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What you need to know about dental crowns

You may have had some major dental work done recently, and your dentist is recommending a dental crown. Before you make a decision, there are a few things you need to know about them.

What exactly is a dental crown?

  • Sometimes a dental crown is referred to as a cap, and that is essentially what it is: a cap that fits over a tooth. Each crown is customized to match the shape and size of the tooth it’s covering, plus the shade is selected to match the rest of your teeth so it looks natural.

Why is a crown needed?

  • Most often, a crown is recommended after you’ve had a root canal completed on one of your teeth, but that isn’t the only time crowns are used. A dental crown could be recommended any time you have a tooth that is weak – like with a large filling in it – because the crown can help strengthen the tooth and prevent it from cracking or fracturing.

Temporary vs. permanent crown

  • As you go through the process of having a dental crown fitted, your dentist will likely fit you with a temporary crown before the permanent one is ready. A crown will be cemented into place permanently once it’s made.

Types of materials used

  • Historically, dental crowns would be made of either gold or silver – depending on what your dentist chooses – but more recently dental crowns are made of zirconia or porcelain that are the same shade as your natural teeth.

How much does it cost?

  • The cost of a crown will vary from dentist to dentist, but there is a range you can use to budget. Generally speaking, a crown will cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 depending on the materials chosen for your permanent crown.

How long will a dental crown last?

The answer to this question isn’t always going to be the same for everyone. The length can depend on the experience of the dentist placing the crown or how the tooth reacts to the crown being placed.

However, the biggest factor in determining the life of a dental crown is in your individual dental hygiene and how well it’s cared for. To make sure the crown lasts for as long as possible you should be brushing twice daily and flossing regularly. If you can avoid hard foods like nuts and hard candy, you may be able to extend the life of the crown even longer.