When you think of your dental health, many things come to mind. For example, brushing twice daily and flossing regularly can help maintain it. But did you know that a potentially more serious repair is available if needed, like getting a dental crown? A crown is put in place when the underlying tooth structure has either been weakened or removed entirely due to decay, trauma or wear and tear of teeth grinding at night.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to dive deeper into what these caps are made from, as well as discuss their benefits. Whether you’re interested in understanding how they work or want to learn more about what varieties there are available, this blog post is here with everything you need to know about dental crowns!
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a type of dental restoration placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to protect and strengthen it. The crown encases the entire visible part of the tooth above the gum line, restoring its shape, size, strength, and appearance. The dental crown’s purpose is to restore the appearance and function of the tooth and to protect it from further damage.
Types of Dental Crowns and Cost
There are many different types of dental crowns nowadays, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. The cost of a dental crown often varies depending on the crown type and the location of the dentist’s office. Here are some of the most common types of dental crowns and their approximate cost:
- Metal Crowns
These crowns are made from a mixture of metals such as gold, silver, and palladium. They are known for their durability and long-lasting nature. They are also less likely to wear down or chip than other types of crowns. However, metal crowns are not as natural-looking as other types of crowns and may not be suitable for front teeth. The cost of a metal crown ranges from $800 to $1,500.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns (PFM)
These crowns are made from a mixture of porcelain and metal. They are a popular choice for front teeth as they have a natural-looking appearance. They are also strong and durable, making them suitable for molars. However, PFM crowns can chip or wear down over time and may require more maintenance than other types of crowns. The cost of a PFM crown ranges from $1,000 to $1,800.
- Ceramic Crowns
These crowns are made from a mixture of porcelain and zirconia. They are a popular choice for front teeth as they have a natural-looking appearance, similar to that of a natural tooth. They are also biocompatible, making them a good option for those with metal allergies. However, ceramic crowns are not as strong as other types of crowns and may not be suitable for molars. The cost of a ceramic crown ranges from $1,200 to $2,000.
- Resin Crowns
These crowns are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. They are more affordable than other types of crowns and are a good option for temporary crowns. They are also less likely to cause allergic reactions than other types of crowns. However, resin crowns are not as durable as other types of crowns and may wear down or chip over time. The cost of a resin crown ranges from $600 to $1,200.
- Porcelain Crowns
These crowns are made entirely of porcelain, providing a natural-looking tooth. They are often used on front teeth, providing a more esthetic solution. Porcelain crowns can be more brittle than other options and may require more maintenance. The cost of a porcelain crown ranges from $1,200 to $2,000.
- Gold Crowns
Gold crowns are made from a high-quality gold alloy. They are known for their durability and longevity, and they are less likely to wear down or chip than other types of crowns. They are not as natural-looking as other types of crowns and, therefore, not suitable for front teeth. The cost of a gold crown ranges from $1,500 to $3,000.
- E-max Crowns
E-max crowns are made from disilicate lithium ceramic, which is strong and durable, making them suitable for molars. They have a natural-looking appearance and are biocompatible, making them a good option for those with metal allergies. E-max crowns are among the most expensive option, costs range from $1,800 to $2,500.
- Zirconia Crowns
These crowns are made of zirconia, as the name states, which is a type of ceramic highly resistant to wear and tear. They are very durable and provide a natural-looking tooth. They are suitable for both front and back teeth. They are also biocompatible and a good option for those with metal allergies. They can be costlier than other options, and the cost ranges from $1,500 to $2,500.
When Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in a variety of situations, some of the most common include:
- To hold pieces of a damaged tooth together or to prevent a weak tooth from breaking down completely.
- To fix a tooth that has been significantly damaged by wear and tear.
- To use a large filling to protect and support a tooth when not enough natural tooth is present.
- To hold a dental bridge in place.
- To cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
- To help protect a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.
- To improve teeth appearance, dental crowns can be used as part of cosmetic dental procedures.
It’s important to note that a dental crown is a permanent solution and should only be considered after all other options have been ruled out and discussed with the dentist. The dentist will also evaluate the health of the tooth and the surrounding gums before recommending a dental crown.
How to Maintain Dental Crowns Properly
Maintaining dental crowns is important in order to ensure they last as long as possible and to avoid any complications. Here are some more tips for maintaining dental crowns:
- Brush and floss regularly: Use floss or interdental cleaners to get rid of food particles and plaque from the area surrounding the crown after brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is important to clean the margins of the crown, where it meets the tooth, to prevent decay or gum disease.
- Avoid hard and sticky foods: Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice or hard candy, as well as sticky foods that can pull the crown off or damage the adhesive holding the crown in place.
- Use a mouthguard: If you grind your teeth at night, use a mouthguard to protect your dental crowns. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, can cause damage to the crowns or the underlying teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Keep your regular dental check-up appointments and let your dentist know if you notice any changes or issues with your crowns. Your dentist will examine the crowns for wear, decay, or loose fit and will advise accordingly.
- Avoid biting on hard objects: Avoid biting on hard objects such as pens or fingernails as it can damage the crown.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can stain the crown and increase the possibility of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: In addition to brushing and flossing, be sure to use an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria and maintain good oral hygiene.
- Be mindful of your dental habits: Be mindful of any habits that may put extra pressure on your crowns, such as using your teeth to open packages or bottles.
The Bottom Line
Dental crowns are an excellent option to strengthen your teeth and enhance the look of your smile. They can last for many years if taken care of properly. Before having dental crowns, make sure to discuss with your dentist any concerns or inquiries you may have. By following these tips on how to maintain dental crowns properly, you can ensure your crowns stay in good condition for years to come.
At Parkwood Dental, our experienced dentists and staff are here to help you get the most out of your dental crowns. We strive to provide quality, personalized care for all our patients. Schedule your appointment today to learn more about different types of dental crowns.