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Dental Crowns - Maria Lalousi

27 Oct


A crown, sometimes known as dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely covers a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth.

The most common method of crowning a tooth involves using a dental impression of a prepared tooth by a dentist to fabricate the crown outside of the mouth. The crown can then be inserted at a subsequent dental appointment. Using this indirect method of tooth restoration allows use of strong restorative materials requiring time-consuming fabrication methods requiring intense heat, such as casting metal or firing porcelain which would not be possible to complete inside the mouth.

Why would I need a crown for my teeth?

  • To protect a weakened tooth (for instance, by decay, by root canal treatment, by an extensive filling) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To cover misshaped or severely dis-coloured teeth
  • To cover a dental implant
  • To make an aesthetic improvement

What types of crowns are available?

Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Metal crowns are a good choice for back teeth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). These crowns can be a good choice for front and back teeth.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. All-ceramic crowns may be used at any tooth. The absence of a metal substructure allows ceramic crown to be made with enhanced biocompatibility, translucency and superior aesthetics. This means that you can have beautiful crowns on your teeth that look and feel exactly like the natural teeth. They do not leave a black line at the gum level as seen in so many conventional crowns.


What is the clinical procedure for getting a dental crown fitted?

During the first visit, the tooth/teeth will be prepared; this involves reshaping the tooth/teeth and removing any decay to allow the crown to be placed. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. For instance, all-metal crowns are thinner and require less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the crown.

Impressions are taken and sent to a dental laboratory where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office within two weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the colour of the neighbouring teeth. During this first visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made. Temporary crowns are usually made of acrylic and are held in place using temporary cement.

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

How long do dental crowns last?

On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 10 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene instructions and your personal mouth-related habits. It is advisable that you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth (or if you do, you will need to use a mouth guard to protect your restorations), biting nails or pens for example.


To learn more about our crowns procedures email us at to arrange a consultation