- What is a Dental Crown?
- Dental Crown Types
- Dental Crown Procedure
- Dental Crown Lifespan
- Dental Crown Cost
- Dental Crown Alternatives
What is a Dental Crown?
When a tooth becomes weakened by decay or injury; receives endodontic therapy (root canal); or requires comprehensive aesthetic improvement—a dental crown can be an effective solution. Designed to “cap” the affected tooth, a crown not only protects the vulnerable tooth body, it restores strength, structure, function, and a natural appearance. In addition, a specialized type of dental crowns—called dental implant crowns—can be firmly attached to dental implants to provide long-lasting, customized replacements for missing teeth.
What Are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?
Custom dental crowns are made of many different materials, using a variety of methods. At Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC, our prosthodontists provide the full range of dental crown options—from traditional to state-of-the-art—to restore teeth according to each patient’s unique dental needs and cosmetic goals. In our on-site lab, our dental crowns are fabricated by our master ceramists according to our prosthodontists’ detailed instructions. Types of dental crowns we provide include:
- All-ceramic crowns (porcelain)
- 3Shape® same-day crowns (CAD/CAM)
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Gold alloys
- Metal Alloys
- Composite resin
Our prosthodontists understand the importance of offering the full spectrum of dental crown options, as each patient’s dental requirements, attributes, priorities, aesthetic standards, budget, and longevity/durability expectations are unique.
Every restoration is custom-designed, fabricated, and fitted to deliver the patient’s most desired benefits.
During the consultation phase of treatment, your prosthodontist will review your oral health and medical history, perform an extensive diagnostic exam, and discuss the types of dental crowns that may be best suited for resolving your dental concerns. For example, while dental crowns made of aesthetically pleasing all-ceramic material may be recommended for visible teeth near the front of the mouth, porcelain fused to metal crowns might be suggested for less noticeable back molars to provide added durability and aesthetics. Your prosthodontist can explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option so that you can make the most informed choice about your care. It may also be important to find out which types of crowns your dental insurance will cover to keep you within budget.
What Does the Dental Crown Procedure Involve?
The dental crown procedure usually begins with local anesthesia injections to numb the treatment area and help prevent discomfort. Once the area is adequately desensitized, the tooth is then prepared by removing damage and decay until only healthy tooth material remains. If the inner pulp of the tooth is infected, a root canal will be necessary.
An impression or digital scan is then taken of the prepared tooth body and the surrounding teeth, which your prosthodontist uses to design your new crown. During the time your crown is being fabricated in our on-site dental lab (which can take anywhere from a day to two weeks depending on the type of crown), you will be fitted with a temporary crown to keep your tooth protected. In the event you are a candidate for one-visit crowns, your prosthodontist can use our state-of-the-art 3Shape® machine to create a same-day crown.
When the final crown is ready, your prosthodontist will check that the crown fits properly and looks as it should. If any adjustments are needed, he can often quickly meet with the on-site lab technician and have minor changes made within minutes. When the optimal fit, bite, and appearance have been achieved, the crown can be cemented in place to complete the procedure.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
The length of time your dental crown will last largely depends on the material and process that was used to craft it. With proper care, some types of crowns can last a lifetime, while others may need to be replaced within ten years. Patients benefit from our on-site dental lab which offers a full range of restoration options, from state-of-the-art ceramic materials like e.max® and zirconia to more traditional porcelain fused to metal.
Prior to treatment, your prosthodontist will discuss restoration longevity as it pertains to material types, fabrication processes, and other considerations of your case so that you are able to make the best choice for your needs. The thorough, precise nature of our prosthodontists’ work combined with the expertise of our ceramists typically translates into longer lasting restorations than you might find from a less skilled or experienced dentist. Even with the best materials, if a crown does not fit properly, is exposed to harmful bite forces, or changes the bite, the crown can become damaged/broken, and you may experience other undesirable dental consequences.
How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?
The overall price for a dental crown depends on the type of treatment and preparation required, in addition to specific details of the restoration. Factors that may influence the cost of a crown include:
- Type of material used
- Technique employed to fabricate the crown
- Location of the affected tooth
- Complexity of the tooth preparation process
- Additional treatment required to improve oral health (i.e. a root canal or periodontal care)
These variables can make the cost of custom crowns change significantly from patient to patient. If you are interested in learning how much your specific case would cost, we suggest that you schedule a personal consultation with one of our prosthodontists.
Our board-certified, fellowship-trained prosthodontists are leaders and educators in the field, offering top-of-the-line care to those in need of reconstructive, restorative, aesthetic, and implant dentistry. Their expertise and years of extensive training make Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC a specialty practice, capable and equipped to handle even the most complex cases. While the specialty work we do may cost more when compared to an average general or cosmetic dentist, we believe our pricing is fair and representative of the quality of our work. Furthermore, our facility contains everything we need on-site to deliver outstanding care at each phase of treatment.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Crowns?
Dental insurance may cover treatment with dental crowns; however, benefits can vary based on treatment plan details. We accept certain dental insurance plans, and our friendly office team can review your coverage, calculate your out-of-pocket costs, and explain different ways to pay for treatment. Qualified patients may choose to arrange a payment plan directly with our practice or look into dental financing available through a third-party lender called CareCredit®. Our goal is to make the quality dental care you deserve more convenient, accessible, and affordable.
What Alternatives to Dental Crowns are Available?
In some cases, dental crowns may not be the most conservative or appropriate treatment, and our prosthodontists may recommend alternative options that are more suitable for your needs. Some potential alternatives to crowns include:
- Inlays & Onlays: For teeth that have too much decay for a conventional filling but do not require a crown, a custom inlay or onlay may adequately protect and restore the tooth. These can be crafted from all-ceramic material in our on-site lab or milled in our 3Shape® machine.
- Porcelain Veneers: When patients with otherwise healthy teeth are interested in improving the size, shape, shade, and/or alignment of their teeth, they are often better candidates for porcelain veneers than crowns. These thin shells of ceramic material require minimal tooth preparation and cover only the front side of each tooth to perfect smile aesthetics.
Contact Our Practice
Contact Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC to learn more about dental crowns or schedule a personal consultation with one of our prosthodontists.