If you’re considering dental crowns, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to explore the uses of dental crowns, the process of getting a crown, and the pros, cons and costs. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of how dental crowns can enhance your oral health and restore your smile with confidence.
Understanding Dental Crowns
Dental crowns, also known as tooth crowns, are custom-made restorations that cover and protect damaged or weakened teeth. They are used to address the following dental issues:
- Restoring severely decayed teeth: When a tooth is extensively decayed or has a large filling, a dental crown can provide added strength and protection.
- Strengthening cracked or fractured teeth: Dental crowns help to hold together fractured teeth, preventing further damage and potential tooth loss.
- Covering discolored or misshapen teeth: Teeth that are severely stained or misaligned can be transformed with the help of dental crowns, improving both aesthetics and function.
- Support for a bridge or dentures: When multiple teeth are missing or need to be replaced, a dental bridge or dentures can be used to restore the functionality and aesthetics of the smile. Dental crowns are often used to support these restorations.
The Process of Placing a Dental Crown
Getting a dental crown typically involves multiple visits to the dentist for consultation, preparation, placement and follow-up.
- Examination and preparation: Your dentist will examine the affected tooth and may take X-rays to evaluate the extent of damage. The tooth will be prepared by removing any decayed or damaged portions, and an impression of the tooth will be taken.
- Temporary crown placement: While your permanent crown is being custom-made in a dental laboratory, a temporary crown will be placed over the prepared tooth to protect it.
- Crown placement: Once your permanent crown is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and carefully fit the permanent crown onto the tooth. Adjustments will be made for proper alignment and bite, ensuring a comfortable fit.
Longevity of Dental Crowns
One common concern is the longevity of dental crowns. While the lifespan of a crown can vary depending on various factors, including oral hygiene and individual habits, dental crowns are known for their durability. On average, a quality tooth crown can last between 10 and 15 years.
To ensure the longevity of your dental crown, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for routine check-ups. Additionally, avoiding habits like teeth grinding or using your teeth as tools will help preserve the integrity of the crown.
How Much do Crowns Cost?
The cost of dental crowns can vary depending on several factors, including the material used, the complexity of the case, and the dentist’s location. In Australia, the average cost of a dental crown ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 per tooth.
It’s worth noting that the costs can increase if extensive preparation work is required before fitting the crown. For example, if a dental implant or root canal procedure is needed, these treatments can drive the costs up.
Since dental crowns are generally considered a restorative procedure, rather than a cosmetic one, they may be partially covered by dental insurance, depending on your level of coverage. It’s recommended to consult with your dentist and insurance provider to determine the specific coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.
Are Crowns the Right Choice for You?
Depending on your oral health issues, there are a number of pros and cons associated with dental crowns. Understanding these can help you to decide if a dental crown is right for you.
Pros of Dental Crowns
- Protection and Restoration: Dental crowns provide excellent protection and restoration for damaged or weakened teeth. They can help reinforce teeth with large fillings, fractures, or extensive decay, allowing you to preserve your natural tooth structure.
- Enhanced Aesthetics: Crowns can improve the appearance of discolored, misshapen, or severely stained teeth. They are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, resulting in a seamless and natural-looking smile.
- Durability and Longevity: Dental crowns are known for their durability and longevity. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for 10 to 15 years or even longer. This makes them a cost-effective solution for long-term tooth restoration.
- Functional Improvement: Crowns can restore the functionality of damaged teeth, allowing you to bite, chew, and speak comfortably. They can also help in maintaining proper jaw alignment and preventing further dental complications.
- Versatility: Dental crowns are versatile and can be used to address various dental issues, including tooth decay, cracks, fractures, misalignments, and cosmetic concerns. They can be applied to both front and back teeth, providing comprehensive dental restoration.
Cons of Dental Crowns
- Removal of Tooth Structure: To accommodate a dental crown, a significant amount of tooth structure needs to be removed. This irreversible process can weaken the tooth and make it more susceptible to sensitivity or other potential complications.
- Potential Sensitivity: After receiving a dental crown, some patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. This sensitivity typically subsides within a few weeks.
- Risk of Crown Failure: While dental crowns are generally durable, there is a small risk of crown failure over time. This can occur due to factors like tooth decay at the crown margin, improper fit, or trauma to the crowned tooth.
- Adjacent Teeth Impact: Placing a dental crown on one tooth may affect the neighboring teeth. The adjacent teeth may require some modification or preparation to accommodate the crown, potentially altering their natural structure.
- Cost: The cost of dental crowns can be a consideration for some individuals, as they are typically more expensive than other dental restorations. However, it’s important to weigh the long-term benefits and longevity of crowns when considering their cost.
By understanding the uses, longevity, placement process, and costs associated with dental crowns, you can make an informed decision about your oral health. Consult with your dentist to explore your options and take the first step toward a beautifully restored smile.