Idaho Dentist

If you have a large cavity in a tooth, a dental crown offers a long-lasting solution with both practical and cosmetic benefits. A crown covers the whole surface of a tooth to strengthen function and enhance appearance by restoring natural shape, size and color.

Crowns are custom-made and provide a solution when a tooth has lost so much structure that a filling wouldn’t be sufficient. In fact, crown treatment is often required after a filling has failed.

Crowns are routinely used to repair damage from extensive tooth decay and after physical injury has resulted in a badly cracked tooth. They have a high success rate and are also used with dental implants and to help secure a denture or bridge.

Other applications of dental crowns include:

Strengthening the structure of a tooth that has had a large filling.

Protecting a tooth after root canal treatment.

Improving the appearance of a filling that’s become tarnished.

Enhancing appearance of an irregularly shaped tooth.

What Are Dental Crowns Made From?

Crowns can be made from several different materials, including:

• Pure porcelain.

• Porcelain fused to metal.

• Composite resin.

• Metal allows such as gold or stainless steel.

• Zirconia.

The type of crown material will have a bearing on considerations such as:

• Appearance.

• Durability.

• Strength.

• Cost.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), each type of crown material has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, porcelain crowns can be prone to chipping, and a large crack may need a complete replacement.

Pros and Cons of Crowns Vs. Fillings

Crowns and fillings are both dental restorations to treat a tooth when its structure has been compromised by decay or injury. They remove diseased or damaged tissue and repair and restore the tooth to normal appearance and function.

Restorative dentistry can be direct or indirect. Fillings are direct restorations. The dentist repairs the tooth directly in the mouth, placing a soft material into the cavity and shaping it before it sets hard. Crowns are indirect restorations involving taking an impression to create a restoration outside of the mouth. The resulting crown is then cemented in place by your dentist.


Fillings are a good option to repair small cavities while preserving most of the natural structure of the tooth.

A filling costs less than a crown and can be applied in one appointment. The composite material of the filling closely resembles the tooth’s natural sheen and color. A filling repairs tooth deterioration and seals off areas where bacteria may penetrate to cause further decay.

The downside of fillings is a shorter lifespan than crowns and issues such as cracking or further decay in the future.


Crowns – also known as tooth caps – are a more effective treatment when a tooth has been weakened by injury or extensive decay or when a large filling has deteriorated. The dental crown procedure entails reducing the surface area of the entire tooth and then covering it completely, usually with a composite or ceramic material.

A dental crown gives a tooth more protection than a filling. It encases the entire structure above the gum to hold the tooth together, and it can withstand strong bite force without risk of damage.

Before a crown can be placed, the tooth has to be filed down to the correct shape, which is often an irreversible procedure. If a tooth is very decayed or otherwise severely damaged, it will need to be filled before a crown is fitted.

Crown treatment used to take at least two visits to the dentist because the procedure is more involved than getting a filling. Now, however, you can get a dental crown in just one appointment.

Advantages of Same-Day Crowns

Traditional crown treatment involves at least two appointments including placing of a temporary crown. The cutting-edge technology behind same-day crowns means treatment can be completed in one appointment of a couple hours or less, with no need for a temporary crown.

With conventional crowns, you usually have to wait at least two weeks while your crown is fabricated in a dental lab from impressions of your mouth. Same-day crowns are designed and made immediately in the dental office. You just sit back and relax or you could even get other dental work done while you wait.

Same-day crowns provide a fast fix in cases such as advanced tooth decay, a severely cracked tooth, or heavy tooth discoloration. They also avoid messy impressions with powders or putty trays – less than ideal if you have a pronounced gag reflex.

The color of same-day crowns is very close to that of real teeth, which makes the crown look extremely natural. All-ceramic crowns also avoid the aesthetic problem of crowns with a metal base that can show as a dark edge.

The Same-Day Crown Procedure

Getting crowns in a single appointment is made possible thanks to digital scanning and in-office crown fabrication.

This state-of-the art technology – computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) – produces a 3D image that’s fed into a computer which makes your crown.

The same-day crown process entails:

• Cleaning and shaping the tooth after a local anesthetic.

• Use of a high-definition imaging wand to create a digital image.

• Digital design and fabrication of the crown from precise dimensions.

• Fitting the crown to the tooth and ensuring a perfect fit.

• Polishing the crown.

• Checking bite action and making final adjustments if required.

Is Crown Treatment Right for You?

Coeur d’Alene Dental Center can help you decide whether crown treatment is right for you, based on factors such as the extent of damage or decay to your tooth and your aesthetic objectives. We can also advise you on which type of crown material is best for you.

CDA Dental has the necessary skills and resources to provide same-day crown treatment – perfect if you’re looking to spend less time in the dental chair and walk out with a fully functional tooth and natural, healthy smile.

Dental Crown Cost

The cost of dental crowns depends on factors such as:

• How much preparation is needed.

• The material used – porcelain crowns, for instance, generally cost more than metal crowns.

Crowns cost more than fillings but are more reliable and last longer, which offsets this expense over time. Fillings may last several years but crowns have a typical lifespan of 15 years.