Karrinyup Dental Centre

The Ultimate Dental Crowns Handbook from Procedure to Aftercare

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

The Ultimate Dental Crowns Handbook from Procedure to Aftercare

Understanding dental crowns and the role they play in dental care is crucial for anyone considering this option for restoring their smile. This guide provides an overview of dental crowns, including the types available and considerations to weigh before proceeding.

Knowing what to expect throughout the dental crown procedure and how to care for them afterwards is crucial for enhancing the appearance and function of teeth. Managing costs is also an important aspect to consider when getting dental crowns.

As you read on, you’ll learn about dental crowns, the different types of crowns, risks, costs, and alternatives. This knowledge will equip you with a well-rounded perspective on dental crowns, aiding in making informed decisions for your dental health.

Summary of The Content

  • Dental crowns restore and enhance the strength and appearance of teeth.
  • They come in materials like porcelain, ceramic, and metal, each suited for different needs.
  • Crowns improve the look of damaged teeth and support dental implants.
  • Dental crown materials affect the crown’s appearance, strength, and cost.
  • The dental crown procedure involves tooth preparation, impression taking, and crown fitting and placement. This procedure usually takes at least two dental appointments.
  • Proper aftercare, including good oral hygiene and avoiding hard foods, extends crown life.
  • Alternatives to crowns include veneers, bonding, onlays and inlays.
  • Crowns can last 5 to 15 years, depending on the material and care.
  • Regular dental visits and careful eating help maintain crown condition.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are a type of restoration used to cover a damaged or weakened tooth, enhancing its strength and appearance. They are dental caps that fit snugly over a tooth to restore its shape, size, and function.

Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloys. These materials restore the strength of teeth, and some of them mimic the colour of natural teeth.

Purpose of dental crowns:

  • Restoring damaged teeth:
    When teeth are broken or worn down, crowns provide a protective covering that restores their size, shape and strength.
  • Enhancing appearance:
    Porcelain or ceramic crowns are custom-made to match the natural colour of your teeth, offering a suitable option for improving the aesthetic of your smile.
  • Protecting weak teeth:
    Dental crowns can help protect teeth that are at risk of breaking or have been weakened by extreme tooth decay.


  • Material choice:
    The choice of material can impact the appearance, strength, and cost of the crown. Porcelain and ceramic options offer a closer match to natural tooth colour.
  • Procedure steps:
    The dental crown procedure involves at least two dental appointments, starting with a consultation and tooth preparation, followed by the crown fitting and placement.
  • Aftercare:
    Taking care of your dental crown through regular cleaning and managing behaviours like teeth grinding can help prolong its lifespan.

Dental crowns are a reliable and versatile option for restoring damaged teeth or enhancing the appearance of your smile. They provide functional and aesthetic benefits, closely mimicking natural teeth. Crowns can be used independently or as part of a comprehensive dental treatment plan for a healthier and more appealing smile.

Types of Dental Crowns

When it comes to dental crowns, several options cater to different needs, from aesthetic preferences to functional requirements. Here’s a breakdown of the various types available:

  • Porcelain or ceramic crowns:
    These crowns are popular for providing the closest match to natural teeth colour, making them a common option for front teeth restoration. They’re ideal for people looking for a fresh, natural-looking crown that blends seamlessly with their smile.
  • Metal crowns:
    Known for their durability and maximum strength, metal crowns are often made from gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium. While they don’t match the natural tooth colour, they’re an excellent choice for back teeth, where strength is a priority over appearance.
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns:
    Combining the durability of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain, PFM Crowns offer a balanced option. They offer superior strength compared to porcelain alone and provide a more natural tooth colour match than metal crowns. However, sometimes, the metal underneath the porcelain can become visible, resulting in a dark line along the gums. Also, the porcelain or ceramic layer may have a more opaque colour than all-porcelain crowns.
  • All-resin crowns:
    These crowns offer a cost-effective option compared to other types of crowns.However, they are less durable, making them more susceptible to fractures over time.
  • Stainless Steel Crowns:
    Stainless steel crowns are usually used as a temporary restoration, aimed at protecting a tooth. They are often used while waiting for the final crown to be made. They are commonly used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to place and are cost-effective.

Choosing the right type of dental crown involves consulting with a dental professional during a dental crown consultation. They can offer personalised recommendations by evaluating your oral health, aesthetic goals, and functional needs.

Why Consider Dental Crowns?

Opting for dental crowns has its benefits and drawbacks, making it essential for patients to weigh their options carefully. Here are some factors to help guide your decision:

    • Restoration of damaged teeth:
      Dental crowns can restore teeth that have undergone extreme damage, extensive decay, or root canal treatment. They bring these teeth back to their original strength and function.
    • Improvement in cosmetic appearance:
      They are an excellent choice for patients looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. High-quality crowns are designed to match the natural colour of your teeth, contributing to a more confident smile.
    • Durability and strength:
      Made from strong materials like porcelain, ceramic, or a combination of these materials, dental crowns boast exceptional strength and durability. They are capable of withstanding the forces of biting and chewing, mirroring the functionality of a healthy tooth.
    • Protection against further damage:
      Crowns are dental restorations that encase the entire visible part of the tooth. They provide a protective shield against further decay and damage and reduce the risk of infection, preserving the tooth’s structural integrity.
    • Versatility:
      Crowns have many uses, from restoring a single tooth to completing a dental bridge or implant. These features make them a versatile option for patients.


  • Procedure involvement:
    The dental crown procedure involves the removal of tooth structure to accommodate the crown. This irreversible process requires precision and care from a dental professional.
  • Sensitivity and discomfort:
    Some patients may experience sensitivity or discomfort in the tooth and surrounding gum area, especially following the crown’s placement.
  • Maintenance requirements:
    Dental crowns require proper dental care and hygiene practices to maintain their appearance and function. Regular dental check-ups are also essential.
  • Cost factors:
    The cost of dental crowns can vary widely depending on the materials used and the complexity of the procedure. While they represent an investment in oral health, the initial cost may be a consideration for some patients.
  • Potential for replacement:
    Over time, crowns may wear or need replacement due to changes in the mouth or teeth grinding.

Dental crowns provide several benefits for patients, including enhancing the appearance of teeth and restoring their functionality. They are an integral part of many smile makeovers, but it’s essential to consider the procedure’s complexity, maintenance, and costs. A detailed consultation can offer personalised advice so that the choice aligns with your oral health and cosmetic goals.

The Dental Crown Procedure

The process of getting a dental crown is a precise and carefully planned series of steps to restore your tooth’s natural appearance and functionality. Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you can expect during the dental crown procedure:

  1. Initial consultation:
    Your dentist will evaluate your tooth during a dental crown consultation and discuss suitable options for your needs. This stage often involves taking X-rays to examine the tooth’s roots and surrounding bone.
  2. Preparation of the tooth:
    The tooth receiving the crown must be reshaped to achieve a proper fit. This involves trimming down a portion of the tooth’s enamel to make room for the crown. If there’s not enough tooth left to support the crown, your dentist might build up the tooth with a restorative material.
  3. Taking dental impressions:
    Once the tooth is reshaped, dental impressions are taken to create a model of your teeth. These impressions can be taken using a mouldable material or a digital impression scanner. This model is used to create a crown that fits snugly over your tooth and aligns with your natural bite.
  4. Choosing the right shade:
    A tooth shade is chosen to match the natural colour of your teeth. Your dentist will use a shade guide so you can choose which one fits your smile.
  5. Placement of a temporary crown:
    To protect your prepared tooth while your final crown is being made, a temporary crown is placed using temporary cement. This crown is usually made of acrylic and is not as durable as the final crown.
  6. Crafting the final crown:
    Your dental impressions are sent to a laboratory, where your crown is made from your chosen material. The fabrication process ensures that the crown meets specific durability standards and matches the chosen custom shade.
  7. Fitting the final crown:
    The temporary crown is removed, and the new crown is fitted on the tooth to check if its shade matches the surrounding teeth and if the patient’s bite is restored. Adjustments are made as needed.
  8. Cementing the crown:
    Once a snug fit is confirmed, dental cement is used to attach the crown to your tooth securely. This marks the completion of the dental crown procedure.
  9. Post-procedure care instructions:
    Finally, you’ll receive tips on proper dental crown care, including cleaning techniques and foods to avoid in the initial days.

Costs Involved

When considering dental crowns as part of your smile makeover journey, understanding the financial aspect is crucial. The cost of dental crowns can vary significantly based on several factors.

Here’s an overview to give you a clearer picture:

  • Material used:
    The choice of material has a substantial impact on the cost of custom-made restorations. For instance:
    • Ceramic and porcelain crowns generally go up to $2,100.
    • Full metal crowns range between $1,800 and $4,700, depending on the metal used.
    • Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are priced between $1,700 and $2,500.
  • Dental laboratory fees:
    Custom-made crowns require the craftsmanship of a dental laboratory, which adds to the overall cost.
  • Dentist’s experience:
    The experience of your dentist and the location of the clinic can influence the price, with highly experienced practitioners often charging more.
  • Additional treatments:
    Additional dental work is sometimes necessary before a crown is placed. This may include root canal treatment or gum disease treatment, which can add to the total cost.
  • Technology used:
    Clinics that make use of advanced technology like digital scanners of CAD-CAM machines for same-day crowns usually charge higher due to their efficiency and comfort.

Choosing the right dental crown involves considering the material, aesthetic appearance, cost, and additional procedures. Talk to your dentist to decide what aligns with your oral health goals and budget.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Caring for your dental crowns properly after the procedure is crucial for their longevity and the health of your underlying tooth. Here are some tips to help you maintain your dental crowns so they continue to serve you well:

Daily care routine:

  • Regular brushing and flossing:
    Just like natural teeth, crowns require daily brushing and flossing. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the crown’s surface.
  • Floss carefully:
    When flossing around your crown, slide the floss out rather than lifting it out to prevent dislodging the crown.
  • Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash:
    This can help reduce the risk of infection around the crown and gum line.

Diet and habits:

  • Avoid hard and sticky foods:
    Chewing on hard foods like ice or sticky candies can dislodge or damage crowns.
  • Minimise sugary foods and drinks:
    Limit sugar intake as this can increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Quit bad habits:
    Avoid using your teeth as tools or biting on hard objects. If you grind your teeth at night, consider getting a mouthguard to protect your crowns.

Professional dental care:

  • Routine dental check-ups:
    Regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings are vital. They can inspect the condition of your crown and the health of the surrounding gum and tooth.
  • Immediate consultation for issues:
    If you experience discomfort or if the crown feels loose or falls out, contact your dentist immediately.

Choosing the right products:

  • Use non-abrasive toothpaste:
    Some toothpaste brands are less harsh and better for cleaning dental crowns. Using these can preserve the lustre and smoothness of your crowns.
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush:
    This helps prevent scratches on the crown’s surface, preserving its appearance.

Understanding your crown:

  • Know the type of crown you have:
    Different materials may require slightly varied care approaches. Your dentist can provide guidance specific to the type of crown and the brands of materials used.

Long-term maintenance:

    • Protect your crowns during sports:
      Wear a mouthguard during physical activities to protect your crowns from damage.
    • Be mindful of the dental crown placement process:
      Understanding how your crowns were placed can help you take specific care measures to protect the dental restoration and maintain its durability.

To keep your dental crowns in good condition, follow these tips. A well-maintained crown can significantly contribute to a confident smile and good dental health.

Risks and Considerations

It’s important to consider potential risks before deciding on a dental crown. This knowledge can help you make an informed decision about your dental health.

Major risks:

  • Tooth sensitivity:
    After the dental crown procedure, you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold. This is often temporary but can progress in some cases.
  • Gum disease:
    If not properly cared for, the area around the crown can become susceptible to gum disease.
  • Crown dislodgement:
    Although rare, crowns can become loose or even fall out. This usually occurs due to improper fit, decay under the crown, or heavy biting forces.
  • Allergic reaction:
    Some individuals may be allergic to the metal used in some types of crowns, such as metal crowns or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

Things to consider:

  • Longevity and durability:
    While dental crowns are durable, they are not indestructible. Their lifespan can be influenced by the material chosen, oral hygiene practices, and personal habits.
  • Aesthetic match:
    Crowns made from ceramic or porcelain can match the colour of your surrounding teeth, offering a natural appearance. However, options like metal crowns do not blend as well esthetically, which is why they’re indicated for the back teeth.
  • Single-tooth crown vs. other options:
    Consider how a single-tooth crown compares to other restorative options. There might be alternative treatment options that could be more suitable.
  • Procedure and recovery time:
    The process involves at least two dental visits. It may also include a period of adjustment as you get used to the feel of the new crown.

Making an informed decision about dental crowns involves considering the benefits and the potential risks. By discussing with your dentist, you can make an informed decision for a healthier and more beautiful smile.

Alternative Options to Dental Crowns

Exploring alternatives to dental crowns can lead to finding the right fit for your dental needs. Here’s a brief overview of each option:

  • Dental veneers:
    These thin shells, called veneers, cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They can address tooth discolouration and shape issues with minimal intervention.
  • Dental bonding:
    This treatment quickly addresses chips and gaps between teeth with the use of tooth-coloured resin. This method enhances aesthetics with minimal downtime.
  • Onlays and inlays:
    These restorations are custom-fitted to damaged areas of the tooth and can replace old dental fillings or fill large cavities when full coverage is not necessary. This preserves more of the natural tooth.
  • Composite fillings:
    Used for filling cavities or cosmetic improvements, these direct restorations match the tooth’s colour, providing a discreet approach to tooth decay or minor imperfections.

Consulting with a dental professional helps identify which treatment alternatives align with your dental health and aesthetic goals. Each option offers a pathway to improving your smile as they are tailored to different needs and preferences.

What to Expect During Your First Consultation

Your initial dental crown consultation is a critical step towards restoring your smile. It’s designed to assess your needs, discuss options, and plan the procedure. Here’s what usually happens:

  • Review of dental history:
    Your dentist will start by reviewing your dental history and previous treatments to understand your oral health.
  • Oral examination:
    You will undergo an in-depth examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth. This is done to assess if there is sufficient tooth structure to support the crown and to identify any other oral health issues.
  • Discussion about dental crowns:
    This includes an explanation of how dental crowns work, their benefits, and the different types available. These types include all-ceramic crowns, metal crowns, and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns that combine both materials for strength and aesthetics.
  • Choice of material:
    Your dentist will discuss the range of materials available. The choice of material depends on factors like the tooth’s location, your bite, and aesthetic preferences.
  • Imaging and dental impressions:
    X-rays or digital scans may be taken to get a detailed view of the tooth and surrounding bone structure. Dental impressions are also taken so your dentist can plan your treatment better.
  • Colour matching:
    If you’re getting a porcelain or ceramic crown, colour matching is conducted so the crown matches the natural colour of your adjacent teeth. This helps in creating crowns that blend in with the rest of your teeth.
  • Explanation of the procedure:
    Your dentist will outline the steps involved in the dental crown procedure, from tooth preparation to final placement. Your dentist will also discuss the risks and considerations of the treatment.
  • Cost and payment options:
    Discuss the price, including any hidden costs or additional fees, and your payment options.
  • Aftercare advice:
    The dentist will explain what to expect post-procedure and the maintenance routine you will need to follow. This will help you better prepare for your treatment.
  • Q&A session:
    You can ask questions or express any concerns about the procedure, materials, or aftercare.

This consultation aims to inform you about the dental crown treatment and what to expect, helping you decide whether to proceed with the treatment.

Longevity and Durability of Dental Crowns

The lifespan of dental crowns varies based on the material used, oral hygiene practices, and personal habits.

  • Ceramic and porcelain:
    On average, ceramic and porcelain dental restorations last between 5 to 15 years. However, their longevity may vary depending on the quality of the material used and the location in the mouth.
  • Full metal:
    Metal is a material that is known for its strength and durability. Metal crowns can last anywhere from 3 to 15 years, depending on various factors such as usage, maintenance, and environment.
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM):
    These restorations combine the strength of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain and usually last for eight years or more.

Tips to Prolong the Lifespan of Dental Crowns

If you want your dental crowns to last as long as possible, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene:
    Regular brushing twice daily and flossing daily helps prevent decay under or around the crown.
  • Regular dental check-ups:
    Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings allows for early detection of crown problems.
  • Avoid hard foods:
    Chewing on hard foods or ice can damage crowns, especially those made from porcelain or ceramic.
  • Use a night guard if necessary:
    For those who grind their teeth at night, a night guard can protect crowns from excessive wear.
  • Quit harmful habits:
    Biting fingernails, chewing on pens, or using your teeth to open packages can compromise the integrity of your crowns.
  • Be mindful of sticky foods:
    Sticky foods can pull at and weaken crowns, potentially leading to dislodgement.

Dental crowns restore damaged teeth, but their longevity depends on the material, hygiene, and lifestyle. Metal crowns last longer, while porcelain ones look more natural but need careful handling. Follow care tips for long-lasting dental crowns.

Final Thoughts

Exploring dental crowns offers a path to enhance your smile and oral health. This guide covers everything you need to know about dental crowns, including types, benefits, procedures, care, and alternatives.

Dental crowns are a testament to modern dentistry’s ability to restore and beautify teeth effectively. Choosing the right type, understanding the procedure, and providing proper aftercare are key to maximising their benefits.

At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we’re committed to helping you achieve optimal outcomes for your dental health.For personalised advice and to explore your options further, consider booking a consultation.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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