Dental Crowns

Cosmetic crowns for teeth

Dental crowns are used to correct decayed or damaged teeth when there is not enough structural material remaining to support a regular filling. They can also be used to replace lost teeth, as precision attachments for certain types of dentures, and to provide strength to teeth that have been weakened as the result of a root canal.

The Cost of Dental Crowns

Dental crown prices vary from dentist to dentist, but you should expect to pay in the neighborhood of $500 to $3,000 per tooth. You can also get gold or silver crowns made; these are more expensive than porcelain ones.

Patient Evaluation

You'll need to have your dental problem evaluated by a professional; your regular family dentist has all the expertise needed to assess your specific needs. Keep in mind that a dental crown cap effectively replaces an entire tooth; if your teeth can be repaired using veneers or other techniques, you might save some money. Dental crowns are one of the most expensive cosmetic treatments available.

Understand the Dental Crown Procedure

In order to have a crown placed, your dentist will have to remove vital structural components of your tooth, if any remain in the spot where the dental crown cap will be placed. This will be performed surgically, under a local anesthetic. Typically, this preparation takes place during a separate visit; it is at this time that your dentist will make measurements that the crown manufacturer needs to create your dental implant. Your dentist may place a temporary crown at the end of this session.

The permanent dental crown is typically placed during a subsequent visit to your dentist. Again, you'll be put under local anesthetic, and the crown will be grafted into your gum with cement.

Risks Associated With Dental Crowns

Having a crown implanted requires that you have central parts of your natural tooth structure permanently and irreversibly removed. If you have other alternatives available to you, it is recommended that you exhaust them first.

A small portion of patients report allergies, either to the anesthetics used during the procedure or to the materials the crowns are made from. Your dentist can use alternative anesthetics, or have your crowns made from alternate materials.

Recovering from a Dental Crown Procedure

If your dentist gives you a temporary dental crown, you should avoid chewing with it if at all possible. Should you be forced to use it to chew, stick to soft foods and avoid anything hard or sticky. Take extra care when flossing, as the floss can become wedged in the temporary crown, causing you to inadvertently pull it out.

Discomfort, sensitivity and loosening of the crown are the most commonly reported problems. Your dentist can advise you on how to deal with these, should they arise.

Alternatives to Crowns

Dentures, false teeth and dental veneers can all serve as alternatives to crowns. Onlays and ¾ crowns can also be used in lieu of full crowns; these alternatives cover only a portion of the tooth rather than the entire tooth, and don't necessarily require the dramatic surgical preparation that a full crown does.