Dental Crowns: All You Need to Know About

Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a common dental restoration procedure used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of damaged teeth. They play a crucial role in preserving oral health and enhancing aesthetics. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the different types of dental crowns, the procedure involved in getting them, and the essential aspects of their care. Additionally, we will explore the pros and cons of dental crown to help individuals make informed decisions about their oral health.

Types of Dental Crowns

1. Porcelain Crowns:

Porcelain crowns, also known as ceramic crowns, are popular for their natural appearance and color-matching capabilities. They are highly aesthetic and blend seamlessly with adjacent teeth, making them an ideal choice for front teeth restoration. Porcelain crowns are durable and resistant to staining, providing long-lasting results.

2. Metal Crowns:

Metal crowns, such as those made from gold alloy or base metal alloys, are known for their strength and durability. They are less prone to wear and tear compared to other types of crowns and are often recommended for molars, where biting forces are greater. While metal crowns are highly functional, their metallic appearance may not be preferred for visible teeth.

3. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns:

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. They feature a metal substructure for strength and a porcelain outer layer for a natural appearance. PFM crowns are versatile and can be used for both front and back teeth. However, the porcelain portion may wear over time, potentially revealing the underlying metal.

Procedure & Care for Dental Crowns:

Dental Crown Procedure

The process of getting a dental crown typically involves multiple steps. First, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing any decay and shaping it to accommodate the crown. An impression of the prepared tooth is then taken and sent to a dental lab for crown fabrication. In the meantime, a temporary crown may be placed to protect the tooth. Once the permanent crown is ready, it is cemented onto the prepared tooth, restoring its function and appearance.

Post-Care for Dental Crowns

Proper care and maintenance are essential for prolonging the lifespan of dental crowns. Individuals should practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using antimicrobial mouthwash. Avoiding hard or sticky foods can prevent damage to the crown. Regular dental check-ups are also crucial to monitor the condition of the crown and address any issues promptly.

Potential Complications

While dental crowns are generally safe and effective, there are potential complications to be aware of. These may include sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, gum irritation, or the development of decay around the crown margins. In rare cases, a crown may become loose or dislodged, requiring re-cementation or replacement. It is essential to report any discomfort or changes to your dentist promptly.

Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns:

1. Pros:

  • Restores damaged teeth to their original shape, size, and function.
  • Enhances aesthetics by improving the appearance of stained, misshapen, or discolored teeth.
  • Provides strength and durability, allowing individuals to bite and chew comfortably.
  • Preserves the integrity of the tooth structure and prevents further damage or decay.

2. Cons:

  • Requires the removal of a significant portion of the tooth structure during preparation.
  • May cause sensitivity or discomfort, especially immediately after placement.
  • Risk of complications such as decay, gum irritation, or crown fracture over time.
  • Costly, especially for more aesthetically pleasing materials like porcelain.


  1. What is a dental crown?
    • A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance.
  2. Why might I need a dental crown?
    • Dental crowns are used to protect weak teeth, restore broken or worn teeth, support teeth with large fillings, cover dental implants, or improve the appearance of misshapen or discolored teeth.
  3. What are the different types of dental crowns available?
    • The main types of dental crowns include porcelain crowns, metal crowns (such as gold or base metal alloys), and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns.
  4. How long do dental crowns last?
    • The lifespan of a dental crown depends on various factors, including the material used, oral hygiene practices, and biting forces. On average, dental crowns can last between 5 to 15 years or more with proper care.
  5. Is the dental crown procedure painful?
    • The dental crown procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, so patients should not experience pain during the process. Some individuals may experience minor discomfort or sensitivity after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
  6. Can dental crowns be placed on any tooth?
    • Dental crowns can be placed on most teeth, but the tooth must have enough structure remaining to support the crown. In cases of severe damage or decay, additional dental treatments may be needed before placing a crown.
  7. How do I take care of my dental crown?
    • Proper care of dental crowns involves practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Avoid chewing on hard objects or foods that could damage the crown.
  8. Are dental crowns covered by dental insurance?
    • Dental insurance coverage for dental crowns varies depending on the type of insurance plan and the reason for the crown placement. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage.
  9. Can dental crowns be whitened if they become stained?
    • Unlike natural teeth, dental crowns cannot be whitened with traditional teeth whitening methods. If a crown becomes stained or discolored, it may need to be replaced to restore its appearance.
  10. Are there any alternatives to dental crowns?
    • Yes, alternatives to dental crowns include dental veneers, dental bonding, inlays, and onlays, depending on the specific dental issue and desired outcome.
  11. How much do dental crowns cost?
    • The cost of dental crowns varies depending on factors such as the type of crown, location, and dental provider. On average, dental crowns can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per tooth.
  12. Can dental crowns be placed on dental implants?
    • Yes, dental crowns can be placed on dental implants to replace missing teeth. The crown is attached to an abutment, which is connected to the dental implant fixture.
  13. Are there any risks associated with dental crowns?
    • While dental crowns are generally safe, there are some risks, including tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, allergic reactions to materials, and the potential for decay or damage to the underlying tooth structure.
  14. What should I do if my dental crown feels loose or comes off?
    • If your dental crown feels loose or comes off, it’s essential to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and keep the crown in a safe place until you can see your dentist.
  15. Can dental crowns improve the appearance of my smile?
    • Yes, dental crowns can improve the appearance of your smile by covering discolored, misshapen, or damaged teeth, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing smile.


Dental crowns are valuable restorative options for individuals with damaged or compromised teeth. With various types available, patients can choose the option that best suits their needs and preferences. Understanding the procedure, proper care, and potential risks associated with dental crowns is essential for maintaining optimal oral health and maximizing the longevity of the restoration. By weighing the pros and cons and consulting with a dental professional, individuals can make informed decisions about whether dental crowns are the right solution for their dental concerns.