Need a Dental Crown? 9 Common FAQs Answered

Dr Aran Moorthy

This article was written by Australian dental surgeon Dr Aran Moorthy, BDS. Dr Moorthy has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Adelaide. You can read more about Dr Moorthy here >

Porcelain Crowns

If your dentist has told you that you need a dental crown (aka tooth crown or cap), you may have a few questions. From price and materials to procedures and aftercare, we answer  the most common ones. If you’d like more info, please call us on  9201 9886. We’d be happy to help.

1. What is a crown (tooth cap)?

As the name sounds, a dental crown is a shell-like device that fits or caps over an existing tooth. Crowns are versatile little things and can be used in several ways to restore a worn down, broken or damaged tooth. They can hide a misshapen or discoloured tooth. And, they can hold a dental bridge or act as a tooth replacement with a single dental implant (attached by an abutment).

2. What are crowns made of?

Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, such as:

  • Resin
  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Metal (such as gold)
  • A combination of metal and porcelain (porcelain-fused-to-metal)

3. What does a dental crown cost?

Dental crown costs vary depending on the type of material you choose and the manufacturing process. The price could be anywhere from $1500 to several thousand dollars.

4. What is a CEREC Crown?

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Aesthetic Ceramics. Available here at Oxford Street Dental in Leederville, CEREC crowns are created in the clinic (hence, in-chair) in just a couple of hours. They offer a lot of advantages. For example:

  • CEREC Milling Machine for Same Day CrownsAs they are made on the day, you save time – avoiding repeat appointments
  • Being ‘made on the day ‘means there is no need for a temporary crown. Temporary resin crowns can be bulky, uncomfortable and annoying.  Plus, you must return to the clinic to have the temporary crown removed, then replaced with your newly created traditional crown.
  • CEREC crowns are strong, sturdy and resist abrasions. This means they will last longer.
  • Because they are made using 3D technology without any guesswork, the fit is precise.

5. How long does a dental crown last?

CEREC CrownsThe longevity of your tooth crown will depend on several things. And, a crown’s lifespan can vary – anything from 10 to 30 years. The material used will play a part. For example, gold or porcelain is more long-lasting than resin. Your dental habits also need to be considered. For example, if you grind your teeth or use them to open bottle tops, you may be asking for trouble! Having your dental crown placed correctly by a skilled, experienced professional is also essential. And finally, oral hygiene is imperative. If you let your gums or tooth root get infected, you may compromise the health of your tooth, and your crown may need to be replaced.


6. Does it hurt to get a crown?

Getting your new crown should be a pretty painless procedure. We’ll thoroughly numb you around the area, so you shouldn’t feel a thing. At worst, there may be mild discomfort. Of course, if you suffer anxiety, please tell us before your appointment. We have medications to make you feel more at ease, depending on the severity of your issue.

7. Will my crown look natural?

Providing you follow the advice of your dentist and choose an appropriate crown, you should have a new tooth cap that fits in naturally with your remaining teeth. But again, there are various factors to consider.

Crowns in back teeth: If your crown is for your back tooth/teeth and will be barely visible, it may be reasonable to settle for a less expensive crown. Providing it gives you a solid functioning tooth, it may not matter that it looks a little less than perfect.

Crowns in front teeth: If you need a crown in your front tooth/teeth that’s always on display, your dentist may strongly recommend you pay more for a high-quality, beautifully sculpted porcelain crown with intricate, lifelike details. Today, we can create tooth crowns in almost any shape or colour possible, with beautiful natural-looking details in translucency.

8. Can’t I get a veneer instead?

Dental veneers are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain (or other material) carefully placed at the front of the tooth for aesthetic reasons. They don’t hold the tooth together. However, they may hide a small chip. If your tooth has been compromised and has cracked or weakened, you will need a crown, not a dental veneer, to maintain the life of your tooth.


9. How do I look after/maintain my new dental crown?

Treat your new dental crown as if it were one of your natural teeth. Make sure you brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Throughout the day, rinse your mouth with water and minimise your consumption of sugary and acidic foods.

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