A Guide to Dental Crowns: Procedure, Cost, Types, and More

If you’ve been suffering from damaged teeth due to decay or trauma, there are different restorative treatments you can explore. One such option is a dental crown or cap, a type of device that preserves and strengthens the teeth. It also gives them a natural appearance by restoring their size, shape, and color.

Different Reasons to Get a Dental Crown

There are various reasons why people undergo a dental crown procedure. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Cracked or Chipped Tooth

This will depend on the severity of the damage. If the tooth can no longer be fixed with less complex treatments such as dental filling or bonding, our specialists may recommend getting a crown.

  • Discolored or Misshapen Teeth

A dental crown is an ideal solution for people with severely stained teeth caused by an infection or a bad reaction to antibiotics. These cases could often no longer be addressed by whitening treatments. Additionally, our specialists may also recommend this procedure for a misshapen tooth due to an accident.

  • Severe Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can often be fixed with a dental filling. However, for severe cases, a cap might be necessary to save the tooth’s function and appearance.

How a Dental Crown Procedure Is Done

A dental crown procedure will be different from patient-to-patient, depending on the state of the teeth. Some people may require additional treatment, like getting a root canal. But generally, here are some of the steps you can expect during the treatment:

Multi-Day Procedure

This type of treatment is done in two sessions. During the first appointment, our specialist will assess the overall dental condition of the patient. This may involve getting an x-ray of the tooth. After that, our dentist will shape and remove the damaged portion to help preserve the natural teeth. Then, a mold will be taken and sent to our technician. The creation of the crown can take weeks to complete.

Once it is ready, you will be called in for a second visit. If the color and fit are perfect, our dentist will then cement the crown to your tooth.

Single-Appointment Procedure

This type of treatment can be completed within 2-4 hours. First, our dentist will take a digital scan of your mouth. This will be used as a reference when creating the crown. The creation process can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Once done, the cap will be fitted and cemented over your remaining tooth.

For cases of missing teeth, dental crowns can also be used in conjunction with other treatments. Some of these include:

  • Dental Implants

In people with congenitally missing (born without certain teeth) or severely decayed teeth, implants are used to mount a dental crown. The treatment is completed in three phases:

  1. Placement of the implant on the jawbone;
  2. Attachment of the abutment (a post that helps anchor the dental crown in place) and;
  3. Insertion of the dental crown.
  • Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is used to fill a gap in your teeth. It is attached by anchoring it to the surrounding teeth. In cases where the adjacent tooth is showing signs of decay, a crown will be used to support the bridge in place. Your dentist may recommend any of the following types:

  1. Traditional dental bridge
  2. Cantilever dental bridge
  3. Maryland dental bridge
  4. Implant-supported dental bridge

Types of Dental Crowns

Teeth caps can be made from different materials. Here are some of the most common types:

Ceramic Crowns

These mimic the color of the teeth and are often made of a combination of porcelain and other materials. They are recommended for people who are allergic to metal.

Metal Crowns

These are made of a blend of different metals such as copper, gold, and nickel. They are also one of the most durable kinds, with little chance of chipping or breaking.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns

This type of crown can be customized to match the surrounding teeth. However, in some cases, the metal portion may become visible after some time.

How Much Is a Dental Crown?

There are different factors that can affect the price of a crown. These include the type of treatment, number of teeth that need fixing, type of tooth cap, and so on. Generally, the procedure can range from $800 to $1700 or more. Be sure to check with our office for financial assistance like insurance coverage and discounts.

Possible Complications

Complications during and after the treatment are rare, but they do happen. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following problems:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Tooth infection
  • Discomfort or sensitivity
  • Detaching of the crown
  • Chipping of the crown

Post-Treatment Care and Maintenance

With proper care and maintenance, your dental crowns can last between 10 and 30 years. Here are some tips to consider to ensure their longevity:

  • Avoid bad oral habits such as teeth grinding and clenching. It is also best to stay away from food that is tough to chew, like hard candy. For added protection, you can also use a night guard over your crown.
  • Be sure to observe good oral hygiene, like brushing your teeth regularly. This will prevent food chunks and plaques from getting inside the crown.
  • Do not skip a dental visit. This will help ensure that your teeth and crown are in excellent condition. Your dentist can also assess if you need follow-up treatments.

Alternatives to a Dental Crown

Dental caps can be considered as investments. If you’re not ready to cover the full cost of crowns, our doctors can always recommend other options like:

Onlays and ¾ Crowns

These treatments function in the same way as crowns. However, unlike the former, they only cover a portion of your teeth.

Veneers

Teeth veneers are a great alternative for people looking to get a cap for cosmetic purposes. However, unlike crowns, these are only used to cover the front of the teeth.

Teeth Filling

A filling can serve as a temporary alternative to a dental crown, especially in cases of a tooth fracture or decay. However, take note that fillings are more susceptible to breakage compared to crowns.

Tooth Extraction

This treatment is by far the cheapest alternative to a dental crown. However, it’s important to note that getting one can result in problems like shifting of the adjacent teeth and difficulty in chewing.

Bring Back the Confidence in Your Smile!

At Exceptional Dental of LA, we help patients suffering from damaged teeth regain confidence in their smiles. We offer various dental crown treatments customized to their needs. For questions regarding our services, give us a call or schedule an appointment in one of our locations today!