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What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns, often referred to as caps, are designed to cover and protect teeth. They are commonly used after a root canal procedure but are not limited to this situation. Crowns may be necessary when a tooth is broken, partially damaged, or has a large cavity, leaving the tooth structurally compromised or vulnerable. In such cases, a crown is applied to cover the entire tooth surface, providing protection and reinforcement.

What are alternatives to dental crowns?

While a dental crown is often the recommended solution for a vulnerable tooth, there are alternative treatments available. One such method is Bioclear, a relatively new bonding technique that encases the entire tooth surface, akin to a crown. Another option is the use of onlays or inlays, which are ceramic materials applied to the damaged portion of a tooth, depending on its size and location. Unlike a full crown, onlays and inlays do not require the reduction of the entire tooth structure, but rather replace only the compromised part with ceramic material.

What types of dental crowns are there?

Historically, many dental crowns were made of gold. However, gold crowns have become less common due to cost and a preference for more natural-looking alternatives. The most prevalent type of crown today is the all-ceramic crown, typically made from materials such as zirconia or Emax (a lithium disilicate material). These materials are known for their strength and durability. Porcelain fused to metal crowns, which have a metal base covered by porcelain, are also used but less frequently. The drawback of this type is that the underlying metal can become visible if the gums recede over time. Therefore, ceramic crowns, with their natural appearance and lack of metal, are now more widely used.

Is a dental crown necessary after a root canal?

In most instances, it is advisable to get a dental crown following a root canal procedure. A root canal can leave a tooth brittle and structurally weakened, especially if it's a molar or premolar, which are subjected to significant force during chewing. A crown is generally recommended to restore strength to these teeth. For front teeth, the necessity of a crown may depend on individual biting and chewing habits.

What is involved in the dental crown procedure?

The process involves reducing the size of the tooth to prepare for the crown. This reduction is necessary to rebuild the tooth to its original size. Our office utilizes digital impressions for this process. These 3D scans are sent to a milling machine, allowing us to fabricate the crowns in-office on the same day. This means patients can receive their permanent crown in a single visit, without the need for a temporary one. The placement of the dental crown is typically pain-free. If a root canal has been performed, numbing may not be necessary. Otherwise, local anesthesia is used before reshaping the tooth and placing the crown.

Are there any consequences for getting a tooth crowned?

While the process of crowning a tooth involves reducing its size, it is then built back up, and the benefits of a crown generally outweigh any negatives. Crowns provide enhanced strength and durability, significantly extending the lifespan of the treated tooth.

Is it worth putting children's teeth in crowns?

Typically, crowning children's teeth is not standard practice and is considered on a case-by-case basis. In cases involving very young children, a temporary crown, often made of stainless steel, may be used until it is naturally replaced by permanent teeth. The decision to crown a child's tooth depends on factors such as the child's age and the stage of jaw development.

Do crowns look like normal teeth?

Modern ceramic crowns closely resemble natural teeth. When well-crafted, it is usually quite difficult to distinguish a crown, even on a front tooth.

How should I take care of my dental crown?

Dental crowns should be treated like any other teeth in terms of oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing are essential. The use of a water pick, which effectively cleans between teeth, can be beneficial. Consistent and proper oral care is key to prolonging the lifespan of a dental crown.

How long can you expect a dental crown to last?

Dental crowns do not have a specific shelf life and can last many years with proper care. On average, crowns can last a minimum of five years, but this can vary based on individual factors such as home care and diet.

Can you get cavities on crown teeth?

Yes, it is possible to develop cavities on teeth with crowns. The junction between the natural tooth and the crown can be more susceptible to decay. However, with diligent oral hygiene, the likelihood of developing cavities can be significantly reduced.

Does insurance cover dental crowns?

In most cases, dental insurance covers a portion of the cost for a dental crown. Our office handles all insurance claims and research on behalf of our patients.

If a tooth exhibits extensive decay, a dental crown may serve as the optimal solution, both aesthetically and functionally.


Opting for a crown placement can uphold the integrity of the natural tooth, which is paramount for maintaining the supportive bone structure and stability of adjacent teeth.

The initial phase involves taking an impression to create a model of the teeth and bite, ensuring the crown's appearance and functionality mimic that of the natural tooth. Subsequently, the affected tooth is prepared, removing decayed areas. An impression of the prepared tooth is then taken to ensure proper fit when the final crown is affixed.

While in some cases, the final crown can be fitted on the same day, other instances may necessitate the placement of a temporary crown while awaiting the creation of the final restoration. With appropriate care and oral hygiene, crowns can often endure a lifetime.

There are four common types of crowns:

  1. Ceramic: Ideal for visible teeth as they closely resemble natural teeth.
  2. Porcelain Fused to Metal: Notable for strength, durability, and natural appearance.
  3. Gold Alloys: Employed for enhanced strength, particularly for individuals with nocturnal teeth grinding.
  4. Base Metal Alloys: Strong and corrosion-resistant, suitable for situations with limited existing tooth structure.

Learn about Same Day Crowns with CAD/CAM technology

Following Crown, Bridge, Inlay/Onlay Preparation:

Tooth Preparation:

  • Sensitivity and tenderness are common initially; if persistent, contact our office.
  • If anesthesia is administered, refrain from chewing until numbness subsides.
  • The final restoration may be held on the same day or at a subsequent appointment.

For Temporary Restorations:

  • Consume softer foods and avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy items.
  • Practice gentle cleaning around the restoration, avoiding excessive pressure.
  • Notify us immediately if the temporary restoration becomes loose or damaged.

After Final Restoration Placement:

  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for 24 hours to allow the cement to bond fully.
  • Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods may occur initially, resolving within a few weeks.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing after meals, flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash.

Ongoing Care:

  • Continuously care for your restoration by adhering to proper oral hygiene practices.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to eliminate any residual particles.

Contact our office with any concerns or queries regarding your treatment.

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