Dental Crowns: Everything You Need to Know

Dental Crowns: Everything You Need to Know

Dental Crowns: Everything You Need to Know

Dental crowns are used for various purposes, such as protecting damaged teeth or improving their appearance. Depending on what the dental crown is used for, the type of material will vary. Whether you need a temporary crown or a permanent crown, your dentist will choose the material that is best for you.

What are dental crowns, and how do you know if you need them?

According to the American Dental Association, a crown restores a tooth’s shape, size, and function after being damaged or missing. It can improve the appearance or protect the tooth.

A dental crown is needed:

  • if your natural tooth structure is not sufficient to support a tooth that has a large filling

  • if you have tooth decay

  • if you have severely discolored teeth

  • if you have a broken tooth

  • if you have a cracked tooth

  • to attach a bridge to replace missing teeth

  • to protect a weak tooth from fracturing

  • to restore a fractured tooth

  • if you have teeth that are severely worn down

  • to cover a poorly shaped or discolored tooth

  • to cover a dental implant

What are different types of dental crowns, and how long do they last?

There are three different types of dental crowns your dentist can give you. Depending on the issue with your tooth, the type will vary. 

Temporary Crown

Temporary dental crowns are sometimes required between the tooth preparation appointment and the permanent crown placement appointment. A temporary dental crown can also cover a root canal or repaired tooth. The dentist can either place it on a single tooth or use it as a bridge for more than one tooth.

Temporary crowns are usually worn for two to three weeks. Make sure to floss and chew with extra care when you have a temporary crown in place since they are more delicate than permanent ones.

Permanent Crown

A permanent dental crown fully surrounds your teeth. Based on the type of dental material used, the average lifespan of a crown is around 10-15 years. However, some crowns may last for decades with proper care, good dental hygiene habits, and regular dental check-ups.


Sometimes called a three-quarter crown, it only covers parts of the damaged tooth. It’s considered a more traditional approach than complete coverage of your tooth. Onlay’s are recommended when you still have a solid tooth structure. 

What is a dental crown made out of?

No matter what material is used, all crowns are made to fit over the existing tooth. This means that the crown must be the same size and shape as the original prepared tooth. The dentist will take an impression of the tooth in order to make sure that the crown is a perfect fit. Once the crown is made, it will be placed over the tooth and cemented into place.

Crowns usually last for many years, but they may need to be replaced if they become loose or damaged. Your crown should look natural and fit comfortably in your mouth.

Some types of dental materials used to create a crown include:

  • Porcelain Crowns: Compared to other types of dental crowns, all-porcelain crowns offer the best natural tooth color match. If you have an allergic reaction to metal, porcelain crowns are the best route to go. But they cannot match the strength of porcelain fused to metal crowns. In addition, they may wear down the teeth opposite them in the mouth more than metal or resin crowns.

  • Porcelain fused to metal: Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth. This type of crown can match the surrounding natural teeth’s color but can sometimes show the metal structure under the crown’s porcelain cap. The crown’s porcelain is also prone to chipping or breaking off, and the crown-wearing down the teeth opposite it within the mouth. 

  • Ceramic Crowns:  All-ceramic crowns are suitable for front teeth because they have a firm inner core. They often replace metal liners then are capped with porcelain. They last longer than an all-porcelain crown. 

  • Zirconia Crowns: Zirconia is the ideal crown for teeth in the back of your mouth. One of the most significant advantages of zirconia is its durability and strength. One potential disadvantage of zirconia is its appearance. It is hard to match it to a patient’s natural teeth. Some dentists have been hesitant to use zirconia crowns in some circumstances for fear that the hardness of the zirconia could cause wear and tear on opposing teeth.

  • Metal Crowns or Gold Crown: Metal crowns are mainly used for molars. They have the advantage of being extremely strong since they are made from stainless steel or metal alloys. Sometimes dentists use stainless steel crowns for children who need to protect a primary tooth. However, they are not tooth-colored. Metal crowns rarely chip and take long to wear down.

  • Composite Resin Crowns: All resin dental crowns usually are less expensive than other dental crowns. However, they wear down over time and are more likely to break than porcelain fused to metal crowns.

When a dentist decides which material to use for your crown, many factors will be considered, such as:

  • the location of the crowned tooth

  • the position of the gum tissue

  • the amount of tooth that shows when you smile

  • the color or shade of the surrounding teeth

How much do dental crowns cost? 

Depending on the material used and the preparation required, dental crown costs will vary. For example, all-porcelain crowns are in general more costly than metal ones.

  • The price of Gold crowns starts at  $1,200

  • Zirconia Crowns and porcelain crowns starts at $1,200

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have a starting cost of $1,200

The price depends on whether or not you have dental insurance, what your insurance policy actually covers, the dental fees charged by your dentist, and how many added procedures are needed to complete treatment.

A Dental Crown Can Help Improve Your Oral Health!

Dental crowns are an important part of dental care for those who need them. They can help protect your teeth from damage, decay, and other problems. There are many different types of dental crowns available, and the type you choose will depend on a number of factors.

Be sure to talk to your dentist about which type of dental crown is right for you. If you already have a dental crown but it has become loose or the crown falls off you should contact our office immediately.