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Dental Crowns

Dental crowns help to repair damaged teeth and restore appearances by covering the damaged tooth with a “cap”, aiming to restore the tooth’s shape, size, appearance, and strength. 

Dental crown

What is a dental crown?

A crown is basically a cap for a damaged tooth — to restore the tooth’s shape, size, appearance, and strength. But, how do you know if you need a crown, an inlay, or just a filling?

Generally, some common reasons to get a dental crown are to:

  • Cover or replace a large filling
  • Rebuild a natural tooth that is broken or cracked
  • Protect a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment
  • Cover an implant
  • Hold dental bridges in place
  • Achieve a more beautiful smile by leveling the size and shape of your teeth
 

These are cases when the decay or cavity in the tooth is too large for a simple inlay or filling to resolve.

Is it painful to have a crown put on your tooth?

Many are worried that the process will be painful and are hesitant to get their teeth fixed. However, getting a crown should not feel pain with the use of numbing gels and local anaesthesia to numb the area. 

You might feel a small pinch when the anesthetic is injected. In general, you will feel a general pressure on the tooth that is being worked on, but you should not be feeling a sharp pain. If you’re very concerned, speak to our dentists and they can walk you through the process step-by-step to assure you of what you should be feeling at each stage.

How long do dental crowns last?

Are dental crowns permanent? Can they last my entire lifetime? These are common questions we hear from patients.

In general, dental crowns are made to withstand normal forces exerted in your mouth, and should not need special care. They should typically last between 5 to 15 years, depending on your oral hygiene and the exposure of the crown.

Just because there’s a crown over your tooth, does not mean that your tooth will not experience decay or gum disease.

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What is the procedure for a dental crown?

The procedure for a dental crown traditionally is a multi-day procedure, involving a temporary crown.

First Visit

An X-ray will be taken to investigate the degree of decay, and other factors such as inflammation or injury to the pulp of the tooth. If the decay is severe, a root canal treatment may be required prior to placing the crown.

The dentist will then anaestheise the gum tissue surrounding the tooth, and file the tooth down to make room for the crown. After reshaping, the impression of the tooth will be made so that the crown can fit the tooth as closely as possible.

A temporary crown will then be placed over the tooth to protect it until the crown is ready to be fixed in place.

Second Visit

 At your next visit, the temporary crown will be removed. The new permanent crown will also be checked to ensure that the fit and colour matches naturally with the rest of the teeth before being cemented in.

If it fits well, the tooth will be numbed using local anaesthetic and the permanent crown will be cemented in place.

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How much does a dental crown cost?

The cost of a dental crown depends largely on the material used. In general it ranges from $950 – $1,250 onwards, depending on the material and the complexity of your case.

The main types of materials used for dental crowns include:

Porcelain fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns $$

  • The main advantage of PFM crowns is the combination of the strength of metal crowns, and the aesthetics of porcelain crowns. PFM is also less costly than a full porcelain crown. However, there might be a small, visible grey line at the gumline from the metal, and this type of crown may wear down more easily for people who grind or clench their teeth.

Metal crowns $$$

  • Metal crowns such as gold crowns are a traditional type of crown and have been used for a long time due to their durability and strength. They are highly resistant, and are ideal for teeth at the back (e.g. molars). However, it might not be too fashionable to sport a gold crown nowadays, and the cost of the crown rises with the cost of gold.

Porcelain crowns $$$

  • Porcelain or ceramic crowns provide a natural look, and are a good option for front teeth restorations. There is no metal used, so the treatment is toxic-free. However, they are not as strong as metal crowns and if you grind your teeth regularly you should consider opting for another material. Porcelain is also is more costly than other types of crowns.
 

Zirconia crowns $$$

  • A relatively new material, zirconia crowns provide the best combination of strength, durability, and aesthetics of metal and porcelain crowns. They are white in nature, and are less likely to cause an allergic reaction being metal-free.
 

E-Max (lithium disilicate) crowns $$$$

  • Lithium disilicate is a very new type of crown in dentistry, and is a type of ceramic crown which is durable, strong, as well as natural-looking. The strength of this material makes it a good candidate as a crown for both front and back teeth. However, they are more expensive.

Is it worth getting a dental crown?

Weighing out the options, the alternative to saving a badly damaged tooth with a dental crown would be to pull out the tooth completely. You might feel even more inclined if the tooth is causing you significant pain. While it might be cheaper in the short run to extract the tooth then repair it, the ultimate replacement of the tooth will cost more (with a dental implant or dentures). If the gap is not replaced, your healthy teeth on either side might start shifting into this new space, causing issues with alignment and damage to the healthy teeth.

At WeSmile Dental, our aim is to save your natural teeth as much as possible, and will run through the various options available to you.

What are our fees like?

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