Most of my patients always look at me blankly when I talk about crowns. The one thing they all know about crowns is – “They’re expensive aren’t they?”
Crowns or caps (as some people call them) are a custom made covering for your tooth. There are many materials used to make crowns, the most common ones are ceramic, porcelain and gold.
Why does my tooth need a crown?
- Very broken down tooth- weak and at risk of fracture
- Heavy filled tooth with poor margins
- Completed a ‘Root Canal Treatment’ and tooth is very brittle
- Cosmetic concerns
A crown is typically done in 2 stages.
- The tooth is prepared for a crown
- Moulds are taken of your opposing teeth and the prepared tooth
- The tooth is covered over by a temporary crown and temporary “glue”
- The moulds are sent to a dental labotary to be custom made for your prepared tooth
Stage 2 (approx. 2 weeks later)
- The temporary crown is removed from your tooth and the tooth is cleaned of all remnants of the glue
- The crown is checked for an accurate fit and bite
- Then it is cemented/bonded onto the tooth
Benefits of a crown:
- Custom made- so the margins are very precise and sealed well
- Lot stronger than a very large filling
- Aesthetically can block out discolouration much better than fillings
- Can be built up well to close any foodpacks and create a nice tight contact with the adjacent teeth
Why does it cost so much?
It is mainly due to the materials cost, time and there is an additional lab component to be paid as well. A large filling that breaks continually will need to replaced very often, the summative costs of replacing/repairing the filling every time may be even more than getting a crown done.
Best thing to do is rather than wait for the filling/tooth to break, get a crown done to protect it before this happens. If you wait for it to break, you may lose more tooth and it might get to the point where even doing a crown may not be possible.
You can plan treatment like this with your dentist so you can figure out the best way to move forward.