What Are Dental Crowns?
Tooth decay from cavities, trauma from biting down too hard on an object, or injuries can all affect the structure and appearance of your teeth. If your tooth becomes damaged, it is left susceptible to more serious injuries later on.
If decay or trauma is severe, your tooth’s shape can change. Dental crowns are essentially tooth-shaped “caps” that go over the top of your original tooth to restore its original shape, size, appearance, and strength.
Dental crowns are aptly named. You can think of these as tiny, snug crowns that sit on top of your tooth.
How Are Crowns Attached?
The procedure of attaching a dental crown is commonly performed. For a traditional crown, you’ll need to visit the dentist twice.
First, the dentist will prepare the tooth that needs the crown. This typically involves x-rays, taking a mold of the original tooth, and cleaning the area. Then, the dentist will file down your tooth and remove the outer layer that’s been decayed or damaged. Filing the tooth helps to make space for the crown to be inserted.
An impression is then made of the trimmed tooth, as well as surrounding teeth. This is to ensure that the new crown won’t affect your bite. Next, they’ll put a temporary crown over the trimmed tooth to keep it protected. Temporary crowns are purely meant to keep your remaining tooth safe from harm while the permanent crown is molded.
The impressions taken of your mouth then get sent to a lab that creates the perfect crown to fit into your mouth. This process can take some time, but just remember that your crown is one of a kind!
When the crown arrives, you’ll go back to the dentist one more time so that they can cement the permanent one to your tooth. Crowns are strong and durable, and they won't need to be replaced for around ten to fifteen years.
At some dentist’s offices, you may be able to get a crown same-day provided that they have the necessary equipment. The initial process is the same, but when creating the crown itself, a special device called a “wand” generates a ceramic crown in-office. It takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
When Are Crowns Required?
The biggest downfall with a crown is the time commitment and cost required to get them done. For that reason, dentists will try to use alternative measures whenever possible. However, there are times when getting a crown makes the most sense.
For one, crowns are usually needed when physical damage to the tooth has taken place that is too difficult to correct with fillings alone. Additionally, they can protect a weak tooth from breaking or worsening due to tooth decay.
Crowns can also hold a dental bridge in place, a false tooth held in place by abutment teeth on either side. Crowns can also cover dental implants or help protect a tooth that’s been treated with a root canal.
What Are Crowns Made Of?
Different types of crowns will be available to you when you go in for your procedure. Each has its own pros and cons.
Gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium are just a few of the different metals used in a dental crown. These tend to be the most durable crowns, as they are highly resistant to cracking, chipping, or wear and tear.
The main drawback is that they look like metal, so they’re pretty out of place in the mouth. They’re best used in molars at the back of your mouth that are out of sight.
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain
While these crowns look the most similar to real teeth and are best used for highly visible teeth at the front of the mouth, they aren’t as durable as some other options. Additionally, since ceramic and porcelain are dense materials, they are more likely to wear down teeth opposite them from frequent biting down.
This type of crown serves as a bit of a combination of the two above. While they take on a more natural tooth color than metal alone, you can still usually see the underlying metal showing through on the top of the crown.
These are durable but not as durable as metal alone. They’re also similar in appearance to regular teeth, just not as similar as porcelain alone. So you can think of this option as a nice happy medium.
Resin crowns are the most likely to break down or chip quickly. With that said, they look pretty similar to regular teeth, and they’re by far the most inexpensive of the bunch.
What Are Three-Quarter Crowns?
Whereas traditional dental crowns cover the entire portion of your tooth, three-quarter crowns (onlays) are appropriate alternatives when you still have a solid structure to your tooth. It’s a more conservative approach as opposed to a full traditional crown.
This procedure removes just the affected portion of the tooth and reshapes it to receive a crown.
Are Dental Crowns Safe?
Dental crowns are a safe and effective way to restore the structure and appearance of a damaged tooth. In fact, they are one of the most long-lasting options that require less maintenance than many alternatives.
With that said, discomfort or sensitivity is to be expected in the days after the initial procedure. If you ever feel sensitivity from biting down on the crown, this is normally a sign that the crown is too high and needs to be adjusted by a dentist.
Crowns can also chip or become loose over time. Small chips can usually be repaired, but the crown may need to be replaced if it becomes severe. Loose crowns need to be dealt with as soon as possible, as the cement that holds down the crown can leak into the underlying tooth and cause decay or infection.
Crowns can also fall off under rare circumstances. If this happens, call your provider immediately so they can tell you how to care for your tooth in the meantime while you wait to get in for an appointment.
Do Crowns Need Special Care?
One of the main benefits of a crown is that you don’t need to do anything special after the procedure is done. With that said, you still need to protect the underlying tooth from infection or decay, so practicing proper oral hygiene is still necessary.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day are both the basic principles of good oral hygiene that can help reduce the risk of damage to the underlying tooth, as well as surrounding teeth.
Also, you’ll want to avoid biting down on hard surfaces with porcelain crowns especially, so try not to chew on ice cubes or munch on popcorn kernels.
Even if you do everything you’re supposed to do, your crown may wear down or become damaged. Activities like chewing gum, clenching or grinding teeth, biting fingernails, or using your teeth to open containers can all act to break down your crown.
How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?
Dental crowns are a safe and effective way to restore your mouth’s structural and physical appearance. But they come at a pretty steep price. With that said, the cost comes down to which type of crown you choose to use.
Metal crowns are the most expensive options, whereas resin crowns are fairly inexpensive. The difference is that you’re usually paying for quality. The average price of a dental crown is $1,403, which doesn’t even include the service cost.
That’s inaccessible for most people, especially if they don’t have insurance. The good news is that dental crowns just got a lot more affordable.
How To Get Affordable Dental Crowns
The price of dental crowns can be more than you can handle, but that shouldn't be a barrier between you and the care you need. Flossy uses a pay-as-you-go model that only charges you for the services you receive. No deductibles, no monthly premiums, no hidden fees. It’s just transparent pricing that you’ll know upfront before you go.
Through our tech-enabled user experience, you can find a dentist, book an appointment, and pay all in one app. And did we mention that you can save up to 50% on most services? That means you can get a dental crown for much cheaper than the national average.
Plus, Flossy’s renowned providers are vetted against rigorous criteria to ensure that you’re receiving the highest quality care possible. They must meet the following requirements:
- Utilization of modern techniques or technology
- Peer recommendations
- Four stars or more on popular review sites like google or yelp
- Graduates from top tier dental programs
- Experience and knowledge
- Excellent patient reviews
It’s high-quality care without the high prices. If you’re ready to get that dental procedure you’ve been waiting for, book an appointment now. There’s no waiting period to meet with a provider, so you’ll get in as soon as possible.
Get a Dental Crown With Flossy
A dental crown covers an existing tooth to protect it from further damage due to tooth decay or injury. It helps restore the strength and appearance of a broken tooth and is highly durable for long-lasting relief.
Traditional crowns cover an entire tooth and can be made of metal, porcelain, or a combination of both. Metal is more durable, but porcelain tends to look most similar to the original tooth. It often comes down to personal preference and cost of service.
Even though the average cost of a crown is nearly $1,500, they are durable and long-lasting. They don’t require any special care after the procedure is completed, making them an effective way to improve the appearance of a broken tooth.
But you shouldn’t need to pay more than you have to. Flossy can save you up to 50% on select dental services without hidden fees or monthly premiums. You’ll know what you owe before you go.
No insurance? No problem.
Book an appointment with top dentists in your area for any dental procedure from crowns to teeth whitening, bridges to routine cleanings.
The Dental Care Market | ADA
Dental Crowns: What Are They, Types, Procedure & Care | The Cleveland Clinic
Dental Implants: Placing Abutments and Making Your Prosthesis | Fairview
Crowns | Mayo Dental and Implant Clinic