Picture of Dental Crown

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, also knowns as “caps,” are tooth shaped inlays that restore the shape, size, and strength of the natural tooth. The name, “crown,” refers to the visible portion of a tooth. Crowns are designed to cover the entire visible portion of a restored tooth all the way down to the gum line. They can be used to resolve a number of dental issues, and are commonly used for both restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.

Picture of Dental Crown
Diagram image of Gum Disease

When a Dental Crown is Necessary

Dental crown treatment is a technique used when there is severe tooth decay. In preparation for this procedure, much of the natural tooth must be cut down. It can also be a procedure done as part of a larger operation such as a full mouth restoration, root canal, bridge or implant.

Dental crowns are also useful for protecting a weak tooth. They can also be used to restore a broken tooth, or one that is very worn down. They are also useful for holding dental bridges in place​, and for covering a ​dental implant​. In some cases, they can even be used for cosmetic purposes.

What Types of Dental Crowns are there?

Dental crowns can be constructed from a number of materials. The most common is porcelain due to its resemblance to natural tooth color, but the components are chosen on a case-by-case basis, according to the patient’s specific needs.


Stainless Steel Crowns

These prefabricated crowns are usually used on permanent teeth as a temporary crown. This protects the tooth while a permanent crown is being made. It covers the entire tooth, and provides protection from decay. Stainless steel crowns are also often used in children to cover prepared baby teeth until the permanent teeth come in.


Various Metal Crowns

Some of the metals used to make dental crowns include gold alloy and palladium alloy. Base metal alloys such as nickel and chromium are also used. When this type of dental crown is used, less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. These stand up well to biting and chewing, and do not wear down easily over time. They also are resistant to breaking, fractures and chipping. The main drawback for most people is the noticeable color, but they are a good option for molars that can’t readily be seen.


Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns

This type of dental crown can be matched in color to the rest of your teeth, however this type is more susceptible to chips and breaks. These are a good choice for front teeth.


Resin Crowns

This type of dental crown is a less expensive option than the others. They do wear down over time, and are more likely to fracture.


All Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns

These give you a better color match to teeth, and are the choice for those with metal allergies.





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Image of Root Canal and Crown Prep

Preparing the Tooth for a Dental Crown

Two office visits are usually required to get a dental crown. The initial visit involves examining and preparing the tooth for a crown. The second visit involves the placement of the dental crown.

On the first visit, X-rays may be done to examine the roots and the bone surrounding the tooth. If there is a significant amount of decay, or if there is any risk of infection, a ​root canal may need to be done first.​This is a dental procedure in which a tooth that has been severely damaged or infected is repaired. The Doctor will begin this procedure by applying local anesthetic to the area to manage any pain that may occur due to infection. The decay and infected portions are removed to reveal the pulp chamber of the tooth, which is then cleaned out of all infected pulp and cleaned. The emptied regions of the tooth are then filled with filler and cement to protect the tooth roots from saliva and bacteria.

Picture of Root Canal and Crown Prep
Picture of Teeth being shade matched for Crown or Veneer

Crowns Look and Feel Like your Teeth

Once the tooth is free of infection, your Doctor will reshape the tooth, and then a paste or a putty-type substance is used to make an impression of the tooth receiving the crown. This impression is sent to a dental lab that will make the dental crown. A temporary crown will be affixed your tooth while the permanent crown is made, which usually takes around 2-3 weeks.

After the temporary crown is placed a shade is chosen that closely matches the patient’s other teeth. On the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed, and the permanent crown will be checked for a color match and fit. If it is acceptable, your dentist will cement it in place.

Image of Dental Implant Crown

Other Uses for Dental Crown

There are other types of solutions that dental crowns can offer, other than simply covering the restoration of a decayed tooth. Crowns can also be used in dental bridges, which are used to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, the adjacent teeth are prepared in a similar way for regular crowns to hold the pontic (the replacement tooth) in place. Crowns are also used to cover up implants; implants are an alternative method to replacing a missing tooth, but in this procedure a metal device is implanted into the jaw for a stronger and more permanent solution. Visit our page for ​Dental Implants ​and ​Dental Bridges ​to learn more.

Picture of Dental Implant Crown


Aetna Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
United Concordia Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
MetLife Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
Ameritas Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
Humana Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
Delta Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
Cigna Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental
Guardian Dental Insurance accepted at Zen Dental



Getting a dental crown is often a procedure that requires many steps involved in completing the restoration. Because of this, the pricing can vary. Below is a list of all possible procedures included in crown restoration. These prices are the out of pocket costs for each procedure and do not reflect any coverage by insurance. Insurance will often cover these procedures.


Root Canal – Anterior$756
Root Canal – Bicuspid$875
Root Canal – Molar$1,153
Core Build-Up$227

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

In general, dental crowns will last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. The lifespan of any crown depends a great deal on the amount of wear and tear it is put through. It also depends on ​good oral hygiene practices​. Sometimes if the restoration of the tooth is exposed, the work will either need to be redone or the tooth will need to be extracted.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
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Caring for Your Temporary Crown

Temporary dental crowns are meant only to serve your needs while a permanent crown is being made for you. Although we make the temporary crown to resemble the final crown, it may not look exactly like the permanent one. It is not unusual to have some temperature sensitivity while the temporary crown is in place. This will, in most cases, be relieved by the replacement of the temporary crown with the permanent crown. Taking over the counter pain relievers as directed such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen should handle any post treatment discomfort. It may be a good idea to take one of these immediately after the appointment before you experience any discomfort.

After the procedure, the temporary cement requires about 30 minutes to set, so it is important to not chew during that period of time. Once set, patients should be able to use the temporary crown normally when eating, but sticky foods will stick to the temporary crown and must be avoided.

Temporary Crowns Are Not Meant To Last Forever

Temporary crowns are not strong; they may occasionally become loose, break or come off. Though this is not a dental emergency, please contact our office immediately, bring your crown with you and we will replace or re-cement the temporary crown. If this happens at night or on the weekend, replace the temporary crown on your tooth after filling the crown with toothpaste, Vaseline, or Fixodent to hold it in place until you can contact us to properly cement it. It is important that the temporary crown remains on the tooth to protect the underlying tooth structure. Without the temporary crown, your teeth may move and then the permanent crown may not fit.

It is important to clean around the temporary crown as you would any other tooth, but not to brush or floss too vigorously around the temporary crown. It is essential to keep the area clean and healthy, and to keep it from bleeding.

It is also imperative that patients return to our office at the appointment time to receive the permanent crown. Failure to do so may result in the need to re-prepare the tooth and re-make the crown at the patient’s cost. If patients have any unusual developments with their temporary crown, please ​contact our office​.

Caring for your Permanent Crown

Once permanent dental crowns are placed, patients should be aware of a few things to best care for the new crown. It is important to not chew on hard food with the restorations for 24 hours from the time they were cemented; to attain optimum strength, the cement must cure for approximately 24 hours.

Sensitivity is common after a permanent crown is placed, especially to hot or cold foods. This sensitivity will disappear gradually after a few weeks. Infrequently, sensitivity lasts longer than six weeks. Please notify us if this occurs.

To provide optimum longevity for restorations and to prevent future dental decay and supporting tissues breakdown, our Doctors may recommend the following preventative procedures:

• Brush and floss after eating and before bedtime.
• Use a fluoride rinse, swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily.
• Use fluoride toothpaste if prescribed by our office.
• Use a WaterPik or a mechanical toothbrush as advised by us.

The most significant reason for prosthesis failure is inadequate return for examination. Visit us at regular examination periods determined by your Doctor. Often times, problems that are developing around the crowns can be found at an early stage and corrected easily, but waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration. Call us immediately if any one of these conditions occur:

• A feeling of movement or looseness in the crown.
• Sensitivity to sweet foods.
• A peculiar taste from the restoration site.
• Breakage of a piece of material from the restoration.
• Sensitivity to pressure.


Taking the First Step to a Healthier Set of Teeth

Zen Dental has applied dental crowns of all types, shapes, and sizes. Dr. Nabi works with his team of experienced and professional dental lab technicians to give you all of the information you need to make the right decision for you. They will sit down with you and explain everything you need to know, and discuss costs with you.

You will look and feel better about yourself, and your friends and family will notice the difference as well. Any pain you had before when eating will be gone. You will no longer be afraid to smile in public.

If you want to learn more about dental crowns, or any of our other dental restorative procedures, Click Here to ​Contact Us​ for your Dentistry needs.





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