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A dental crown is sometimes called a cap because it covers or ‘caps’ a tooth, so none of the original tooth is visible. Many people have at least one or two crowns, so if we recommend this procedure, there is nothing to be concerned about, and treatment is often used in cosmetic dentistry. However, you probably want to know more about why a crown is necessary and what to expect. Here are some of the most important points to consider.
A dental crown is a restoration that covers a natural tooth right down to the gum line. The crown is made to fit tightly over the tooth, sealing it completely around the margin, just below the gum line. Because the entire tooth is covered, it is protected from damage preventing infection and decay. A dental crown can be made from various materials depending on the location of the tooth, patient preferences, and budget.
If you have a tooth that is uncomfortable or painful or is significantly decayed or damaged, you might need a crown to restore it. Typically, we will suggest a dental crown to restore a tooth that is infected and requires root canal therapy, or has suffered from decay or is damaged by trauma, such as a blow to the mouth or vehicle accident, resulting in a loss of much of its structure.
Crowns restore teeth that have lost too much of their original structure to be restored with a filling. If we were to try repairing the tooth with a filling, there would be a real risk that the tooth could crack or crumble away when you bite or chew or that it could become infected.
In cosmetic dentistry, we can use dental crowns to cover teeth that are worn, too small, or not an ideal shape but are not necessarily damaged or decayed. Dental crowns can also be used to restore dental implants.
Dental crowns can be made from various materials, so their appearance depends on which is selected. No matter the material, the crown will be contoured to look like a real tooth, replacing any structure lost to infection, decay, or trauma.
PFZ crowns, or porcelain-infused zirconium, are among our favorite choices for our patients in Midtown Manhattan or Downtown Brooklyn. Here is why we use PFZ crowns:
Metal alloy crowns are gold or silver colored, and the alloy is polished to a high sheen, so it looks attractive.
These crowns are generally only used to cover back teeth, as they are durable and hard-wearing and will not harm the opposing teeth, even though they are subjected to significant chewing forces.
Some people will choose to have a gold front tooth to express their individuality and personality.
A PFM crown has a thin metal substructure that is covered with porcelain. A thin metal collar may be visible at the back of the tooth, which is highly polished.
PFMs have been widely used for decades and are hardwearing, and can look relatively natural.
However, the metal must be covered with opaque porcelain that, while blocking out the metal color, prevents light from passing through the crown, so the results don’t always look as good as a natural tooth.
Also, over time, the gum around the crown can recede, exposing the edge of the crown where the porcelain is thinner, resulting in a darker line around the margin that can be visible in the mouth.
Porcelain crowns are all-ceramic and are entirely metal free. An all-ceramic crown provides the highest aesthetic results and is ideal when covering a tooth right in the smile line. They are perfect for use in cosmetic dentistry.
One of the most popular brands of all-ceramic crowns is emax, a ceramic material called lithium disilicate.
The crown is made from a solid block of pre-shaded ceramic material that is durable and relatively strong. The main advantage of an emax crown is its exceptional translucency, as light can pass through it in a way very similar to a real tooth.
Zirconia crowns are also all-ceramic but are stronger than emax crowns. They are milled from a block of pre-shaded material before this is sintered, where it is heated to an extremely high temperature, giving the material its strength and structure.
Zirconia dental crowns are so strong they can be used anywhere in the mouth, including when restoring back teeth.
There is even a special form of zirconia called Bruxzir that is suitable for people with clenching and grinding issues, a problem called bruxism, and that can easily damage or destroy crowns made from other, less robust materials.
A composite resin crown is only used temporarily, while a more permanent crown is fabricated.
Although the temporary resin material we use looks quite good, it is more fragile than other materials and more prone to cracking or breaking.
When you see our dentist for a dental crown, we can discuss which option might suit your needs best, considering your budget, the position of the tooth, and your cosmetic goals. Generally, we recommend all-ceramic crowns made from porcelain or zirconia.
While the best crown for you is the one that meets your individual needs and preferences, it’s important to know the parameters and factors for you to pay attention to, such as:
Other parameters to look for when choosing a dental crown are:
Ultimately, the best way to choose a crown is to talk to your local dentist or New York City’s leading dentists at Century Dental Center. They can help you understand your options and choose the best crown for your needs.
You can expect to visit our dental office at least twice for your new dental crown.
During your first visit:
Once we are happy with the tooth preparation and impressions, we liaise with skilled dental technicians who will custom-make the crown to our exact prescription, using the best quality materials and to the highest standards.
At this point, we fit a temporary crown over the prepared tooth, usually made from composite resin, so that you can talk and smile without embarrassment. The crown will look and feel pretty good, but once your new crown is made, it will look and feel far better.
Because your temporary crown is more fragile than the permanent crown, you need to take a bit more care not to break or dislodge it, avoiding foods that are very sticky, crunchy, or hard.
If you do dislodge or break it, contact us immediately so we can replace it, even if it is a back tooth that cannot be seen. Without a temporary crown to protect it, your tooth would feel more sensitive and uncomfortable.
Once your new crown is ready, you return to our dental office so we can remove the temporary crown and try in your new, permanent restoration.
You probably won’t need a local anesthetic for this process. We will ensure that it fits precisely, that you can bite properly, and that it looks good.
You can approve the crown’s appearance before it is bonded in place, completing this procedure.
It is normal for any new restoration to feel a little strange initially, but it should quickly feel comfortable and natural. If the crown doesn’t settle down, please contact our dental office. We might need to make minor adjustments to ensure it fits comfortably. Sometimes it may be necessary to adjust the bite a little bit.
The main benefit of a dental crown is that it can prolong the life of a natural tooth, especially if that tooth is significantly damaged or decayed or after root canal therapy, preventing further damage.
Once a crown is fitted, it can enhance your appearance, and we take enormous care to ensure each crown is optimally designed to provide excellent cosmetic results. A new crown will improve your biting and chewing ability so that you can eat without any discomfort or pain. We are frequently asked how long do porcelain crowns last. With the right care, dental crowns can last ten years or longer.
The main disadvantage of a dental crown is that we must remove some tooth structure when preparing the tooth. A new dental crown can cause some tooth sensitivity initially, for the first few weeks after fitting. All dental restorations, including dental crowns, will eventually need replacing, and they can fracture or break as they age.
There is a risk that a crown could begin to leak, trapping bacteria and leading to infection and decay, especially as the crown starts to age or if it is made incorrectly. Some people have metal sensitivities or allergies to the alloys used in metal or PFM crowns.
A dental crown cost will depend on the materials chosen to fabricate it. The cheapest crowns are composite resin, but as stated earlier, these are usually only temporary and will not last very long.
Metal alloy crowns cost can depend on the costs of the metals used; for example, a gold crown cost will depend on the current market price of gold and the amount required to make the crown.
Ceramic and zirconia crowns are the most expensive, as they use the most advanced materials and are precision made, but these provide excellent protection for teeth and look amazing.
Since Century Dental Center accepts most dental insurance plans, including Fidelis Care, MetroPlus Dental, ElderPlan, Medicaid, and AARP Medicare Advantage, dental crowns, which are considered restorative treatment, are usually covered in full or at least partially.
However, if you require a crown purely for cosmetic purposes, such as covering a tooth that is too small or not in great shape, you might have to cover the entire cost of the restoration.
*If your insurance covers crowns, you can upgrade to zirconia crowns for an additional $500.
If you do not have dental insurance and paying from your packet, the average cost of a tooth crown ranges from $500 to $2,000. The final cost is mainly influenced by the type of material used and the preparation required.
If you have a new dental crown, it is easy to look after. You can brush and floss around it in the same way as the rest of your teeth. You don’t need to use any special techniques or tools. However, ensuring you clean your crown thoroughly will help it last longer.
Avoid very hard or crunchy foods that could crack or damage your crown. As a rule, if a certain food could damage a tooth, it could also damage your dental crown.
Make sure you visit Century Dental regularly for checkups and hygiene appointments. Professionally cleaning your teeth and dental restorations like crowns will also help them to last longer, and we can check their condition at every visit. When the time comes, we can recommend they be replaced to continue protecting your teeth.
The table shows patient satisfaction rates based on the ~300 dental crown restorations. The data is from Pubmed randomized, double-blind clinical trials organized by type of crown.
|Type of Crown
|Lithium disilicate crowns
* It is important to note the actual satisfaction rate may vary depending on the individual patient and the specific crown used.
The table shows the incidence of complications associated with single crowns and all-ceramic crowns. The data is published in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry and includes data from over 100 studies.
|Mean Incidence of Complications
|3 Most Common Complications
|Crown fracture (7%)
Loss of retention (2%)
Need for endodontic treatment (1%)
|Conventional single crowns
(ceramic, metal, and porcelain)
|Need for endodontic treatment (3%)
Porcelain veneer fracture (3%)
Loss of retention (2%)
* It is important to note the actual incidence of complications may vary depending on the individual patient and the specific crown used.
The table shows the survival rates for all types of crowns. The data was published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Oral Implants Research and Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.
|5-Year Survival Rate
|15-20 Year Survival Rate
* It is important to note the actual survival rate may vary depending on the individual patient and the specific crown used
Dental crowns are an excellent solution to protect and preserve natural teeth and can significantly improve their appearance. The latest dental crowns made from ceramics and zirconia look so lifelike it is nearly impossible to tell they are not real. For more information about tooth crowns or to schedule an appointment with top NYC dentists specializing in dental crowns, visit Century Dental Center in Midtown Manhattan or Downtown Brooklyn.
Century Medical and Dental Center is an accredited healthcare facility in NY that operates in accordance with Article 28, a public health law. This law regulates and recognizes accreditation for public healthcare facilities, ensuring they are licensed and operated correctly. By undergoing the Article 28 process and achieving accreditation, Century Medical and Dental Center demonstrates its commitment to meeting the highest standards of care.
As a multidisciplinary medical center, we have highly qualified doctors, nurses, and support staff who are working hard to provide the best medical care to patients in Midtown Manhattan, NY, Downtown Brooklyn, NY, including Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.