Your guide to dental crowns: What are they, and when would you need them
If you have a cracked, broken or damaged tooth, a dentist may recommend you get a dental crown. But what is a dental crown, and how could it help you?
We’ve put together a quick guide to explain what this treatment is, how it works, how long it lasts and more.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering that your dentist places and bonds over your entire tooth down to your gum line. This treatment improves how your damaged tooth looks and adds protection, strength and durability.
Dental crowns are usually comprised of porcelain or porcelain and metal combinations.
Why would my dentist recommend a dental crown?
Your dentist may recommend this treatment if too much of your original tooth is damaged or missing. Often, the latter is true if you’ve had a root canal and need to protect and strengthen what tooth remains after treatment.
You may also get a dental crown if you have a:
- stained tooth
- dental bridge or denture (a dental crown will anchor these in place).
Overall, a dental crown protects the tooth from further infection or damage.
How does a dentist apply a dental crown?
Before the dentist can place your dental crown, they need to make room by reshaping the damaged tooth. Then, the dentist will make an impression of your trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth before sending the mould off to a technician.
It may take a few weeks before your crown is ready. In the meantime, your dentist will often give you a temporary crown to protect your tooth until your permanent crown is ready.
When the dentist chooses the material for your crown, they’ll carefully consider:
- how much tooth remains
- the colour of your other teeth
- the position of the gum tissue
- how much of the crown will show when you smile and talk.
When your crown is ready, the dentist will clean your tooth then carefully fit the crown with a bonding material. The dentist will then make necessary adjustments to ensure the crown is aligned correctly and fits comfortably with your bite.
Will getting a dental crown hurt?
You should not feel discomfort while getting a dental crown, as your dentist will ensure you receive the correct numbing. You may feel a little tender after the procedure, but this will go away, typically after a week or two.
Call your dentist right away if you notice any discomfort that concerns you (e.g. persistent pain, particularly when you bite down).
Will my dental crown look natural?
Yes, the dentist will request a custom-made crown to match your teeth – including the correct colour.
How long do dental crowns last?
Your dental crown can last for many years if you properly brush and floss your teeth. It’s also important that you see your dentist regularly (typically every six months).
Depending on your general wear and tear, your crown could last up to as long as 15 years!
How do I care for a dental crown?
It’s crucial that you brush and floss each day thoroughly and follow proper hygiene practices. While the crown itself can’t decay, the edge of the tooth it sits on can decay. See your dentist regularly to ensure your crown is in tip-top condition.
Can a dental crown break?
Yes, your dental crown may break or fall off (though more rarely) over time. If you suspect any issues with your crown, please call your dentist right away so that they can give you a new crown and clean the tooth underneath.
How much does a dental crown cost?
How much your dental crown will cost can depend on the type of materials the dentist chooses and where the crown will sit in your mouth. Ensure you get a quote from your dentist before treatment.
Do you have an extras health insurance policy that provides cover for dental crowns? If so, you may be able to claim all or some of the cost of your treatment through your insurer. It’s important that you check your policy before treatment to be sure of your level of cover.
At BOH Dental, we offer AfterPay so you can easily pay for your treatments in four easy instalments.
Protect your teeth today with quality, affordable care
Are you ready to put your oral health first? Call us today to book an appointment!