A dental crown is a thin, custom-made sheath that perfectly fits over your natural tooth, adding strength, protecting your natural tooth, and creating a beautiful finish that will help you feel more confident in your smile.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is like a thin shell that fits over your natural tooth. It is made especially for your tooth so you won’t feel any real difference, and it looks completely natural so that no one will even know it’s there.
Dental crowns are usually made from porcelain, which is a very strong material that can be matched to your natural tooth colour. However, you will also have the choice of a dental crown made from gold, which doesn’t have the same natural look, but does offer added strength - that’s why gold is usually used for back teeth that can’t be seen when you smile, but do more of the heaving lifting when it comes to chewing.
A dental crown is usually required when your natural tooth is weakened, broken or damaged in some way.
For example, many people who have a root canal treatment will get a dental crown placed over the tooth for added strength.
A dental crown can also be an aesthetic treatment for stained or misshapen teeth. For example, if a tooth is discoloured, a dental crown can be fitted over the natural tooth for a whiter smile if standard teeth whitening is not sufficient.
How does a dental crown work?
Your dentist may strongly recommend getting a dental crown in order to strengthen your tooth, or they may offer it as a solution if you’re feeling self-conscious about a discoloured, chipped, or misshapen tooth.
Should you go ahead with a crown, it typically takes two dental appointments, and potentially a colour-match appointment.
During the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the tooth. This involves removing a very thin layer from your natural tooth to make room for the crown, and shaping the tooth. They will take a mould of your tooth to send away so a lab can create your dental crown. Your dentist will then fit a temporary crown over your tooth, which will protect your tooth until you receive your permanent crown.
Before your second appointment, your dentist might ask you to go to the lab for an expert colour match if you are getting a porcelain crown. This is usually only in cases where the dental crown will go on one of your front teeth that you can easily see when you smile, so it’s more important that the colour is perfectly matched to the rest of your teeth. This is a short appointment where an expert will take photos of your teeth and match the colour to a chart.
During the second appointment, your dentist will fit the permanent crown onto your tooth. They will cement the crown to your tooth permanently then shape it to fit your bite. This can take an hour or more to make sure the fit is just right.
Advantages of a dental crown
A crown is an excellent solution to a number of problems, and offers a variety of advantages.
- Strengthened tooth
The key advantage of a dental crown is that it strengthens your tooth, avoiding further damage or issues that could arise due to a weakened tooth.
- Improved appearance
Dental crowns can cover misshapen or discoloured teeth for a brighter, whiter smile you can be confident in.
- Long lasting
With the right care, a dental crown should last for life. It is a long-lasting solution that you can forget about after you get it.
How much does a dental crown cost?
In Australia, a dental crown will typically cost anywhere from $1500 to $2500 depending on the location of the practice, which tooth or teeth are involved and your private health insurance. Your dental insurance may cover some of your treatment, so be sure to check with your provider.
What to expect from your dental crown appointment
Here’s what to expect from start to finish when you get a dental crown.
- Have something to eat and drink before your appointment
- Brush and floss your teeth
- Your dentist will apply a local anaesthetic to numb the area
- They will remove a thin layer from your tooth and shape the tooth
- They will take a mould of your tooth
- They will attach a temporary crown and shape it to your bite
- The whole procedure may be a little uncomfortable but not painful
- Raise your hand should you ever need a break
- The area may be numb for a few hours following the procedure
- The area may be tender for a day or two after the procedure
- During the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary crown
- They will put the permanent crown on to check the fit is correct
- They will then attach the permanent dental crown with dental cement
- They will shape the crown to your bite
If you think a dental crown could be the right solution to your needs and would like to discuss your options with a dentist, National Dental Care is happy to help.
Find your nearest dental office and get in touch today to schedule an appointment.