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Front Tooth Crowns: Everything You Need To Know

Front tooth crowns can help fix damaged front teeth. Learn how they work, what they’re made of, and how you can afford them.

Last updated on

July 31, 2023

Katharine Hall

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Front Tooth Crowns: Everything You Need To Know

The goal is always to try to keep your natural teeth in top shape, but cavities, trauma, and gum disease can cause your teeth (and your general oral health) to take a turn for the worse. The good news is that when this happens, there are ways you can fix it with the help of some dentistry techniques.

Crowns are traditionally used to fix imperfections in the back teeth (or the molars), but you can use crowns on the front teeth to correct decay and other abnormalities. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about front tooth crowns so you can use them to your advantage.

What Are Front Tooth Crowns?

A crown is a cap placed on top of damaged teeth. They are usually used to protect the inside of a tooth and cover a tooth after a root canal has been completed. Crowns cover the visible portion of a tooth and help restore structure and function to the mouth.

Crowns usually fit over the top of molars, but you can get front teeth crowns to help fix damage towards the front of your mouth, too. These work in similar ways and essentially fix a front tooth that has been badly damaged from decay or trauma.

Front teeth crowns are much less known than traditional crowns, but they are still viable options for front-facing teeth. They are usually about two millimeters thick and are made of porcelain to mimic the appearance of surrounding natural teeth.

There are two types: full crowns and ¾ crowns (onlays). Full crowns cover the entire tooth and require the natural tooth to be filed down more aggressively. Onlays only cover a fraction of the tooth and are used when teeth have sustained less damage.

Types of Dental Crowns

Crowns can be made of many different materials, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Metal crowns: Nickel, chromium, or even gold crowns can be used. These are the most durable types of crowns and last much longer compared to other options. The only drawback is that they are usually not desirable for the front teeth because they are metallic in appearance and do not look natural.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: This option is similar in durability to pure metal crowns, but the difference is that a layer of porcelain covers a layer of metal to give it a more natural look. 

This makes them a great option for the front teeth so that you can maintain your beautiful smile. Bear in mind that the porcelain has the potential to chip, which can expose the metal underneath.

All-ceramic or porcelain crowns: Porcelain and ceramic crowns contain no metal underneath, so even if they chip or crack, they still look like your real teeth. This is typically the best option if you have a metal allergy, though it isn’t very strong and will likely need to be replaced sooner than metal.

Pressed ceramic crowns: Made of highly compressed ceramic in their core, these are more long-lasting than regular porcelain crowns while still providing a good color match for your natural teeth. 

Resin crowns: This is a tooth-colored material that is mainly used in dental fillings. It is less expensive than traditional crowns, though it is the least durable and will likely need to be replaced soon.

Why Do You Need a Front Tooth Crown?

Front tooth crowns are typically not the first course of action for correcting imperfections on the front teeth. In most cases, you can get by with a little bit of dental bonding rather than a full crown. However, depending on the situation or the severity of the damage, a dentist might recommend you get a frontal crown.

Significant Tooth Decay

Cavities, or caries, are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that form tiny openings or holes. These occur when bacteria form plaque on your enamel which hardens into tartar. This acidic tartar then eats away at the outer layers of the tooth, causing decay.

Cavities, if caught early enough, can usually be fixed with a filling which is a common procedure that restores the structure and function of your teeth with ease. But when left untreated for an extended period, they can do significant damage to your teeth.

Cavities on the front teeth are less common than cavities on the back teeth, but if you have significant damage to the front teeth, a crown might be the best option to prevent further damage.

Excessive Trauma

If you just have a tiny chip, dental bonding can fix light damage to restore the shape of your front teeth. If your tooth has sustained immense damage from forceful trauma, you might need a front tooth crown to restore its function and appearance.

After a Root Canal

Root canals are more common on the back teeth because they are a bit more susceptible to cavities compared to those on the front. However, you can still get a root canal on the front teeth to correct the damage.

Root canals on front-facing teeth are simpler than when performed on molars because there is less space between the outside of the tooth and the root. During a root canal, the infected pulp is drilled out and removed before being filled with filling to restore the structure of the tooth without the need for extraction.

In order to protect the sensitive inner area of the tooth that’s been removed, you might need to get a dental crown to pop over the top of the front tooth for extra protection.

Front Tooth Crown vs. Veneers

Front tooth crowns and veneers are both used to restore badly damaged front teeth, but they are not the same. The biggest difference is that front tooth crowns cover the entire tooth, whereas porcelain veneers only cover the front of the tooth and are often used for cosmetic dentistry purposes.

Veneers are made of porcelain, and they bond to the front surface of the tooth. This tends to make them more aesthetically pleasing because they show less of your gum line in comparison. 

With that said, crowns are a more permanent solution because they are thicker and adhere to all sides of the tooth rather than just the front. Crowns have the potential to last a lifetime with proper care, though veneers will need to be replaced after a few years.

Front Dental Crown Procedure

Placing a dental crown is a routine procedure that is safe and comfortable. First, you’ll have a consultation with your dentist to make sure that this is the right route for your treatment. Once it’s decided that a crown is the best option, you’ll likely need to schedule a follow-up appointment to come back in and get it placed.

Once you come back, you’ll be given an anesthetic to feel more comfortable throughout. Then, the broken tooth will be filed down on all sides so that a tooth-shaped mold can be taken. This mold is then sent to a lab where your permanent crown is created. In the meantime, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth.

Once the custom dental crown comes back in a few weeks that fits over your tooth, you’ll come back to get the temporary crown removed and the new crown placed over. From there, you’ll come back to the office for regular checkups to make sure that everything is looking, and feeling, exactly as it should.

Dental Crown Cost

One of the main reasons people do not get crowns for themselves is because of the cost. Dental crowns can cost upwards of $1,500, though the price varies depending on the material used, the type of crown you’re getting, and the location of your dentist.

Depending on the type of insurance you have, your dental plan might cover the cost of crowns. Since they’re considered restorative and necessary for the maintenance of your dental health, most dental insurance companies will cover at least some of the cost of crowns. However, the extent that they cover might be limited to certain types — and front tooth crowns might not fall under the umbrella.

But considering that over 33% of Americans do not have dental coverage, it means that there is a wide population of people who do not have access to important care. And needing to pay out of pocket for procedures like crowns can be completely inaccessible.

Luckily, Flossy is here to help your dental health and your wallet. You don’t have to worry whether or not you are covered with Flossy. With no hidden fees, no monthly premiums, and no membership, you just get dental discounts when you need them.

Flossy can connect you with a high quality dental professional to make getting a dental crown as cost-effective as possible. And don’t worry — all of the providers in our network are vetted against a set of rigorous criteria.

The best way to see the difference is to try it for yourself. Find a dentist near you today and get the dental care you’ve been waiting for.

Caring for Front Tooth Crowns

Front tooth crowns don’t require any special care that your natural teeth wouldn’t. This means that you want to continue to make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly with toothpaste and floss, despite the fact that your crowns can’t get tooth decay like regular teeth. 

Taking good care of your crowns can also help them to last a bit longer. You should continue to see a dentist twice a year for checkups to monitor your crowns and make adjustments when needed, but if you take care of your crowns, you can go longer without needing them to be replaced.

In Conclusion

Front tooth crowns are basically caps that are placed over your front teeth to restore tooth structure after it has sustained damage from cavities or trauma. These can be made of many different materials, and they restore the function of your teeth and provide a semi-permanent solution to tooth loss.

With proper care, crowns have the potential to last a long time, making them a cost-effective option for tooth repair. However, crowns are not cheap, and for people without insurance or those with poor coverage, it can be challenging to get the care needed.

Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that only charges you for the cost of your procedure. Use Flossy instead of insurance or as a supplement to your current policy. Rest assured that by booking a Flossy dentist, you’re getting the best dentists at the best prices.

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Cavities/tooth decay - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Dental Crowns: What Are They, Types, Procedure & Care | Cleveland Clinic

Dental coverage, access & outcomes | ADA

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