Dental Crowns 101—From Preparation to Aftercare to FAQ

dental crowns 101

A dental crown procedures is one of the best preventive options available.

Up to 20% of American adults aged 18 to 64 have either broken or missing teeth. Not only can this cause inconveniences with speaking and eating, but it may also cause embarrassment when smiling or laughing.

Fortunately, there are dental procedures that can restore all aspects of someone’s smile. If you’re an American who has broken or missing teeth, you might benefit from dental crowns.

Curious about dental crowns? Then keep reading.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a type of restorative dentistry. Essentially, it’s a cap that goes on top of a weakened tooth to reinforce it. Not just that, it also restores the tooth’s appearance, which makes it look as if your tooth has regained its full health. So whenever you talk or smile, people won’t see a damaged or misshapen tooth; instead, they’ll see a dental crown that blends in perfectly with the rest of your natural teeth.


Before you start the process of getting a dental crown, you need to have a consultation with your dentist. You can proactively seek out your dentist if you have a tooth that’s misshapen, fractured, weak, or discolored, and you feel self-conscious about it. Your dentist may also recommend a dental crown if, during an appointment, they discover a tooth that has any of these characteristics.

If you’ve recently received a root canal, a dental crown may be needed to cover the affected tooth.


A typical dental crown procedure requires two visits. During your first visit, your dentist will examine the affected tooth. This might require some x-rays and molds of your tooth and/or mouth.

After that’s done, your dentist will file down your tooth and remove some of the outer layer. Once this is finished, your dentist can then take an impression of the tooth and the teeth around it. Now, your dentist has an impression to work with to create your permanent crown.

Your dentist will send the impression off to a lab to create the crown, which means you’ll need a temporary crown on your tooth to protect it between appointments.

When your permanent crown is ready (usually in a few weeks), you’ll return for your second visit and your dentist will place your crown on top of your tooth. They’ll make any necessary adjustments and then cement the crown into place.


While you have your temporary crown, you should take care not to eat any sticky foods (including gum), as it may cause the crown to fall out. Your tooth may be sensitive to hot and/or cold foods, so you might want to avoid those too.

Once you get your permanent crown, you need to brush twice daily and floss regularly. Your tooth might feel sensitive to hot and cold at first, so you might want to switch to a toothpaste that’s made for sensitive teeth.

You’ll also want to avoid eating hard foods, such as ice, which can cause your crown to crack. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, make sure you let your dentist know. They can then get you a night guard to protect your teeth.


We’ve now given you a look at what dental crowns are and the process behind them. But you might still have some questions about them, such as, “Do they hurt?” Here are some FAQs we regularly hear from patients.

Do dental crowns hurt?

Many people worry about this and may be apprehensive about the procedure for this reason.

The good news is, the gum area around that tooth will be numbed before dental crown implantation. The numbing injection itself may pinch a little, but after the numbing sets in, you shouldn’t feel anything during the procedure.

Afterward, you might feel a bit of sensitivity around your crown, and soreness on your gums, but it will wear off quickly.

What are the types of dental crowns?

You might’ve expected dental crowns to just come in one form, but actually, there are several types of dental crowns! They are temporary, permanent, and onlay (or 3/4).

Temporary crowns are used to protect your tooth while you wait for your permanent crown to be made. Once it’s ready, the temporary one can be swapped out for the permanent one.

As the name suggests, onlay (3/4) crowns only partially cover your tooth. Your dentist may suggest this as a treatment in place of a regular crown if your tooth doesn’t need to be fully covered.

What materials are used in dental crowns?

Your dentist can use a variety of materials in addition to porcelain, such as ceramic, composite resin, metal, or zirconia. They can even use a combination of several (or all) of the above materials.

When evaluating you for a dental crown, your dentist will take into consideration the location of the tooth, how much it shows when you smile, how it functions, how much remains, and the color of all the teeth surrounding the tooth in question. You can also let your dentist know what your personal preferences are. From there, they can determine the best materials to use for your dental crown.

Who needs them?

Dental crowns are an extremely versatile solution to a range of issues. Dental crowns can solve a number of cosmetic concerns, or they can restore teeth that are discolored, misshapen, or broken. People who have a weakened tooth or have had a root canal might turn to dental crowns as well.

In addition, cavities that are too big for a filling might also be a candidate for a dental crown. If you need a dental bridge or tooth implant, your dentist may suggest having a dental crown put in.

Are dental crowns expensive?

For the average American, dental crowns may be a little expensive. They can cost anywhere from $800 to $1700 per crown, depending on where you’re located in the country, what materials are used, and which dentist you seek out. If you get a gold crown, it can cost up to $2500!

Another factor that can affect the cost of your dental crown is other procedures you may need to get done along with the dental crown. For instance, if you need to have a root canal done before the dental implant and crown are put in, then that’s a significant additional cost.

The good news is that part of your dental crown cost may be covered by insurance. Before proceeding with one, make sure you get in touch with your insurance company to see if they cover it, and if so, how much.

When weighing the cost of treatment, consider that it’s always less costly to move forward with treatment than to wait. Waiting means there may be more extensive work needed down the road. Getting those beautiful crowns to restore and protect your teeth is an investment in your health with benefits that will last for a lifetime!

Ask your dentist about dental crowns.

If you’ve been having issues with your teeth and would like to restore not just your smile, but also your eating and speaking abilities, then it may be a good idea to ask your dentist about dental crowns. Together, you can figure out if this is the optimum course of action to give you the best oral health possible.

Everyone deserves to eat, speak, and smile without feeling embarrassed or self-conscious. So if you’re tired of the current condition of your teeth, be sure to speak to your dentist in Greenville, SC, about whether dental crowns may be viable for you.

Do you need a new dentist in Greenville? Then get in touch with Monroe Family Dentistry today!