What is a Dental Crown?

golden dental crown

A dental crown is a custom-made restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. It’s also known as a cap. Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth that have been broken or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. They can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, gold, or a combination of these materials.

The process of getting a dental crown involves preparing the tooth, taking impressions for the lab to create the crown, and fitting a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready. Once the dental crown is made, it is cemented into place, providing a long-term solution for a damaged tooth. Proper aftercare and maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of a crown, and regular dental checkups are essential for ensuring its longevity.

Key Takeaways

  • A dental crown restores a damaged tooth and mimics its natural appearance.
  • The process includes tooth preparation, impression taking, and permanent placement.
  • Maintenance of dental crowns requires good hygiene and regular dental visits.


Understanding Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a solution we use to restore the function and appearance of damaged or decayed teeth. They encase the entire visible portion of a tooth, providing strength and protecting it from further damage.


Purpose of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns serve several functions:

  • Restoration of Damaged Teeth: Crowns help to rebuild teeth that have been weakened by decay or damage, restoring their original shape and size.
  • Protective Barrier: They provide a strong layer to protect a tooth from fracture or further decay.
  • Cosmetic Improvement: Crowns are often used to improve the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth.

Materials Used in Crowns

The materials commonly used for crowns include:

  • Porcelain and Ceramic: Ideal for front teeth, these materials match the natural color of your teeth.
  • Gold: Gold crowns are known for their durability and are typically used for molars.
  • Metal Crown: These are strong and withstand biting forces, suitable for out-of-sight molars.
  • Resin Crown: Less expensive than other crown types but more prone to wear and fractures.
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM): They combine the strength of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain.


Comparison of Crown Types

Each type of dental crown has its specific advantages and is selected based on the location of the tooth, the patient’s bite, and aesthetic considerations.


The Dental Crown Procedure

Our goal is to ensure that you fully understand every step of the dental crown procedure. We focus on precision and patient comfort throughout the process.


Initial Assessment and Preparation

We begin with a thorough examination of the affected tooth. Our dentist will assess the tooth’s condition, discussing with you the appropriate crown material based on function, location, and aesthetics. Often, we’ll prepare the tooth by reshaping it to receive the crown, ensuring the removal of any decay and creating a solid foundation.

Impression and Mold Making

Next, we take an impression of your tooth using either a traditional mold or a digital scan. This impression is critical as it enables the dental lab to create a crown that fits seamlessly with your bite and adjacent teeth. Whether a physical mold or digital image, we send these to the lab with precise instructions.

Temporary Crown Fitting

While the permanent crown is being crafted, we fit a temporary crown to protect your tooth. This temporary crown is made from an impression of your pre-prepared tooth, ensuring you can continue with your daily activities without discomfort. We’ll attach the temporary crown with easily removable cement, making it a worry-free placeholder.

Permanent Crown Placement

Once we receive the permanent crown from the lab, we’ll schedule your appointment for fitting. We remove the temporary crown and test the fit of the new crown, making any necessary adjustments. When we’re certain the crown fits perfectly, we’ll use a strong, durable cement to secure the permanent crown in place. This marks the completion of your dental crown procedure.


Aftercare and Maintenance

Proper aftercare and maintenance are essential to sustain the longevity and functionality of dental crowns. We place emphasis on routine care and immediate attention to any complications to uphold their integrity.


Daily Care for Dental Crowns

Brushing and Flossing: To maintain the health of our dental crowns, we must brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. When brushing, we need to be gentle around the gum line to prevent irritation. Flossing is also crucial; however, we advise using a flossing method that doesn’t pull hard on the crown to avoid dislodging it. We can use a gentle sawing motion to clean between the crowns and adjacent teeth.

Dietary Precautions: To protect our crowns, we avoid biting down on hard foods, such as ice or hard candy, that could potentially crack or damage them. We also refrain from chewing sticky foods that might pull at the crown.

Regular Cleanings: Routine dental cleanings and check-ups are non-negotiable. We ensure that our crowns, as well as our natural teeth and gum tissue, are kept in optimal condition by professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar build-up.


Addressing Crown Complications

Sensitivity: After getting dental crowns, it’s normal for us to experience some sensitivity to temperature changes. For this, we use desensitizing toothpaste or other recommended products by our dentist to alleviate the discomfort.

Proper Fit Issues: If our dental crown feels uncomfortable or loose, we contact our dentist immediately for an adjustment. Ignoring fit issues can lead to further complications, such as decay or damage to the crown or underlying tooth.

Gum Tissue Health: We monitor our gum tissue for signs of redness or swelling around the crown, indicative of poor crown fit or gum disease. Prompt attention from our dentist is essential to address such issues to ensure our overall oral health.


Costs and Considerations

When considering dental crowns, it’s essential to understand the financial implications and options available to you. From assessing the costs involved to navigating through the insurance and payment possibilities, we’ll guide you through these critical factors.

Evaluating the Cost of Crowns

The cost of dental crowns can vary widely depending on the materials used and the provider’s rates. Generally, crowns can range from $500 to $3,000 per tooth. Materials play a significant role in both cost and durability, with ceramic, porcelain, gold, and metal alloys being common choices. Typically, metal crowns are the most durable and tend to be more cost-effective in the long run due to their strength and longevity.

Insurance and Payment Options

As for dental insurance, it’s common for policies to cover a portion of crown procedures, but this varies by plan and provider. Insurance generally covers 50% of the cost, but you must consider your deductible and annual maximums. It’s crucial for us to review our insurance benefits to understand the exact coverage.

For those without insurance or who have exceeded their limits, many providers offer payment plans or financing options to manage the cost of the procedure. It is advisable to discuss these options with your dental office before the treatment to ensure no financial surprises arise.



📞 Contact Kaufman Dentistry Today

Give us a call at (310) 838-7780 to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards a stunning smile.

You can find us at 10760 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice and helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!



Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we address common inquiries about dental crowns to help you understand their uses, process, and what to expect.

How do dental crowns differ from tooth caps?

Dental crowns and tooth caps are terms often used interchangeably. However, a cap typically refers to a temporary protective cover for teeth undergoing restorative therapy, while a dental crown is a permanent fixture designed to fortify a damaged or decayed tooth.

What are the potential disadvantages associated with dental crowns?

Dental crowns may lead to discomfort or sensitivity post-procedure, usually subsiding quickly. In rare cases, crowns can become loose or even dislodged, necessitating a visit to the dentist for repair or replacement.

How extensive does the preparation of a tooth need to be for a crown placement?

Preparation for a dental crown involves reshaping the tooth to ensure a proper fit. The extent can vary but often includes the removal of decayed tissue and reshaping of the enamel to accommodate the crown.

What is the average lifespan of a dental crown?

The lifespan of a dental crown can range from 5 to 15 years, or in some cases, even longer. Its durability largely depends on the material used and proper dental hygiene practices.

Is the process of getting a dental crown typically painful?

We often find that the dental crown process involves minimal discomfort. Your dentist will typically use a local anesthetic during the preparation and placement to ensure you are comfortable.

Can you describe the typical procedure for a dental crown placement?

The typical dental crown procedure involves numbing the tooth, reshaping it to fit the crown, taking an impression for the permanent crown, and installing a temporary crown. When the permanent crown is ready, the temporary is removed and the new crown is cemented in place.