Dental Crown Guide: Understand Dental Crowns Types, Procedure and Costs

Cracked, decaying, discolored or otherwise damaged teeth can cause discomfort and a lack of confidence while also potentially jeopardizing your overall oral health. Dental crowns are a favored way of protecting and restoring your natural teeth by recovering the shape, size and strength of the compromised tooth. With so many different materials ranging from metal, porcelain or ceramic crowns and anxieties surrounding the process, pain scale and price range, we wish to put these worries to rest and teach you the truth about dental crowns and how they can transform your smile.

In this comprehensive dental crown guide, we will take a closer look into the various types of dental crowns available, what the process encompasses, dental crowns cost range and much more. Do not underestimate the power that dental crowns can have over your confidence and overall wellbeing!


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns


What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a fixed prosthetic device used to cover or “cap” a damaged natural tooth. They are a popular type of dental restoration that can repair the shape, size, strength and overall appearance of a patient’s tooth. For individuals suffering from a worn, cracked or broken tooth, or rather a weakened tooth due to tooth decay or a root canal, dental crowns can be an effective remedy. They are cemented onto the tooth or a dental implant, and is considered a permanent dental solution.

Dental Crown Procedure: What Happens During a Dental Crown?

First Visit

The first visit to your dental office will involve your dentist performing a thorough examination of the tooth that needs a crown. X-rays may be necessary to thoroughly assess the damage or decay. After local anesthesia is administered, your dentist will begin prepping the tooth to accommodate the crown, which includes shaping and removing any damaged portions. Once the prep work is complete, an impression is taken that will allow the dental lab to create a customized dental crown. Finally, a temporary tooth crown is applied to provide protection and maintain functionality while you wait for your second visit.

Second Visit

During your second visit to the dentist, the temporary crown is removed, and your natural tooth is examined to ensure it is properly prepared for the dental crown. If needed, the dentist will perform any final touches to the tooth prep. Finally, the crown is cemented to the tooth, and final adjustments will be made to ensure a proper bite and optimal comfort. Here, your dentist will make any necessary modifications. They will then take the time to thoroughly explain how to properly care for your new dental crown, such as hygiene practices and any recommended precautions.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are made of zirconium oxide, a type of durable ceramic material. They are known for their strength, biocompatibility, and natural appearance, making them a popular choice for both front and back teeth.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns, as the name suggests, are made entirely of porcelain. Many dentists will recommend them for their natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance, and depending on the type of porcelain used, all porcelain crowns can be used for both back and front teeth.

PFM Crowns

PFM crowns, standing for porcelain fused to metal, consist of a metal alloy base and a layer of porcelain fused to the outer layer. These types of dental crowns are favored for combining the strength of a metal base with the aesthetic beauty of a porcelain exterior.

Gold Crowns

Gold crowns are made of gold alloy, which is a mix of gold and other metals such as copper and nickel. This type of dental crown is particularly favorable for molars, as they are known for their durability, biocompatibility, and minimal amount of tooth reduction required for preparation.

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are made of a variety of different metal alloys, including stainless steel, cobalt-chromium, and nickel-chromium. Their metallic appearance means they are not often used for more visible teeth, however their strong and durable properties make them a popular choice for back teeth.

Ceramic Crowns

Ceramic crowns can be composed of a variety of ceramic materials, and offer superior aesthetic properties and a natural look, while being a great option for patients with sensitivities or allergies to metals.

When Would You Need a Dental Crown?

A dental crown may be right for you if you have broken teeth or an otherwise cracked or damaged tooth from excessive wear or decay. Crowns help to protect and support the damaged natural tooth. Some other reasons your dentist might suggest a dental crown include to be used as an anchor for a dental bridge, coverage for a dental implant or cosmetics purposes, such as improving the shape, size, color and overall appearance of a tooth.

Veneers vs. Crowns: Which Option is Right for Me?

Veneers are another common alternative to a dental crown, and you may be wondering what option is better for you, your situation and lifestyle. The choice between crowns and veneers depends upon several factors, including the condition of your teeth and your aesthetic goals. Veneers are often used to treat minor issues such as discoloration, small chips, slight misalignment, and gaps between teeth as an aesthetic fix, whereas dental crowns serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose. If you face more serious dental issues, such as broken or cracked teeth, crowns may be the better option. Your dental professional will be able to talk you through our options and determine the best treatment plan for you.

How Long do Crowns Last on Teeth?

The expected lifespan of your dental crowns depends on several factors, including the type of crown used, your personal oral hygiene practices and overall oral health. A permanent crown can last between 5 to 30 years, and regular dental check-ups are essential for monitoring the condition of your crowns, allowing you to address any issues when or if they arise.

Is it Painful to Get a Crown?

The process of getting a dental crown should not be painful, as your dentist will administer local anesthesia for the preparation of your tooth. After the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some mild discomfort and sensitivity around the tooth, however most patients are able to manage this discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications. Any anxiety or worries should be discussed with your dentist, who can help by answering any questions or concerns you have to make the process as stress-free as possible.

How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?

The cost of a dental crown can range significantly depending on several factors, including the type of dental crown you choose, where you live, and the dental professional you work with. Generally, you can expect a dental crown to range between $800 to $3000. Before proceeding with a crown, you should always discuss the price range with your dentist, considering available payment plans, potential insurance coverage and financing options. Ultimately, dental crowns are an investment into your overall oral health and wellbeing.


Dental Crown Services in Philadelphia, PA

If you think dental crowns may be the answer to your dental issues or insecurities, reaching out to a professional is the first step in your journey to a healthier smile. At Independence Dental Group, our team will take the time to consult with you, assessing your needs to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you and your teeth. Our office is located in Philadelphia, PA, and Dr. Steven Gelbart is renowned as the top cosmetic dentist in the region. With a wide range of comprehensive services including dental and cosmetic dentistry, our passion is maintaining the health of your teeth and providing the best client care possible. Reach out to us to learn more about the transformative power of dental crowns and say hello to a healthy and confident smile!