West Perth Dental Centre

Achieve Overall Dental Wellness by Understanding the Fundamentals of Dental Crowns

Many people encounter dental problems at some point in their lives, whether due to extensive decay or wear and tear. These oral health issues can often lead to damage to teeth that necessitates replacements. Understanding the available dental restorations, such as crowns, is crucial to maintaining oral health and improving one’s smile appearance.

Dental crowns offer a reliable method of restoring the function and aesthetics of damaged teeth. As a commonly recommended treatment, dental crowns help maintain the integrity of teeth and support overall dental wellness.

This article will discuss the basics of dental crowns, exploring their purpose, common types, benefits, and more. Understanding these aspects can help you make decisions to restore your smile. Continue reading to get valuable insights that can help you achieve optimal oral health.

Summary of the Content

  • Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that cover the entire weak or decayed tooth. They are a common restorative dentistry service that restores oral functionality and overall dental health.
  • Dental crowns address fractured, decayed, and worn-out teeth by providing a protective barrier. This enhances the tooth’s strength and appearance.
  • The dental crown process includes tooth preparation, impression taking, temporary crown placement, and final fitting.
  • Different materials used for crowns include porcelain, metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, composite resin, and zirconia. Each material has specific benefits and potential drawbacks. The choice of material can depend on the patient’s preferences, the severity of the tooth’s condition, and their budget.
  • Benefits of dental crowns include improved chewing function, enhanced dental aesthetics, protection for damaged teeth, and prevention of further tooth decay.
  • Proper care involves regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups. Caring for dental crowns promotes longevity and maintains oral health.

The Purpose of Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a fundamental aspect of restorative dentistry designed to address various dental issues. It is a tooth-shaped cap that is designed to be placed over a damaged, decayed, or fractured tooth. Its primary purpose is to restore the shape, size, strength, and aesthetic appearance of teeth. These custom crowns are tailored to fit precisely over the existing tooth, providing a durable and visually appealing restoration. By covering the affected tooth, crowns help restore its natural shape and functionality.

Types of issues that dental crowns can address include:

  • Fractured tooth:
    Dental crowns protect teeth that are susceptible to fractures. It can be used to cover the entire tooth that is broken, providing a protective barrier that prevents further fracture. This stabilises the tooth structure and restores its functionality, allowing you to chew, bite, and speak comfortably without the risk of additional breakage.
  • Missing tooth:
    When a tooth is missing, a dental crown can be used with a dental implant to fill the gap. The crown serves as a replacement tooth that looks and functions like a natural one, restoring your smile and preventing adjacent teeth from shifting into the space, which can lead to bite problems and other complications.
  • Worn-out teeth:
    Teeth can become worn down from excessive chewing, grinding, or acid erosion, resulting in reduced function and increased sensitivity. Dental crowns can restore the original shape and size of these worn teeth, providing a protective layer that prevents further wear. This helps in maintaining proper chewing function and alleviates discomfort caused by tooth wear.
  • Restore teeth after dental work:
    They can be used for teeth that have undergone root canal therapy to restore functionality and remain strong.
  • Dental cosmetic reasons:
    Crowns also improve the overall aesthetic appearance of teeth, making them a good option for patients looking to enhance their smile. Additionally, they can be used to cover severely discoloured teeth, cover stains, and achieve an attractive smile.

A well-placed dental crown can significantly enhance the function and appearance of your teeth, providing a reliable method for protecting your oral health. Whether dealing with a fractured tooth, a missing tooth, or worn-out teeth, understanding the purpose and benefits of dental crowns is crucial. As you consider your options for dental restoration, consulting with your dentist will help you determine the best approach to achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile.

The Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns offer numerous benefits that make them a common choice of treatment for restoring and enhancing teeth. Here are some of the key benefits of this dental restoration:

  • Improved Oral Function
    One of the primary benefits of dental crowns is the restoration of continued chewing function. By capping a damaged or decayed tooth, crowns provide the necessary support to withstand chewing forces. This allows you to bite and chew food comfortably without pain or discomfort. Improved tooth functionality allows you to enjoy food.
  • Enhanced Appearance
    Custom-made crowns are designed to match the natural colour of teeth, providing a seamless blend with your existing teeth. This results in an enhanced appearance and a more attractive smile, boosting your confidence in social and professional settings.
  • Protect the Teeth
    When a tooth is cracked, it becomes vulnerable to further breakage and infection. A dental crown encases the damaged tooth, providing a sturdy protective barrier from bacteria, acidic substances, or decay. This is particularly essential for teeth that have undergone significant dental treatment, like root canal therapy. Additionally, dentists recommend crowns for patients with acid reflux to shield enamel from erosion. This protective measure helps preserve the integrity of the tooth and prevents the need for more extensive dental treatments in the future.
  • Stabilisation of Adjacent Teeth
    When a dental crown is used to replace a missing tooth, it prevents neighbouring teeth from shifting into the space. This stabilisation helps maintain the alignment of your teeth and avoids potential bite problems.

Dental crowns provide many advantages, from improving oral functionality to enhancing appearance and protecting damaged teeth. Understanding these benefits can help you be informed and make better decisions. Speak with your dentist to explore if dental crowns are suitable for your dental care needs.

Materials Used in Dental Crowns

Choosing the right material for a dental crown is crucial for achieving the desired balance between durability, appearance, and cost. Several common materials are used in the dental crown process, each with unique properties. Here’s a closer look at each type:


All-porcelain crowns are made from porcelain, a type of ceramic. They are known for their aesthetic appeal and closely resemble natural teeth in terms of colour and translucency. Depending on the specific dental needs of the patient, porcelain crowns are a popular choice for both the front and back teeth. However, they are particularly favoured for their natural appearance in visible areas.

  • Advantages:
    • Porcelain crowns are highly aesthetic and have a natural appearance.
    • They are known for their ability to blend seamlessly with surrounding teeth.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Porcelain crowns are less durable compared to other type of materials.
    • They are prone to chipping or cracking. However, advancements in dental materials have made porcelain crowns more durable.


Metal crowns are made from various metal alloys, such as gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium. They are known for their exceptional strength and durability, making them a reliable option for restoring teeth that endure significant biting and chewing forces, such as the back teeth.

  • Advantages:
    • Metal crowns are highly resistant to the rigours of daily chewing and biting and are at low risk of breaking or wearing down.
    • They are particularly suitable for molars, which bear the impact of chewing forces.
    • Due to their durability, metal crowns often have a longer lifespan than crowns made from other materials. With proper care, patients can expect them to last many years.
  • Disadvantages:
    • The metallic appearance of metal crowns may be unappealing for visible teeth.
    • They have a higher cost due to the use of precious metals like gold crowns.
    • While rare, some patients may have allergies to certain metals, such as nickel. It is essential to discuss any known metal allergies with your dentist before selecting a metal crown.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM)

These versatile dental crown materials combine the metal structure with porcelain. PFM crowns are a popular option for patients seeking both long-lasting restoration and an appealing appearance.

  • Advantages:
    • PFM crowns feature a durable metal structure covered by a porcelain outer layer that closely mimics the appearance of natural teeth. This combination makes the crown strong enough to withstand biting and chewing forces while maintaining a natural look.
    • Due to their durability and aesthetic qualities, PFM crowns are suitable for use on both front teeth, where appearance is crucial, and back teeth, where strength is a priority.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Over time, the metal core of PFM crowns can start to show through the porcelain layer, particularly at the gum line. This can create a visible dark line, which may be a concern for some patients, especially those with receding gums.
    • The porcelain layer of PFM crowns can be abrasive to opposing teeth, potentially causing wear over time.

Composite Resin

Composite resin crowns are crafted from a tooth-coloured resin material that offers a less costly option for dental restoration. They can be shaped to fit over the damaged tooth, making them a preferred choice for those on a budget. Composite resin can also match the natural colour of your teeth, providing an aesthetic appearance.

  • Advantages:
    • Composite resin crowns are more accessible than other materials.
    • They match the natural tooth colour.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Composite resin crowns are less durable compared to crowns made from materials like metal or porcelain. They are more prone to wear and tear, which means they may not last as long as other types of crowns.
    • They may require replacement sooner than other types of crowns.


Zirconia crowns are crafted from zirconium dioxide, a strong ceramic material known for its exceptional durability and aesthetic qualities. They offer a high level of strength, making them recommended for both front and back teeth.

  • Advantages:
    • Zirconia crowns are also highly durable and resistant to wear.
    • They provide a natural appearance with aesthetic qualities.
    • Zirconia is a biocompatible material, meaning it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions or irritation in the gums. This makes it a safe and reliable choice for many patients.
    • The strength of zirconia allows for thinner crowns, which means minimal trimming of the natural tooth structure is needed during preparation.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Zirconia crowns usually cost more than other options.
    • While zirconia crowns are highly durable, their hardness can sometimes cause wear on the opposing natural teeth, particularly if the patient grinds their teeth.

Discussing the benefits and drawbacks with a dental professional will help you determine which type of dental crown materials are suitable for your tooth restoration needs. They can provide personalised advice that is based on your dental health, aesthetic preferences, and budget considerations.

The Process of Getting a Dental Crown

The journey to receiving a dental crown involves multiple important steps, each contributing to a successful and comfortable outcome. Here are the general steps that dental professionals perform during the dental crown process:

  • Consultation with the Dentist
    The dental crown procedure begins with an initial consultation with an experienced dentist. During this visit, they will examine your affected tooth, discuss your needs, and recommend the appropriate type of crown. This step is vital to understanding the specific requirements for your dental crown procedure.
  • Tooth Preparation
    The next step is preparing the affected tooth for the dental crown. The dentist will shave down any decay and shape the tooth to fit the crown. This often involves reshaping the tooth by trimming a portion of its structure to accommodate the crown. If the tooth is severely damaged or has undergone root canal therapy, the dentist may need to build it up. This build-up material provides a solid foundation for the crown.
  • Impression Taking
    After the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take dental impressions of the prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth. These impressions will be the basis for creating a custom-fit crown. Creating a precise mould for your teeth is critical for the crown to fit properly and comfortably.
  • Temporary Crown Placement
    While your final dental crown is being fabricated, a temporary crown is placed over the prepared tooth. This temporary crown protects the vulnerable tooth and maintains its position in your mouth. It’s important to handle the temporary crown with care to avoid dislodging it before the final dental crown is ready.
  • Colour Match
    For crowns made of porcelain, zirconia, composite, or PFM, your dentist will guide you to choose a shade that matches the colour of your surrounding teeth. This step is done so that the crown blends with your surrounding teeth, providing a natural appearance.
  • Final Crown Fitting
    Once the final crown is ready, you’ll return to the dentist for the final fitting. The dentist will remove the temporary crown and attach the actual one, checking the fit and bite. Any necessary adjustments will be made so the crown fits precisely. The crown is then attached to the place using biocompatible dental cement.

A well-executed dental crown procedure can significantly improve the appearance of your smile. By understanding each step involved, you can better appreciate the care and precision required to achieve a comfortable and long-lasting fit. Discuss any questions or concerns with your dentist to achieve a positive experience and optimal results.

Caring for Your Dental Crown

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is key to caring for dental crowns. Practising them can help promote optimal longevity and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Listed below are some essential tips:

  • Regular brushing:
    Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Clean around the crown gently to avoid damaging the dental crown materials. Consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean your teeth without causing wear.
  • Flossing:
    Include flossing in your daily dental hygiene habits to dislodge food particles and plaque that get stuck between your teeth. Be careful when flossing around the dental crown to prevent it from loosening.
  • Avoid hard and crunchy foods:
    Do not chew on hard foods like ice, hard candies, or nuts. These can crack or damage the crown. Stick to soft foods, and cut harder foods into smaller pieces when necessary to help with chewing.
  • Limit staining foods and drinks:
    Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, can stain your crown. We encourage patients to limit their consumption of these items and rinse their mouth with water after consuming them.
  • Regular dental check-ups:
    Make a dental appointment to visit your dentist routinely so they can monitor the condition of your artificial tooth and detect signs of problems. The dentist can identify any issues early and provide the necessary treatments.
  • Use a Mouthguard:
    If you play strenuous sports or suspect that you grind your teeth at night, consider using a custom mouthguard. This can protect your crown and other teeth from damage due to excessive grinding or an accidental, strong impact.

Caring for dental crowns is important to keep them functional and in good condition. Remember to work closely with your dentist to guide you in caring for your false tooth and overall oral health.

Cost Considerations and Health Fund Cover

Some factors could influence the overall cost of dental crown treatment, and knowing these can help you decide on your dental restoration needs. These often include the following:

  • The choice of material:
    The type of dental crown material used has a huge impact on the overall cost. For instance, options like porcelain and zirconia usually cost more due to their cosmetic appearance and durability.
  • Complexity of the dental procedure:
    The condition of the tooth and the amount of preparation required can influence the total expense. More complex cases require additional time and skills, which can increase the overall cost. Required additional treatments, such as root canal treatment, may increase the overall cost.
  • Location and experience of the dentist:
    The dental clinic’s location and the dentist’s level of experience can influence the cost. For instance, clinics in urban areas or those with highly experienced dentists may charge higher fees due to the higher operational costs and demand for highly trained professionals.
  • Dental health fund cover:
    It is important to check with your dental health fund provider to understand the portion of the cost that may be covered. Health funds often cover part of the cost, depending on your plan and the type of crown you choose. Contacting your provider in advance can help you estimate out-of-pocket expenses.
  • The location of the tooth:
    Crowns for front teeth may be more expensive due to the need for a precise colour match and aesthetic considerations. Conversely, crowns for back teeth might cost less but still require durable materials to withstand chewing forces. The specific needs of each tooth can significantly impact the final cost.

When planning for a dental crown treatment, it’s important to consider these factors to help you clearly understand the costs involved. Being informed about these can prevent unexpected costs and allow you to prepare your budget beforehand.

Additionally, it’s essential to consult with your dental health fund provider to understand what portion of the cost may be covered. Health funds often cover a part of the dental crown treatment, but the extent of the cover can vary. Factors like the specific health plan, the type of crown of choice, and whether the treatment is deemed medically necessary will influence dental cover.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the fundamentals of dental crowns can significantly help you make decisions to restore your smile and improve your oral health.

Dental crowns encase the entire vulnerable tooth to restore its function, appearance, and strength. They offer various benefits, including improved oral function, enhanced aesthetics, and protection for weakened teeth. The process of getting a dental crown involves several important steps, from the consultation with the dentist to the final fitting.

Caring for your dental crown through regular dental visits and good oral hygiene practices will help maintain its longevity and effectiveness.

If you are considering a dental crown or have any questions, the friendly team at West Perth Dental Centre is here to help. We encourage you to call our dental clinic or visit our website to schedule an appointment and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

Dr. Michael Wu


Dr. Michael Wu

Dr. Michael Wu holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Western Australia. He never stops learning and regularly attends post-graduate education seminars, courses, and conferences to ensure he is providing his patients with excellent dental care.

Receive First-class Care at West Perth Dental Centre

At our clinic, you'll be cared for by experienced dentists who use only the latest in dental technology. Book your appointment today!

West Perth Dental
Areas We Service: Leederville|Northbridge|Subiaco