.

Q: Is it painful to get a crown?

A: The process of getting a dental crown is typically not painful. The area will be numbed by your dentist using local anaesthesia around the tooth, ensuring that you do not feel pain during the procedure. Some people experience mild discomfort or soreness in the days following the procedure, but over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage this. Your dentist will provide guidance on post-procedure care to minimise any discomfort.

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