29 Gladstone St
Moonee Ponds 3039
03 9370 5585

Cosmetic dentistry - information about crowns

What is a crown?
Benefits of a crown?
What's involved on getting a crown
Types of crowns
Possible problems
Costs of crowns

What is a crown?
A crown is an artifical covering for a tooth. When a dentist makes a crown for a tooth the majority of the natural crown of the tooth is replaced.
The term "cap" may be used instead of a crown.

Benefits of a crown?

  1. Appearance improvement: Badly discolored teeth and misshapen teeth can be rejovenated with a crown.
  2. Normal restorations(fillings) cant work in some situations: Sometimes the mechanics of getting a restoration(filling) to stay in a tooth is virtually impossible and a crown or full coverage material is the only option for maintaining the tooth within the mouth.
  3. Relieve the sensitivity of a cracked tooth: Teeth may have microcracks that cause sensitivity to cold, hot and biting. Holding the tooth together with a crown may relieve these problems
  4. Strengthen a cracked tooth: A tooth may have cracks that are obvious to the dentist without you being aware of any problems. Training and experience may tell the dentist that it is best to suggest a crown before problems occur.

What's involved on getting a crown
Making a crown may involve the following:

  • Radiographs to check the roots of the teeth and see that no bone problem is detected
  • Numbing the tooth
  • Shaping the tooth: Generally a layer is removed off the chewing surface and the sides of the tooth (all around the tooth really!) . The amount removed depends on the requirements for the different types (material) of crown.
  • A mould (or impression) of the teeth is made. A soft material is place into your mouth via a 'tray' and it hardens fairly quickly so it can be removed and then an accurate reproduction of your prepared tooth is available. The crown is made using the impression.
  • For a tooth coloured crown a color is selected.
  • A temporary crown is made to cover the tooth while we wait for the crown to be made. This will not be as strong as the permanent crown. It is attached with a temporary cement so we can remove it to place on the crown. Please try and avoid chewing on the temporary crown and particularly stay away from sticky or hard food. If the temporary crown becomes loose please contact us.
  • Final visit
      • The temporary crown is removed and the new crown is positioned to see it fits, the bite is OK and the color is matched correctly. The new crown is then cemented into place with a permanent cement

Types of crowns
There are many different types of crowns. Professional skill and experience mean the correct crown is available for your individual tooth requirements.

  1. Gold crowns: for situations where appearance isn't important. Advantages include a strong crown with similar hardness and wear property as a natural tooth.
  2. Porcelain -over-metal crowns: for situations where color and strenght are important. These are harder than normal teeth
  3. All ceramic crowns: for situations where color properties are the highest priority. Traditionally subject to slightly higher risk of fracture than porcelain-metal crowns.
  4. Metal crowns - prefabricated: these are crowns adapted for deciduous(baby) teeth and are applied in a single visit.

Possible problems
During any medical or dental or health treatments it is possible that unplanned complications can occur.

  • Breakage of the tooth
    While very effort is made to evaluate teeth before the crown preparation is undertaken it is not possible to detect cracks with radiographs and they may not be seen either. A tooth may crack during crown preparation or can crack later. If a crack occurs during crown preparation the treatment of the tooth may be modified depending on how severe the problem
  • Pain or discomfort
    After preparing a tooth for a crown it may feel tender as the anaesthetic wears off. If this discomfort persists for more than 24 hours please let us know. Sometimes a very slight variation to your 'bite' can cause ongoing pain. This may be simply relieved by making your restored tooth 'less high'.
  • Nerve dies
    Usually teeth that are crowned have had large or deep fillings (restorations) within them. These teeth are more likely to require root canal treatment (endodontics). If pain persists after preparation for a crown or after a crown is put in place please let us know. The cost of root canal treatment will be additional to the cost of the crown.
  • Loose crown
    If your crown or temporary crown feels loose please let us know. When a crown is loose extensive decay of the remaining tooth can occur quite quickly. If the crown is loose we may be able to clean it and re-cement it into place.
  • Allergic responses
    Being allergic to gold or porcelain would be very rare. Usually the metal used inside a metal/porcelain crown is a mixture of metals including gold. Sometimes non-precious metals are used in crowns. If you are allergic to any jewelry then please tell us BEFORE we do a crown so we can determine the material of least risk. Allergic response to crowns may take some time to be seen or may develop after a crown has been put in place. It may be seen with increased inflammation or the discoloration of the gingival tissue around the crowns only.

Costs of treatment
Crowns are an investment in time and expensive technology and materials.
Extra costs will generally occur if complications happen.



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Dr George Politis  B.D.Sc (University of Melbourne) F.I.C.C.D.E.
Dr Khanh Nguyen 
B.D.Sc (Hons) (University of Queensland)

Mooneevale Dental

29 Gladstone St
Moonee Ponds 3039
Phone: 03 9370 5585

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