Cosmetic Dentistry > Crowns
Most people will experience damage to the surface (enamel) of their teeth at some point. Teeth become cracked, chipped or discolored due to a large range of causes, from severe trauma to the natural effects of aging.
When decay or damage to the surface of a tooth becomes significant, the tooth can be reduced and a custom-made tooth bonded to its surface. This artificial tooth is called a crown. Crowns are also often used to anchor bridges, which are structures that replace missing teeth.
When damage to the tooth extends to the foundation (root) of the tooth, a bridge or dental implant may be a better solution. Your dental professional can discuss your options for restorations with you after an initial examination.
Crowns are most commonly made of porcelain or porcelain bonded to metal (usually gold). Different practitioners may prefer different materials and will take into account your desired results and any allergies or sensitivities when choosing a material for your crown. Crowns are fashioned in a dental laboratory by trained technicians to provide the same strength and appearance as a healthy tooth.
The average life span of a crown is 10 years, but with proper care they may last as long as 30 years.
First, the dental practitioner will remove any decay and shape your tooth to receive a crown. The crown must be thick enough to withstand chewing, which means that the natural tooth below the crown must be reduced.
He or she will then take an impression of your tooth and note how you teeth fit together. You will then be fitted with a temporary crown while the permanent one is constructed in a dental lab.
Certified dental technicians are able to make crowns that fit perfectly with your bite, and that look like natural teeth. They match the color of the restoration to your own natural tooth color.
On a second visit, your temporary crown will be taken off and the fit of the new crown carefully checked. The final crown is then cemented in place, restoring the tooth to its natural strength, appearance and function.
The cost of placing a crown usually ranges from $600 to $3,100. The price is dependent on the material used to create the crown, the number of office visits required, and the complexity of the damage to the original tooth.
Pure porcelain crowns cost more than metal or blended metal/porcelain crowns by approximately 20%.
Insurance will normally cover a portion of the cost of a dental crown.