Dental Crowns FAQ

Read on for everything you need to know about dental crowns!

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are a common and popular solution to damaged or unsightly teeth. They’re tooth-shaped caps that sit over the affected tooth, encasing it down to the gum line. Crowns are ideal for restoring the strength, shape, size, and overall appearance of damaged teeth.

What materials are used to make dental crowns?

Crowns are made from various materials, including metal, porcelain fused to metal, and 100% porcelain/ceramic. This means at least one type of crown is suitable for every patient.

Why do I need a crown?

Dentists usually give crowns to adult patients and may recommend one for the following reasons:

  • You have a broken or severely worn-down tooth
  • You have a crack tooth that needs to be held together
  • You have a severely weak tooth at risk of breaking
  • You’re also having a dental bridge, as crowns can help keep them in place
  • You have a tooth that requires a larger filling than possible (usually due to broken or eroded parts of the tooth)
  • You have to cover a dental implant
  • You have a discolored tooth
  • Your tooth is severely misshapen

Occasionally, a dentist may recommend a crown for infant/first teeth. This is usually because:

  • The child has a first tooth that is decayed beyond the treatment of a normal filling, and a crown is the best option to protect it.
  • The child cannot complete or withstand proper oral care techniques, putting them at a much higher risk of tooth decay and its associated problems.

What are the benefits of dental crowns?

Dental crowns can effectively restore damaged teeth, allowing you to use your teeth, jaw, and mouth as normal. A dental crown can support and restore strength to a tooth that has:

  • Been badly damaged by dental decay
  • Requires support after root canal treatment
  • Is severely worn down, possibly as a result of grinding
  • Is cracked and broken
  • Requires a dental bridge

Another reason why dental crowns are a popular choice of treatment is because of the cosmetic benefits they offer:

Crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth by:

  • Hiding discolored or stained teeth
  • Adding height and width to misshapen or undersized teeth
  • Covering a dental implant

Dental crowns have been shown to last longer than any other type of dental restoration, including implants and fillings.

What are the negatives to dental crowns?

While dentists perform thousands of dental crown procedures across the country daily, you should still consider a few things before opting for this type of treatment.

The main disadvantage of crowns is that they require significant preparation before getting fitted. This is because the damaged tooth needs to be shaped so the crown can fit correctly over the top. You can expect your tooth to be filed in both height and width, meaning you will need to make several visits to the dentist’s office. It could also mean a dental crown might not fit if the original tooth is too badly damaged.

There’s a slight risk of nerve damage associated with dental crowns, and approximately 1-15% of patients will require a root canal treatment.

There’s also a small risk of infection if the affected tooth is not thoroughly cleaned out and sealed. Few patients may experience an allergic reaction to the materials used for the crown.

How long can I expect my crown to last?

Your crown’s longevity will vary depending on how much wear and tear it’s exposed to and how well you look after it. Typically, crowns can last between five to fifteen years.

Will my insurance cover my dental crown treatment?

In most cases, crowns are required for functional reasons, so they’re usually covered by most dental insurers. However, coverage may be limited to a particular type of crown, such as metal. We strongly recommend speaking to your insurer about your policy to ensure that you’re covered before starting the procedure.

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