A crown is an all surface covering for your tooth. It can be made of gold, a gold coping overlaid with porcelain, or all porcelain. The porcelain is colour matched to your teeth. A crown is recommended when the filling existing in the tooth is not holding up, or if there is a high probability that either the tooth or the filling may break. It is especially important to consider a crown in the case of a cracked tooth, or after root canal treatment.
You may require 3 appointments to complete a crown. The first would involve an initial impression in order to make a custom fitted impression tray. If we already have recent models of your teeth, this may not be necessary. At the second appointment, the tooth is shaped for the crown under local anesthetic, a final impression is made and other lab records are taken, and a temporary crown is fabricated out of plastic to protect the tooth and the gums. This appointment is usually 2 – 2 1/2 hours in length. You may experience some tenderness in your gums after this appointment. The third appointment, after 2 weeks, is to do the final fitting of the crown and cement it in place. This usually takes ½ hour and requires freezing unless a root canal treatment has been performed.
How long does a crown last? This depends on a number of factors. All porcelain crowns, at this point, are still more fragile than ones with a metal coping, and may crack under pressure. Otherwise, crowns mostly need to be replaced because of decay developing around the edges. Good hygiene through regular brushing and flossing, and a healthy diet will minimize this risk.
The current cost of a crown is between $950 and $1100 depending on the type of crown. This is definitely an investment in your oral health and one that will serve you well for many years.