Don't Get Dental Crowns
Before Reading This!
About dental crowns
Caring for dental crowns
Same-day crowns vs traditional crowns
Costs & Payment options
01 About dental crowns
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that encases the entire tooth above the gums. The main purpose is to protect the tooth, restore functionality and create pleasing aesthetics. A prosthetic is customised for the individual and bonded into place to provide a permanent covering. This is a popular solution because it replicates the shape, colour, size and strength of natural teeth.
What are dental crowns for?
A dental crown protects and supports the tooth, by mimicking the qualities of natural enamel. This benefits patients with cracked, broken, weakened, damaged or decayed teeth.
Beyond this, crowns can secure a bridge in place, cover an implant or repair large cavities. They’re also a common solution for minor cosmetic issues (discoloured, crooked, stained or unsightly teeth).
Permanent crowns are suitable for adults, but children at high risk of tooth decay may benefit from a temporary stainless steel crown to protect their baby teeth.
What are dental crowns made out of?
Dental crowns are available in different materials:
- Metallic crowns (gold, or another alloy)
- Resin crowns
- All-ceramic crowns (porcelain)
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns
- Stainless steel crowns
What is the best dental crown material?
The best dental crown material is ceramic. Crowns made from solid blocks of porcelain are generally the most suitable.
- Porcelain is highly resistant to cracks and fissures
- Porcelain crowns look natural and provide the best colour match
- Biocompatible and suitable for people with metal allergies
- Suitable for both front and back teeth
At Mona Vale Dental we prefer to use all-ceramic crowns for our patients
Is getting a dental crown painful?
Local anaesthetic is used to numb the tooth, so the crown preparation shouldn’t be painful. Patients may experience temporary discomfort or sensitivity after the procedure, but this can be effectively managed with painkillers. If the pain persists or becomes severe, make sure you make an appointment with your dentist.
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What are the risks of getting a porcelain dental crown?
There are few risks, as the ceramic materials used are biocompatible and accepted by the body. We don’t use metal or mercury.
It’s worth noting that getting a crown is a non-reversible treatment, because some natural enamel is removed to accommodate bonding. This means your tooth will need to be covered by a replacement, if your porcelain crown eventually becomes worn out.
Some individuals experience temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods as a result of removing the enamel, although this is uncommon because the porcelain shell is as strong and effective as enamel.
Your dentist will speak with you about any potential risks.
What to expect after treatment?
Your ceramic crown may initially feel a little strange in your mouth, as your teeth adjust to the new sensation. This is normal, but passes quickly! There will be some numbness for a few hours, due to the local anaesthetic, but it wears off. Don’t chew on your lips or cheeks during this time. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods for around 24 hours, so you don’t sabotage the bonding process.
Do you need a crown after a root canal?
It’s important that a crown is made for the tooth after root canal treatment. There are two reasons for this:
The crown protects the weakened tooth from future fracture
It helps to create a seal around the tooth and minimises the chances of reinfection
02 Caring for dental crowns
How long can dental crowns last for?
Although dental crowns are considered a permanent solution, they don’t last forever. The average lifespan is between 5 and 15 years, but this depends on how well you take care of your oral hygiene and whether you grind your teeth or not.
How to take care of dental crowns?
To care for dental crowns you should:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day (morning and night)
- Floss daily with a fluoridated toothpaste
Please also see your dentist and hygienist every six months for regular maintenance.
There are no extra steps required to clean your porcelain crowns.
But please note, it’s important to avoid:
- Grinding your teeth
- Biting fingernails
- Using your teeth as a tool to chew ice or open packaging
You risk shortening the lifespan of your crown, if you’re in the habit of doing any of this.
Can a tooth get infected under a crown?
Yes. Unfortunately, some people fall into a false sense of security and become complacent about their oral hygiene when they get a crown. This is a mistake, because bacteria can easily travel under the crown and infect your tooth if you’re not diligent about cleaning.
Can dental crowns be replaced?
Yes. In the case of very minor chips, a composite resin can be used to restore the crown. However, a replacement is required for extensive damage. Your dentist can organise a replacement for you.
What to do if a dental crown falls out?
Remove it from your mouth so you don't swallow or accidentally inhale it
Don’t discard the crown - your dentist may be able to install it back in your mouth, depending on the condition it’s in
Call your dentist for an emergency appointment
Keep the affected tooth clean by gently brushing it twice a day and rinsing with warm salty water after you eat
Can a dental crown be whitened?
No. Whitening treatments don’t work on porcelain, because of its properties. You can’t change the colour of a crown after it’s bonded to your mouth. However, the crown can be colour matched to your desired tone before installation, during the customisation process.
Is there anything you shouldn’t eat or drink with porcelain crowns?
Be careful when eating brittle, sticky or crunchy foods. This includes hard candy, nuts, raw vegetables and popcorn. There’s no need to avoid these foods completely, but they can dislodge your ceramic crown if you’re not gentle, or overdo it.
Although porcelain is resistant to stains, you should also reduce your intake of highly pigmented beverages, such as black tea and red wine. Rinse your mouth well or brush your teeth, when you indulge from time to time.
03 Same-day crowns vs traditional crowns
What to expect when getting a dental crown with conventional methods?
Normally, the entire procedure is completed over two to three visits, within the span of a few weeks.
The tooth is prepared to make space for the crown. This may involve the removal of some enamel. A temporary crown can be installed while the permanent crown is being customised in a laboratory.
A putty is used to take measurements of your tooth and colour requirements are specified. The impression is sent to a laboratory
Your dentist makes sure the crown is suitable for your needs and that it fits correctly.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but there’s now a better way.
You can get your crown installed in a single day at Mona Vale Dental. Unlike most clinics, we use advanced CEREC technology to design, craft and place same-day crowns.
How do same-day crowns work?
The entire procedure is completed within a single visit. The patient doesn’t have to have multiple injections, or worry about wearing a temporary crown.
This is how we do it:
The tooth is prepared to make space for the crown. This may involve filing a small amount of enamel.
A digital scanner take photos and accurate measurements. There’s no need for foul-tasting and messy impression materials that sometimes make people want to gag.
The digital impression is sent to the CEREC software, which creates a digital tooth restoration.
The porcelain crown is created within 15 minutes by an on-site milling machine, based on this exact data.
Your dentist polishes the crown and makes it a perfect colour-match, before bonding it to your teeth.
04 Dental crowns costs
How much is a dental crown in Australia?
This depends on multiple factors. Typically, a single ceramic crown costs between $1,800 to $2,100. We offer interest-free and flexible payment plans for those who can’t afford to pay the full cost upfront. Contact our team if you’d like more detailed information about pricing.
Does dental insurance cover crowns?
Many insurers cover dental crowns, however the amount depends on your policy and medical provider. We can give you the health insurance item number for the treatment you have in mind. Ask your provider if it’s covered by your policy, and how much you will get for it.