Your Dental Crown Questions Answered

Posted on: 18 March 2022


A dental crown covers your entire tooth's crown, and it can be made from metal, porcelain, or composite resin. While metal crowns are usually more durable, porcelain crowns look the most like natural tooth tissue. Composite resin is also white like teeth, but it isn't as attractive as porcelain. If you would like to know more about dental crowns and why you may need one, keep reading.

Why Might You Need a Dental Crown? 

The leading reason to get a dental crown is to strengthen a tooth. Teeth can weaken for many reasons, such as tooth decay. Even after the cavities are replaced with fillings, the tooth loses some strength, and it is more likely to break, especially where the fillings meet the tooth tissue.

Your tooth also becomes much weaker after root canal treatment, so your dentist will likely recommend a dental crown if the tooth isn't already protected with one. Teeth that have been rebuilt after losing a lot of tissue from shattering can also benefit from dental crowns.

Besides strengthening teeth, however, dental crowns make your teeth look perfect without doing much. For example, if you can't afford braces or your teeth are too weak for braces, dental crowns can make them look straighter. Similarly, the crown can hide stains that won't respond to teeth whitening.

What Happens During the Process?

Depending on the type of crown and what your dentist offers, you may have your dental crown done in one or two visits. In most cases, the crown needs to be sent to a lab to be crafted, which will require at least two visits. If the dentist has the ability to craft the crown in-office, you may get your crown in just one visit.

Regardless, the dentist will start by taking a mold of your mouth. They will then file down the enamel on the desired tooth and take another mold. If the mold needs to be sent to the lab, the dentist will put a temporary crown on the tooth until the permanent crown is ready. If the dentist can make the crown, no temporary crown is needed.

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?

On average, a dental crown lasts 5-15 years. They typically cost up to $3,000, depending on the type of material used. The exact lifespan, however, depends largely on how well you care for your dental crown. The only real risk to dental crowns is decay at the gumline. If decay occurs, bacteria can slip under the crown and cause it to fail.

Dental crowns can be a great way to protect your smile. They can strengthen teeth, which may prevent tooth loss. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.