Dental Crowns - FAQ

...the art of individualized care
Dallas, Texas

What is a dental crown?
What is the difference between the three types of crowns?
What is the crown application procedure like?
How much do crowns cost?
What can I expect?

What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a restorative device which covers a tooth in order to either strengthen a decayed tooth, repair a broken tooth or improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.

A crown completely covers the visible area of a tooth, creating a brand new outer surface. A filling, by contrast, covers only a portion of a tooth.

There are three types of crowns:

  • Resin and Porcelain Crowns
    This type of crown has the nicest appearance and is the most common among cosmetic dentists. Made from pure ceramic, or a new reinforced composite resin, it is almost indistinguishable from natural teeth. Resin and porcelain crowns are metal-free, and are resistant, but capable of chipping if not properly taken care of.
  • Gold Crowns
    Gold crowns, because they are made of gold, are appropriate when appearance is not a priority. The gold metal is extremely workable, which makes gold crowns a more precise fit than any other type. Gold crowns will not chip in any way.
  • Porcelain Fused-to-Metal Crowns
    Porcelain fused-to-metal crowns are both durable and have a very natural appearance. However, because they have a metal substructure, they require an opaque below the porcelain. Occasionally a darker line will be visible at the edge of the crown, near the gum as the gum-line recedes with age.

What is the difference between the three types of crowns?
Gold crowns are the strongest, and the simplest to install. Unfortunately, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain crowns. For most people, this is a serious cosmetic drawback, and the reason why gold crowns are usually used only on the back teeth. Less of the existing tooth must be removed for a gold crown.

Porcelain and resin crowns are by far the most natural-looking crowns available, often indistinguishable from real teeth. They are harder to fit into the gum line, and the porcelain is more susceptible to chipping, however a trained cosmetic dentist will be able to complete this procedure easily and teach you how to care for your crowns. Relatively more of the existing tooth is removed for a porcelain crown, but creates a dazzling smile as a result.

Porcelain fused-to-metal crowns have a natural appearance, and are less susceptible to damage than strictly porcelain crowns, but a darker, metal line may become more visible around the gum line as the gums recede with age.

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What is the crown application procedure like?
There are typically three steps to applying a crown.

In the first part of the procedure, a mold is taken of the tooth which will be crowned. The mold is sent to a laboratory, and used to create the crown. Also, before a crown can be placed, a filling must be put in place, to stabilize the tooth structure from any further decay.

In the interim period between the first and second appointment, which is usually about two weeks, a temporary crown will placed in your mouth. At the second appointment, you and your dentist will determine the color of the cement which will later be used to affix your permanent crown. The color of the cement affects the color of the crown, so great care must be taken to select the cement which fits in naturally among the color of the rest of your teeth.

In the second part of the procedure, the laboratory-created crown is bonded to the tooth or teeth. First, the dentist uses either water or glycerin to place the crown onto the teeth. This non-permanent attachment is to check the crowns fit, shade and color. The color of the crown can be adjusted based upon the shade of dental cement used, but cannot be altered after the crown is cemented. Once the correct color is determined, the crown is ready to be attached permanently with dental cement. The cement is sandwiched between the crown and the tooth, then a special light beam is applied. This light initiates the release of a catalyst, which hardens the cement and permanently affixes the crown.

How much do crowns cost?
They average between $600 to $1300 each. Porcelain crowns are more expensive, because placing them is more time consuming. Generally, the more time spent in the office, the higher the cost. Also, while insurance may cover some of the costs, typically it does not cover them all. That is why, you should discuss with your dentist all of your options and review financing information if necessary.

What can I expect?
Ceramic crowns -- when properly placed by a qualified cosmetic dentist -- are virtually indistinguishable from real teeth.

They require regular brushing and flossing, just like real teeth. Also, anything that can chip a real teeth can potentially also chip a ceramic crown.

If you have gold fillings (usually in the back of your mouth) you can expect a high degree of durability. Gold is stronger than ceramic crowns. Gold is even stronger than natural teeth.

If you have porcelain fused-to-metal crowns, you can expect basically the same durability as ceramic crowns. However, over time, a slight, metal line may become visible between your crown and gumline. This is because gums tend to recede as you age.

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Dr. Taylor has been specially trained at the leading Las Vegas Institute and knows how to listen to your needs. Together you and Dr. Taylor can discuss your needs and wants to create a smile that will make a difference in your life. Contact Dr. Taylor today for an initial consultation.


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Steven B Taylor. DDS
4514 Cole Avenue, Suite 920
Dallas, TX 75205