What Is A Dental Crown? The Procedure & When You Need One

Porcelain Veneer Nelson Bay Dentist

The most common treatment for a minor cavity is a filling, but if the damage or decay has progressed too far for a filling to work, an inlay treatment is the best option for restoring your tooth. However, how do you proceed if the entire tooth has been severely damaged and borders the gum line, and there isn’t a lot of it left to support a filling? In this case, the solution may be a dental crown.

Let’s take a look at what dental crowns are, why you may need them, what happens during the procedure, the benefits and risks of dental crowns, and the alternatives.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown covers an existing tooth, and the procedure can improve the appearance and strength of a decayed or broken tooth. Materials used for crowns include porcelain, ceramic, glass, or metal.

When might you need a dental crown?

A dental crown is often necessary after root canal treatment when too much of the original tooth is missing. Additionally, crowns can be used to protect weak or damaged teeth, cover stained or deteriorated teeth, or hold dentures or bridges in place.

What happens during a dental crown procedure?

It is typical for the dentist to remove a layer of the tooth’s outer surface when preparing it for extraction. A crown will be fabricated in the same thickness as the removed layer.

Dentists prepare crowns by creating a mould of the tooth, which is sent to a technician. The colour can usually be matched to the other teeth so that it will blend in. A temporary crown may be given to you until the permanent one is available. Dental cement or adhesive is used to fit the permanent crown into place once it is ready.

How do you care for your dental crown?

Though the crown of your tooth will not decay, the edge where it sits can. In addition to standard brushing and flossing, you should also be using fluoride toothpaste.

Benefits and risks of a dental crown procedure

Putting a crown on a weakened or broken tooth prevents further damage, so they can improve the appearance of teeth that are stained or irregularly shaped. Crowns can last for many years if they are properly maintained, but they must occasionally be replaced. This may be due to either a decayed tooth under the crown or because the cement in the area does not hold.

Are there alternatives to dental crowns?

Besides dental crowns, there are other alternatives. If you want to improve discolouration, you might consider veneers, which are thin layers glued to the affected teeth. You might also be able to restore your tooth structure with a filling if one of your teeth is chipped.

Contact our professionals

We hope this has answered some of your questions regarding dental crowns. Please feel free to get in touch with our friendly staff if you have any additional questions.


Dentist Dr John Cropley

Dr John Cropley

John is the principal dentist at John Cropley Dentistry in Nelson Bay. He graduated in Dentistry from the University of Adelaide and is a long-standing member of the Australian Dental Association (ADA). He is known for his gentle, calm and caring manner and offers services in prevention-based dentistry, emergency care, cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry including endodontics.

6 Tomaree Street
Nelson Bay, NSW 2315
(02) 4981 3114
Call us today!
Opening Hours
Mon - Fri, Sat morning
Book Appointment
Contact us