Why get dental crowns?
An example often used to understand what a dead tooth does in our mouth is that of a dead branch on a
tree. The branch appears to look solid, but it is emptied of its essence (sap) and can break at any
moment, creating more damage to the rest of the tree.
Setting a dental crown will preserve a damaged tooth, but it will also protect the dental structure of
the jaw. A devitalized tooth that is not protected by a crown will break up bit by bit until the dentist
will be prompted to remove it completely.
Dental crowns also help limit problems that can cascade to other healthy teeth. Indeed, a diseased
tooth, if it is not protected by a dental crown, can damage other teeth, much like a spreading flu in
The cost of a crown is a main concern during a visit to the dental clinic. Statistics show that only 39%
of Quebecers over 45 years old have insurance to cover dental expenses. This figure rises to 61% in the
rest of the country for the same age group. However, a dental crown fitting is vital to your oral
health and may help you avoid the costs of repair, extraction or a dental implant in the future.
In average, more than 40 million Americans need to replace one or more teeth, that accounts for 1 in 3
adults. In 2005, a survey was conducted to determine the frequency of treatments provided by general
dentists and hygienists per month. The study indicates a total of 6 crown treatments monthly, for a
total of 72 per year among dentists.
When should you get a dental crown?
It is highly recommended to visit the dentist at least twice a yearfor cleaning and consultation. At
that appointment, the dentist will tell you if you have damaged teeth that require a dental crown.
There is no minimum age for getting a dental crown, its simply sufficient that a tooth is damaged enough
through decay, too much wear, or it is just plain broken. According to the Canadian Dental Association,
the first visit to a dentist for a child should occur within 6 months after the appearance of the first
tooth or at the age of one. It is rare that a cavity appears at this very young age, but the dentist can
detect other dental problems.
When you break your tooth or its natural structure is damaged following a cavity for example, your
dentist will most probably offer to make you a dental crown. The dental crown is an artificial hollow
tooth(prosthesis) covering the damaged tooth to protect against external damages. It acts as a shell and
is the visible part of the tooth.
The dental crown can be made in the case where the tooth is broken, damaged, discoloured, worn or
How a dental crown is set
First, the dentist administers a local anesthetic. He then shapes part of the tooth to make room for the
crown by the milling operation. Next, the dentist takes an impression of the chipped tooth and the
neighboring teeth. This imprint will be used to produce a custom dental crown perfectly suited to your
mouth. The dentist places a temporary crown on your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is
ready. During a next appointment, the dentist will set your permanent dental crown on your tooth.
Side effects of a new crown
It’s possible to feel a bit of pain after the placement of a dental crown. Sometimes, the gum can grow
on the tooth and that may cause a little pain after installation. Some people may experience a feeling
of compression where the crown is fixed but it should be temporary. Thus, the installation of a dental
crown is generally painless.
Types of dental crowns
There are 4 types of crowns: ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys and base metal alloys crowns.
These are used for restoring front teeth, and are popular in this area for their ability to blend with your natural tooth color. The crown is made of a porcelain-based material.
Porcelain-fused to metal
This crown provides a stronger bond than regular porcelain because it is connected to a metal structure. It’s also extremely durable.
Each type of crown has advantages and disadvantages. The dentist is the best person to give you advice about this.