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Your Complete Guide to Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are frequently recommended by dentists as a restorative treatment for damaged or decayed teeth. This procedure helps to strengthen and protect the affected tooth, ensuring its functionality and appearance are restored. They have been around for centuries and have evolved over time to become one of the most reliable and versatile solutions in modern dentistry.

perfect smile
perfect smile

Types of Dental Crowns: Benefits & Cost

 Dental crowns are available in various materials each with its own set of benefits and costs. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of dental crowns available.

There are several different types of dental crowns available, each with their own unique benefits and costs. These include: 

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns
  • Gold crowns
  • Zirconia crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) Crowns

PFM crowns are a popular choice for their strength and natural appearance. They consist of a metal base that is covered with a layer of porcelain, making them both durable and aesthetically pleasing. PFM crowns are also more affordable compared to all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns.

All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain Crowns

All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are made entirely of ceramic or porcelain material, making them the most natural-looking option. They are also ideal for those who may have allergies or sensitivities to metal. However, these crowns can be more expensive than other types.

Gold Crowns

If you want durable and long-lasting dental crown, then go for gold crowns. They are often used for molars or teeth that require more strength due to their ability to withstand heavy biting forces. However, gold crowns are significantly more expensive than other types of crowns and may not be as visually appealing.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are crafted from a highly resilient ceramic material known as zirconium oxide. This substance is known for its exceptional strength and durability, making it an excellent choice for dental crown restorations. They are known for their strength and ability to resist chipping, making them a popular choice for those who grind or clench their teeth. Zirconia crowns also have a natural appearance similar to all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns.

What’s the Cost of Each of These Dental Crown Types? 

The price of dental crowns is not fixed and can vary based on different factors. These factors include the type of material used for the crown, the specific location of the tooth in your mouth, and the level of skill and experience possessed by your dentist. It is important to consider these variables when determining the cost of getting a dental crown. 

On average, PFM crowns can cost between $800 to $1,500 per tooth, while all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns can range from $800 to $3,000 per tooth. Gold crowns, being the most expensive, can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 per tooth. Zirconia crowns are in a similar price range as all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns.

Insurance Coverage for Dental Crowns

If you’re considering getting dental crowns, it’s worth checking if your dental insurance offers coverage for them. In certain situations, such as when the crowns are necessary for functional or restorative purposes, there’s a possibility that a portion of the cost may be covered by your insurance plan. 

However, it is essential to check with your insurance provider beforehand to ensure coverage and understand any limitations or restrictions.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Dental Crown?

Choosing a dental crown may seem like a big decision. But don’t worry, there are important things to think about that can help you make a smart choice. When you think about these things, you can feel more sure about your decision.

Durability and Longevity

When choosing a dental crown, it’s essential to think about how strong and long-lasting it is. PFM crowns are known for their strength, but they may be prone to chipping or breaking if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. 

On the other hand, all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are more delicate but with proper care, they can last up to 15 years or even longer. If durability is a priority, gold and zirconia crowns have the highest level of durability, typically lasting between 20-30 years on average.

Aesthetics and Natural Appearance

For front teeth or visible areas, aesthetics may be a top priority when choosing a dental crown. All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are known for their natural appearance, mimicking the translucency and shine of real teeth. They are an excellent choice for those looking for a more aesthetically pleasing option. 

Gold crowns may be less desirable in visible areas due to their color, while PFM crowns can sometimes show a dark line at the gumline.

Allergies or Sensitivities to Materials

Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials used in dental crowns. For example, those with a metal allergy may experience discomfort or irritation with PFM or gold crowns. In these cases, all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns would be the best choice.

Tooth Location and Functional Requirements

The location of the tooth being crowned and its functional requirements should also be considered. For example, molars and premolars are subjected to more pressure and force when chewing, so a stronger material like gold or zirconia may be a better option. 

Front teeth may not require as much strength and can benefit from the natural appearance of all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns.

Cost Considerations

Dental crowns can vary in cost depending on the material used, location of the tooth, and any additional treatments needed. All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns tend to be more expensive than PFM or gold crowns due to their natural appearance and durability. 

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that a higher upfront cost for a dental crown may save money in the long run as it may last longer and require fewer repairs or replacements.

Potential Risks and Complications

Like any dental procedure, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with getting a dental crown. Some of these may include:

  • Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after getting a dental crown. This is usually temporary and should subside in a few weeks. If the sensitivity persists, it’s essential to consult with your dentist.
  • Discomfort: It is normal to experience some discomfort or soreness after getting a dental crown, especially if the tooth needed significant preparation. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate this discomfort.
  • Allergic reactions: As mentioned earlier, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials used in dental crowns. It’s crucial to inform your dentist of any known allergies before getting a crown to avoid potential reactions.
  • Potential damage to neighboring teeth: In some cases, the neighboring teeth may be affected during the preparation process for a dental crown. This can happen if too much tooth structure is removed, resulting in weaker teeth and possible damage in the future.
  • Chipping or cracking: While dental crowns are designed to be durable, they can still chip or crack under certain circumstances. This is more likely to occur with porcelain or ceramic crowns, so it’s essential to take precautions such as avoiding hard foods and using a nightguard if you grind your teeth.

What to Do If Issues Arise

In the unlikely event that you experience any issues with your dental crown, it’s essential to notify your dentist as soon as possible. They can check the crown to find out what’s causing the problem. 

Depending on the severity, they may suggest one of the following steps:

  • Adjustments: If the issue is minor, such as a rough edge or uneven bite, your dentist may be able to make adjustments to the crown to improve its fit and comfort.
  • Replacement: If the crown is significantly damaged or not fitting properly, your dentist may recommend replacing it with a new one. They will take into consideration any potential issues that may have caused the problem, such as grinding or clenching teeth.
  • Removal: In rare cases, the dental crown may need to be removed entirely. This is typically only necessary if there are severe complications such as infection or damage to the underlying tooth structure.

It’s really important to do what your dentist says and go to any check-up appointments to make sure your dental crown is working well and keeping your mouth healthy. If you take good care of it and do what you’re supposed to, a dental crown can stay in good shape for a long time, giving you lots of advantages for your teeth and overall health.

Dental crowns offer a multitude of benefits for those needing to restore or enhance their teeth. They can improve both the function and appearance of your smile, allowing you to eat and speak comfortably while also boosting your confidence. 

When considering a dental crown, it’s crucial to weigh all the factors, including durability, aesthetics, material allergies or sensitivities, location and functional requirements of the tooth, and cost. It’s also important to be aware of potential risks and complications that may arise and how to address them promptly. 

By taking these considerations into account and following proper care instructions, you can enjoy a long-lasting dental crown that will greatly improve your oral health and quality of life. 

Want to know more about dental crowns? Talk to our experts at Aesthetic General Dentistry for more information. 

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