Published on 01 Jan 2023
Just as the name “crown” suggests, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth. Dental crowns are commonly used to restore the look and function of teeth that have been weakened from large decays, root canal treatment or fractures that cannot be fixed with conventional filling. A crowned tooth can look and feel just like natural teeth and help you return to eating your favourite meals! If you are thinking of restoring your bite and getting a dental crown, read on.
In this article, we will cover the following topics:
A dental crown is a cap placed on top of a tooth to restore the damaged portion or above dental implants to restore function.
A dental crown can be made up of metal, porcelain, ceramic, resin, or a combination of materials.
Dental crowns are commonly used to help restore the function of structurally damaged or weak teeth which fillings are unsuitable for. Here is a list of reasons why you may need a dental crown:
Consult our dentists to find out if a dental crown is needed in your case.
Dental crowns come in various shapes, sizes and colours. The materials used to make dental crowns ranging from metals, porcelain, ceramic or resin. However, they vary in terms of strength, appearance, method of preparation and cost. At NTUC Health Denticare, our dentist will work with you to decide on the choice of material for your new crown. Here, we will briefly summarise the pros and cons of each type of dental crowns we offer:
Metal crowns are typically made from metal alloys. For example, gold crowns are often mixed with nickel, chromium and palladium for durability. Metal crowns are highly resistant to cracks and fractures which make them strong and durable. Metal crowns are a long-lasting, reliable solution and especially so for the molars, which take on more load during chewing.
Porcelain-Fused-to Metal Crowns (PFM) crowns are crowns with a metal interior and porcelain exterior. The metal provides structural strength to the base of the crown while the porcelain, giving the crown a more natural tooth-like appearance. This combination of materials make PFMs a reliable choice in areas where both aesthetics and strength are key factors.
Individuals who are sensitive or allergic to metal alloys may opt for a dental crown that are metal-free. Ceramic and composite crowns may not have the strength that metal crowns provide but they have the best aesthetic properties and hence the most natural tooth-like appearance. For this reason, they may be more suitable for front teeth such as incisors.
Zirconia crowns are strong and natural-looking. They are more resistant to fracture and wear compared to conventional ceramic crowns and look more natural than metal crowns.
Due to the combination of these properties in a single material, Zirconia crowns have been gaining popularity over the past decade with the introduction of CAD-Cam Technology.
During the crown procedure, a temporary crown can be provided at the dentist's office for a short period of time while the new permanent crown is being made in the dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of metal or resin and are not as strong as permanent crowns. They are often used to protect the underlying tooth structure while waiting for a final crown to be installed.
During the first consultation, our dentist will provide a thorough assessment. In cases where a tooth is heavily damaged, treatments such as a replacement of defective fillings, root canal treatment or the placement of a dental implant may be required before delivering a crown.
Our dentist will then walk you through your choices of crown materials and their pros and cons.
Once the type of crown is decided upon, our dentist will reduce the tooth’s size and surface to create space for the crown. Thereafter, impressions of your teeth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory to create your crown.
Meanwhile, a temporary crown made of soft plastic will be cemented on the underlying tooth to protect it from further damage and to help you eat for the time being while your permanent crown is being made.
At the second visit, the dentist replaces the temporary crown and checks the fitting, bite and aesthetics of the permanent crown before cementing it. You will then be ready to go home with your newly crowned tooth.
At NTUC Health Denticare, the cost of dental crowns ranges from about $700 to $950, depending on the materials used.
Refer to this table for a quick comparison of dental crown options offered by NTUC Health Denticare:
|Metal/Ceramic crown||$700 – $900|
|Semi-Precious/Precious Metal Crown|
(Lab Fees charged separately)
|Porcelain/Ceramic crown||$700 – $900|
|Ceramic Crown (Zirconia)||$1,100 - $1,300|
|Provisional (temporary) crown||$100 – $130|
|Crown/Bridge Re-cementation||$80 – $110|
|Post Core||$110 – $250|
*These prices are correct at the time of publishing and are exclusive of GST. Please check with our clinics for the latest prices and additional lab fees.
Insurance for dental crowns and services depend on your insurance provider and the circumstances surrounding how you lost your teeth.
Patients holding CHAS Orange, CHAS Blue, Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation cards will be entitled to the relevant subsidies for dental crown procedures (up to four crowns per calendar year).
Here is a table to refer to dental crown subsidies:
Do note that dental crowns are not MediSave-claimable.
Here are some tips to help you look after your new dental crown:
If well-taken care of, your dental crowns should last at least 5-10 years on average. However, there are other factors which will affect your dental crown’s lifespan, such as the type of dental crown, remaining tooth structure and personal mouth related habits such as whether you habitually grind your teeth (bruxism).
You may opt to re-treat the crowned tooth if you experience:
Please note that this is best advised by the dentist during your dental crown procedure.
With proper procedures and care, dental crowns are safe. There are some common complications which may arise after the initial procedure, including teeth sensitivity, where your crowned tooth or the teeth around it may be sensitive to hot or cold foods. Your dentist may advise you to have food at room temperature.
Contact our dentist or make an appointment for the dentist's office immediately if:
Preparing the tooth and putting on a dental crown will not be a painful process, as our dentist can numb the gums and teeth with local anaesthesia before cutting into the tooth. After a dental crown is placed, sensitivity for a few days is normal and should resolve on its own. Meanwhile, avoid food or drinks with extreme temperatures and consult our dentist if the sensitivity persists.
Dental crowns are suitable for children who have a cracked tooth or badly decayed teeth. Metal crowns are often an ideal choice to restore larger decays even though the primary teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth once they grow out. Pregnant women may get dental crowns in their second trimester after adjusting to morning sickness and prior to being in their third trimester, where lying down on the dentist’s chair for a long time may be uncomfortable.
Dental crowns serve to protect and restore teeth, improve your chewing, alleviate discomfort and let you smile beautifully! Consult our dentists to find the best option for you.
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