Dental Guide to Tooth Crowns: Costs, Types of Crowns, and the Procedure

Learn all about dental crowns and the purpose they serve

Crowns protect the teeth and gums

"Dental crown" is a term that you might have heard at least at some point in life. A tooth crown in a custom-made cap that is created in the exact shape of the tooth itself. It is placed over the tooth for cosmetic enhancement or protection purposes.

The primary purpose of dental crowns is to restore the original shape of the tooth, its size and strength, while also improving its overall appearance. A tooth crown is cemented into its place and fully covers the visible part of the tooth that lies on and above the gum line.


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When do you need a dental crown?

A tooth crown procedure provides a multi-purpose solution to dental problems. If the tooth fails to fulfill its purpose and function due to any possible issue, the tooth crown will help restore it. Not only this, a dental crown also saves you from tooth loss.

The reasons to get tooth crowns can usually be two, either cosmetic considerations or oral health issues.

Tooth crowns for oral health issues

The need for dental crowns for oral health issues includes the following.

  1. In case of a large and empty filling: The fillings you get at a younger age will not last forever. If the hole that was drilled in the tooth at the time is large enough, it will require a dental crown at some point to make the tooth fully functional again.
  2. Damage caused due to tooth decay: If your tooth has developed a deep hole over time, the damage is irreversible, and a filling would not be enough. In such a case, getting a tooth crown will be the best option to save it.
  3. Brittle teeth due to root canal: Root canal procedure, a common solution to tooth infections related to the pulp, can make teeth brittle. A dental crown will save your tooth from this scenario.
  4. Cracked tooth: A crown also helps reinforce a cracked tooth. If it is detected early, a dental crown will help prevent further damage.
  5. When fitting a bridge: Crowns are installed to provide support while fitting a dental bridge. They are put on both sides to anchor them.

Cosmetic reasons for tooth crowns

Oral health reasons are not the only reason why people opt for tooth crown procedure. In some cases, the prime reason is cosmetic concerns. However, in some cases, a tooth crown can provide solutions to both cosmetic and oral health issues. For example, getting a front tooth crown will save your tooth but also improve your look.

There are different types of dental crowns with their own specific purpose. If a person is not satisfied with how their teeth look, dental crown might be their only option. These reasons can include:

Improvement in smile

Some people are not confident with how their smile looks. A crown can help in that case as it can cover up chipped and cracked teeth.


Just like a cracked tooth, discolored or stained teeth might also be the reason for low confidence with teeth. Crowns are made to mimic a person’s natural teeth, providing the perfect smile.

Gaps and spacing between teeth

Broken teeth can lead to a noticeable gap in a person’s teeth. If the tooth is enough in size and substance, pulling out is not a wise option. In such a case, a dental crown can fill the gap.

What are the different types of dental crowns?

Different types of tooth crowns also determine the dental crown cost. For example, a gold crown tooth will cost more as opposed to the tooth crown cost with any other material. Here are the common types of dental crowns.

Stainless steel crowns

Tooth crowns made of stainless steel are ‘prefabricated’ and are used as a temporary measure to protect the teeth. It protects the teeth or the filling unless another crown is made from a more suitable material.

The crown, which is also commonly used in kids, covers the tooth and prepares it against further damage. It cannot be used permanently as it will lead to dental crown problems in the longer run.

In case of children, when permanent teeth comes out to take the place of primary teeth, the crown comes out naturally. They are more commonly used among kids as they are cost-effective and low maintenance.

Crowns made of metal

Metal crowns are basically made of alloys having a high gold or platinum content. They are also made of metal alloys, like cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium.

Metal crowns are strong and can sustain chewing and biting, hence wear better. Gold crown tooth also rarely chip. However, the high price is one of the concerns but they do have benefits. They also make a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

Porcelain tooth crowns

Unlike the metallic crowns, these tooth crowns match your adjacent teeth. However, they do not wear better as compared to rein or metallic crowns. Porcelain is more prone to chipping or breaking off. But compared to all other types of dental crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look closest to the real teeth.

Resin Compared to all other types of crowns, resin is the most affordable. But they wear off early and are more susceptible to fractures as well.

Ceramic and porcelain tooth crowns They are not as strong as compared to metallic or metallic-fused-to-porcelain crowns, but they provide the best color match. Due to their color, they are a popular choice for a front tooth crown.

Zirconia tooth crowns

Due to Zirconia’s properties, these types of crowns offer enhanced wearability and endurance. They not only wear better than porcelain, but also reflect light in the same way as natural teeth, giving an extremely realistic look.

What determines the cost of dental crowns?

If you are wondering what the approximate dental crown cost in Australia is, it varies depending on the procedure, materials and patient requirements. The cost also depends on the crown, the teeth that need to be crowned (front or back), and more importantly, how many crowns are needed.

It also comes down to the material used in manufacturing of the crown, like metallic, porcelain, ceramic. Depending on the complexity and material, the tooth crown cost generally ranges between $1100 and $2000 according to ADA data.

The step-by-step dental crown procedure

Getting a tooth crown done may require two visits to the dentist. The steps for the procedure include:

  • Firstly, a dentist will examine your tooth. The initial examination determines if your tooth is even capable of supporting a crown. Your dentist might first start filling it to prepare it for the crown in the first appointment.
  • If the tooth is severely impacted or damaged, the dentist will fill it to make it whole enough to support a crown properly.
  • After filling, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth and surrounding areas. This impression is then sent off to a dental lab to get a permanent crown made.
  • At the end of the first visit, your tooth will receive a temporary crown to protect it from further damage.
  • After your permanent crown is ready, you will be called for a second appointment. At this visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and install the permanent crown using an adhesive.

In no time, your crown will feel and function like a natural tooth.

How can you properly take care of your tooth crown?

A dental crown cost is high, hence you need to take care of it properly to avoid going through the procedure again and again.

A crown reinforces and provides support to your natural teeth and hence should be taken care of as such. Unlike braces, implants, or bridges, tooth crowns don't require special maintenance. You can take the following steps to take care of them to make sure they last long.

  • Brush properly at least twice daily.
  • Floss every single day. While flossing next to your crown, be very careful and ask a dentist on how to do this without compromising the crown.
  • Avoid sugary foods and carbonated drinks. Hard foods can crack the crown at any age.
  • Sticky foods, like caramel or chewing candy, can also pull off the crown if not careful.
  • Crowns can also get stains like regular teeth. Hence, avoid coffee,blueberries or caffeinated drinks.
  • Rinse your mouth religiously with anti-bacterial mouthwash to avoid plaque around your gums.
  • Make sure to visit a dentist at least once every six months to ensure your crown stays in place.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a dental crown?

As per the ADA yearly data from 2019, the average cost of a dental crown in Australia on average is $1573, with prices ranging between $1051 to $2000.

What are the alternatives for dental crowns?

A missing tooth can also be replaced by a dental bridge. In the case of tooth decay, inlays and onlays may also work. Instead of tooth crown, a dental bonding may also restore a chipped or cracked tooth. Moreover, dental veneers used in combination with teeth whitening help achieve the cosmetic objectives behind such treatment.

Do dental crowns last forever?

Since dental crowns are not natural teeth, they won't last forever. But with adequate care, they can last for a long time. Research suggests that 90% of the dental crowns stay intact more than 5 years without any major treatment done to them.

50-80% crowns last for 15 to 20 years. However, it is imperative to understand that just like natural teeth, the life of crowns also depends on how well they are taken care of. As dental crown cost is quite a lot, make sure you are taking care of it to ensure durability.

What possible problems can occur with dental crowns?

If you have a crown, you must be prepared to deal with a dental crown's potential challenges. Neglected oral health care might lead to an impacted crown tooth. This can cause the crown to break or fall off. The prime reason for this is that the tooth beneath the crown erodes, becoming incapable of supporting it.

Can teeth whitening be used while having a dental crown?

Yes, and it will not affect the dental crown negatively.

Can you use braces/orthodontics while having a dental crown?

Yes, you can fix the alignment of the teeth even with crowns. In this case, the dentist will typically recommend going for a plastic aligner as traditional braces may interfere with the crown. You will also need to wait until the end if you want to replace the dental crown while obtaining orthodontic treatment.

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