Image 1:2 Example of a Gold dental crown
Image 1:1 Example of a Porcelain dental crown
Image 1:3 Example of a Metal dental crown




What is a dental crown? 


A crown or "cap" usually covers the majority of a tooth that is above the gum line and is a fixed, or permanent, appliance that you do not have to insert in and out of your mouth.  Crowns usually need to be replaced every 5-15 years but the lifespan can vary from tooth to tooth, depending on your oral health and health of your tooth.


What is the purpose of a crown?  


One of the most common purposes of a dental crown is to prevent tooth loss.  Crowns offer support and strength to a tooth, especially when a tooth is missing a lot of tooth structure.   Missing tooth structure can be due to dental decay, severe wear on a tooth due to clenching or grinding habits or from a cracked tooth.  If left untreated, the tooth is extremely vulnerable to fracture/breaking which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.  


Crowns also have cosmetic purposes.   They are able to change the shape or shade of a tooth so that it is more aesthetically pleasing, which can improve overall self esteem and dramatically improve a patient's smile.  Also, if there are missing teeth or gaps between teeth, crowns can be used to fill in these areas with "fake teeth".  These "fake teeth" are also known as pontic crowns (which are apart of a dental bridge) and look so natural that most people can't tell the difference between these and natural teeth!  


Not only can crowns improve your smile, but they can improve a "sunk-in" appearance of facial structure and can improve chewing function, allowing you to eat foods that you may not have been able to eat before!  


Why do I need a crown?


Here is a full comprehensive list of why you may need a crown: 


  • a cracked tooth or a tooth with crack lines

  • a tooth that has had a root canal

  • to cover a tooth that has a large filling

  • to cover a tooth with a large amount of dental decay after a filling has been placed

  • to cover a tooth that is apart of a bridge (to aid in replacing missing teeth)

  • to protect a tooth that has been worn down from clenching or grinding habits (bruxism)

  • discolored tooth

  • misshapen tooth

  • cover a dental implant


What is the procedure like? 


Crowns are generally made in 2 office visits.  The first appointment takes approximately 2 hours while the second is much shorter-about 30 minutes.  During the first appointment, our dental assistant will take impressions of your teeth, color match your crown to your teeth and apply a numbing jelly.  Dr. Lukic will then anesthetize your teeth with local anesthetic and prepare the tooth for a crown.  After the tooth is isolated, another impression will be taken and then your dental assistant will be ready to fabricate your temporary crown for you!  The permanent crown will be fabricated in a lab so that it can be custom fitted to your mouth.  At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed and your permanent crown will be tried-in and adjusted if necessary.


What are the different types of crowns you offer? 


There are many types of crowns.  Our team offers white, gold, metal, metal-fused to porcelain crowns.  Ask our dentist which type is best for you. 


  • Gold crowns (gold alloy crowns) (see below image 1:2) contain gold, copper and other metals and provide great strength while being highly resistant against wear.  These crowns are biocompatible to gum tissue and are very gentle against opposing teeth.  Gold crowns are said to be the "golden standard" of crowns. The color of these crowns are gold and are good choices for posterior or back teeth. 

  • Silver crowns (base metal alloy crowns) (see below image 1:3) are highly resistant to corrosion and provides the tooth with a lot of strength.  The material is durable in that it is resistant to wear and it is gentle enough with tooth wear against opposing teeth. 

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are hybrids, consisting of both metal and porcelain.  The porcelain encases the metal so the overall color of the crown is white but with a thin lining of metal that exists just above the gum line and barely visible.  The metal underneath the porcelain allows for a better seal in order to prevent any leakage into the tooth and also gives the crown it's strength.   However, sometimes the metal that is underneath the porcelain cap can shine through making these still a good option for front teeth but less than ideal.  Porcelain-fused to metal crowns are overall white in color and can be shade matched to match the color of your teeth.  These crowns are good choices for both anterior (front teeth) and posterior teeth (back teeth).  

  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain (see below image 1:1) dental crowns provide the most ideal color match to your teeth.  They are also used for patients who have a metal or nickel allergy.  These crowns are highly resistant to wear and are excellent choices for both front and back teeth.  

  • Bruxzir dental crowns are made out of a material called zirconia.  They are known for their high flexural strength and high fracture toughness.  These crowns are excellent choices for patients suffering from clenching or grinding habits (bruxism) since they are highly resistant to breaking under pressure.  Bruxzir crowns are known for their color and translucency, making them good choices for front and back teeth.  

  • Implant crowns are exactly how they sound!  They are used to cover a dental implant.  Usually a connecting piece (called a dental abutment) is made first to connect the crown to the dental implant and then a crown is made to fit over it.  This procedure only takes 2 office visits.  Implant crowns can be made for both front and back teeth and can give outstanding esthetic results!