Dental Crowns: Everything You Need to Know


An overwhelming majority of adults — 96% — believe that a good smile can make you more attractive. Unfortunately, many people will face some kind of dental decay in their lifetimes that could compromise the beauty of that smile. While normal fillings from your family dentist can address cavities, some teeth experience extensive enough decay that they require crowns. Here’s some general information about dental crowns and what you can expect if you need one.

What Do Dental Crowns Do?

A crown is like a prosthetic tooth that fits over your damaged tooth. Crowns are used to mimic the appearance and function of regular teeth when they can no longer work on their own. A tooth may require a crown if it has been worn down, has extensive cavities, or leaves a large gap between neighboring teeth. In the case of missing teeth, a crown may also be placed over the top of dental implants.

How Are Crowns Put On?

Getting a crown usually requires two separate dentist visits. In the first, you’ll be measured and fitted for the crown, and likely given a temporary one. Your crown will be custom-fitted to your mouth so that it looks, feels, and operates just like a real tooth. A few days or weeks after your first visit, your dentist will install the crown in your mouth while using local anesthesia or dental sedation.

How Long Do Crowns Last?

Most dental crowns should last at least 10 to 15 years, but some patients comfortably wear their crowns for a lifetime. Proper dental hygiene is necessary to keep your crowns healthy, just as it is for all of your real teeth.

Not sure if you need a filling, a crown, or an implant? Your dentist likely knows best. Be sure to schedule a regular check-up and cleaning every six months for preventative care. That way, your dentist will be able to detect any changes or cavity growths that might require attention. The earlier you can catch the signs of decay, the easier they are to deal with — which helps keep your smile looking bright and beautiful, no matter your age.