What is a Crown?

A crown is often described as a tooth shaped cover or “cap” that is placed over a tooth. The crown helps restore the tooth back to its original shape, size and also is able to reinforced and strengthen the tooth. In addition, it can also be used to improve the appearance of the tooth.

Generally, the entire visible portion of the tooth is enclosed by the crown when cemented into place.


When are Dental Crowns Necessary?

There are a variety of reasons why a particular tooth would need a crown. Here are a few common indications:

  • A large cavity which compromises the strength of the remaining tooth structure ( >50% loss of tooth structure)
  • To reinforce a tooth that has a large filling in place as a filling only fills the cavity but does not reinforce the tooth.
  • To reinforce a tooth that has cracked / worn down
  • Tooth that has undergone root canal treatment (molars/ premolars) to protect the weakened tooth.
  • To mask discolouration, misshaped teeth
  • To modify/ improve the smile


What type of Crowns are available?

Permanent crowns can be made out of a variety of materials including

  1. Metal ( precious or non-precious metal)
  2. Porcelain fused to metal
  3. All ceramic


1. Metal Crowns


Metals that are used in crowns include alloys which are high in gold/platinum (precious metal) or cobalt-chromium (non-precious metal). They tend to withstand biting and chewing forces well and tender to last the longest as they tend to have a low rate of wear. In addition, they tend to rarely chip or break but aesthetics are the only drawback of this material. These crowns are good for molars which tend not to be in the aesthetic zone.


2. Porcelain fused to Metal


These crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth but will result in more wear on the opposing teeth. The disadvantage of this type of crown is that the porcelain portion can chip off over time or the metal underlying the margins of the crown can show through as a dark line especially when the gums recede with time. This material are generally used on teeth where the metal is needed for strength.


3. All Ceramic


These crowns provide the best natural colour match compared to any other crown types. They are suitable for people with metal allergies. It can be used for both back and front teeth and has less aesthetic complications with time unlike the porcelain fused to ceramic crowns.

Your dentist wants to create a crown that looks natural and fits comfortably in your mouth. There are a few factors to consider when deciding the material for your crown:

  • Tooth location
  • Position of gum tissue
  • Patient’s preference
  • Amount of tooth shown when smiling
  • Colour/ current shade of the tooth
  • Amount of functional load on the tooth



How is a Crown placed?

Several steps are involved, and two dental visits are generally needed to complete the treatment.

  1. The tooth is prepared by removing its outer portion and all decay present is removed at the same time. If additional tooth structure is needed to support the crown, the dentist may build up the core of the tooth usually with a tooth coloured material.
  2. An impression is taken to assist with the crown fabrication process
  3. A temporary crown is placed while you wait for the permanent crown to be ready in about 2-3 weeks depending on the lab. While you have the temporary crown, this tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold and usually the temporary material is not as hard the permanent crown so take it easy when chewing on that particular side where the temporary crown is.
  4. The dentist or a laboratory technician then uses the model to fabricate the crown.
  5. When the new crown is ready, the dentist places it in your mouth and makes the necessary adjustments. When you and your dentist are satisfied with how it looks and feels, the crown is cemented in place.



Before Crown: Worn Filling with Decay and broken Cusp



Crown is placed over prepared tooth



  1. Crowns starting from $1,100
  2. Bridges starting from $1000 (resin bonded bridges), Conventional Bridges from $2500
  3. Veneers starting from $900



Q – What are the differences between Crowns, Bridges & Veneers?

Crowns – Purpose of a dental crown is to cover, protect and restore the damaged tooth, can also be used for cosmetic purposes as well

Bridges – Purpose of a bridge is to replace one or more teeth by anchoring on existing teeth, can be used for cosmetic purposes as well

Veneers – A laminate that is used to reshape or change the shade of the current tooth, primarily used for cosmetic purposes


Q – How long do Crowns / Bridges / Veneers last?

The average lifespan of a crown/ bridge/ veneer is about 10-15 years provided there are no complications (ie. recurrent decay, fracture of teeth, etc.)


Q – Can Prosthetic Teeth lead to any Cosmetic problems?

Prosthetic teeth can lead to cosmetic problems if they are done without proper planning and considerations. Therefore, it is best to obtain professional advice before proceeding with any prosthetic work from a healthcare professional.



What to Expect after Treatment


Caring for your teeth after Crown Placement

To prevent damage to a crown, there are a few things you can do:

  • Brush twice a day and floss once a day to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. Follow post op and recommendations given by your dentist to assist in maintaining your new crown.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. This is especially important for tooth-colored crowns.
  • Be sure to follow up with regular maintenance, scaling and polishing appointments with your dentist.