Learn how dental crowns work to restore a damaged tooth.
A dental crown most commonly refers to an indirect custom made covering that is cemented over the top of a re-shaped tooth to offer protection and strength after the tooth has experienced significant damage from a break or disease. Dental tooth crowns are considered to be the next best thing after your natural tooth if you wish to keep a fragile tooth functional for as long as possible. However, it is important to note that nothing compares to the strength and natural barriers against disease and the pressures of biting and chewing that a healthy tooth structure was designed to withstand.
A dental crown usually covers the entire tooth completely, almost right down to the gum line, to minimise the risk of breakage and bacteria being trapped between the tooth crown and the natural tooth. Tooth crowns, or tooth caps as they are sometimes referred to, are designed to provide greater stability for the tooth so that it will last for a longer period of time. A tooth crown can be the ideal treatment solution to a tooth that has experienced significant damage and needs the strength and protection a tooth crown or tooth cap can provide.
How much could you expect to pay for a dental crown?
In many cases, a crown is considered a sign of royalty. In dentistry, that’s certainly not the case.
Used to restore a damaged tooth, dental crowns are basically indirect, custom-made coverings cemented over the top of a re-shaped tooth. Why? To offer protection and strength after the tooth has experienced significant damage from a break or disease.
Dental crowns are designed to provide greater stability for the tooth, enabling it to last for years — even decades! They’re primarily used for teeth that are broken or too damaged to hold a filling, where the filling has been lost or those that are either badly decayed or severely discolored.
Dental crown cost typically ranges from $400 to $650 for those made with composite resin and between $900 and $1,900 for an indirect, custom-made ceramic one. This price, of course, depends on the size of the crown, the complexity of the construction and any additional services required to ensure the quality of the overall service.
If the cost of a dental crown seems expensive to you, take into account the materials and time required to construct one. Most dentists utilize advanced technology to produce solid dental crowns that are matched to the patient’s tooth shape and color.
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Dentists and dental lab technicians are highly trained in all areas of ceramic restorations and will work with you every step of the crown process to ensure you love the look and feel of your new crown at the end. You will be given time to see the final crown in place before the dentists goes any further to confirm you’re happy with the shape, colour and overall appearance. Only then will the crown be permanently cemented in place.
Private health cover doesn’t always cover dental crowns!
Many insurance companies cover primary dental care. That consists of regular dental check-ups and other preventive services. However, most don’t pay for dental crowns.
If you’re like many Australians who use private health insurance to pay for your dental care, your policy might cover about half the cost of a dental crown. You’ll be required to pay the remaining balance yourself. Check with your dentist to see if he or she offers a payment plan.
Aussies with a high level of extras cover may have the cost of their dental crown paid by their insurance provider if “major dental” is part of their policy. To be certain, check with your health fund provider to see what dental care is covered.
Restores the tooth
Easy to maintain
Long term fix
Understanding your condition is the
key to making the right choices for you
The tooth has previously had a large filling that is now failing. To replace the filling with a new filling will only provide a short term fix and put the tooth at risk of breaking beyond repair.
The nerve of the tooth has become infected forcing you to have a root canal treatment in an effort to keep the tooth. A root canal procedure weakens the tooth, therefore, a crown may be recommended to bring strength and stability back to the tooth.
A hairline crack or fracture has developed on the tooth surface. If left exposed and untreated, the crack could develop further causing the tooth to break beyond repair, pain on biting due to the tooth structure flexing when you chew, or with a significant crack, it may reach the nerve of the tooth causing it to become infected and die.
The tooth has been badly worn down from clenching and grinding and due to these intense pressures of a person with a bruxing habit, a regular composite filling will not be able to withstand these forces like an indirect dental crown can.
The outer layer of the tooth has eroded away from an acidic diet, improper tooth brushing, medical conditions such as reflux or regular medications and now needs a protective covering that can provide a sustainable barrier from these elements if the tooth is to survive long term.
How long will vary greatly on a number of factors such as diet and lifestyle, the position of the teeth and bite, bruxing habits, medical health and medications and overall oral health and home hygiene care. That said, if you maintain the health of the crown, the tooth and gum holding things in place you can expect to get up to 20 years out of a dental crown. It is important to note that dental tooth crowns are considered the most long term solution to keeping a fragile tooth strong and in your smile for as long as possible.
It can be difficult to identify and diagnose a cavity or infection under a crown in a visual examination or with an x-ray as the dental crown is radio-opaque meaning it blocks the radiation from passing through making it almost impossible to see what’s happening underneath and inside the tooth crown. The majority of the time, the dentist relies on the patient’s feedback on symptoms felt by the tooth to diagnose a cavity under a dental crown. In some cases, the dentist may suggest removing the crown in order to inspect the tooth structure and give a clear diagnosis.
No teeth whitening gel or teeth bleaching products will change the colour of a dental crown of any kind, no matter what dental material has been used to complete the dental crown. If you want to whiten your teeth, it is advised to do this prior to having your tooth crown procedure so that the dentist can match the tooth crown to the colour of your freshly whitened teeth.