What is a dental crown?

Just like the crown for a king or a queen, a dental crown is a strong top that covers the entire ‘head’ of the tooth. We recommend dental crowns for our patients when a tooth has been weakened or has damage from:

  • A cavity or decay
  • Cracked, broken, chipped or fractured teeth
  • Root canal treatment

Dental crowns are also suitable for:

  • Covering dental implants
  • Cosmetic improvements for stained or discoloured teeth (veneers or whitening might also be suitable)
  • Strangely shaped teeth (veneers might also be suitable)
  • Supporting a dental bridge.

What are the benefits or advantages of dental crowns?

The main function of a crown is primarily functional, to get the patient using their teeth again to their full potential. It is all about strengthening the tooth, particularly molar teeth at the back area of the mouth.

The other benefit of crowns is cosmetic – whiter, straighter and stronger teeth. This is more for front teeth when the circumstances mean that it will be difficult to get a good long-term outcome from using filling materials to reshape the tooth. Veneers are another option here and we give each of our patients the options, their costs and the pros and cons of each choice.

Alternatives to porcelain crowns

There are many circumstances, eg cracked teeth, where porcelain crowns are the best option for the long term. Other alternatives include porcelain or composite veneers, inlays and onlays, or dental tooth whitening.

In some circumstances and for patients where cost is a big consideration there is the alternative of doing Cusp capped fillings.  For these we use the tooth coloured white filling material, to replace the area that is missing whilst also covering the cusps (or peaks) of the molar teeth. In effect we create the shape of an onlay or a crown using filling materials. This option is not as long term because the fillings material is not as strong as porcelain. It is however an affordable option for people who need their tooth protected from the risk of fracture. We do not recommend these in all situations so it is best to book a consultation to see if this might be suitable for you.

Crown materials and the CEREC advantage at Adelaide Quality Dental

Whilst some patients prefer gold, in most cases we use porcelain that has been colour matched to your tooth, for our dental crowns, inlays and onlays.

We are pleased to offer our dental crown patients the advantage of CEREC technology for these procedures.

Before CEREC, we would prepare the tooth, place a temporary crown whilst the porcelain one was being made at a dental laboratory. 3 weeks later the patient would return to have the actual crown placed.

Now with CEREC the crown is made during your visit. You can watch as we design your crown on-screen and then see the CEREC milling machine cut the porcelain into shape right before your eyes! This brings what might’ve been a 3-week process down to an appointment that we can usually complete in around an hour.

Are dental crowns painful?

Like all of our dental procedures, the process of having a dental crown fitted should not be painful because of the local anesthetics we use. Some of our patients do experience pain following the treatment, which can usually be managed by paracetamol. If you are in more pain then we advise you to contact us so that we can better understand the cause and advise and treat you accordingly.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are one or more fake teeth that are held in place by a dental crown placed on the tooth either side of the bridge.

Nowadays we find that many of our patients that would’ve opted for a bridge are instead going for a dental implant so bridges are not used as often.

If you are interested in a bridge or dental implant then we are happy to book you a consultation to discuss the options, costs and pros and cons of the different alternatives. Contact us on (08) 8346 3940 to make your dental appointment or to find out more.