Home/Cosmetic Dentistry/Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns

A weak or damaged tooth can cause an array of issues for your smile and oral health alike. Biting function in the affected region can become uncomfortable, or even painful, and the impaired tooth can face a greater risk of bacteria buildup, decay, and infection. If you have a damaged tooth, dental crowns are considered a steadfast solution to repair a wide range of dental problems, including cracks and/or deterioration of the tooth structure caused by decay. These restorations are placed for countless patients every day to protect the tooth and restore pain-free biting function. At our Encinitas practice, cosmetic dentist Cathy Santone, DDS and family dentist Megan Dietz, DDS offer high-quality, metal-free crowns to treat broken teeth with more holistic and aesthetic materials than traditional restorative dentistry techniques.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are strong dental coverings placed to fix and reinforce a damaged tooth while restoring the full integrity of one’s bite. Think of a dental crown as a protective “cap” that fits comfortably over your natural tooth. They can be used to strengthen individual teeth, anchor a dental bridge, support a tooth after a root canal, or top a dental implant. At any rate, dental crowns can serve a wide range of functions related to bolstering the strength of a tooth and/or protecting a damaged tooth from further harm.

How Do Dental Crowns Work?

A dental crown is crafted according to diagnostic impressions taken of your mouth and bonded over your tooth using a durable cement. Dental crowns are designed to look and feel entirely natural, with our dentists’ use of high-quality ceramic allowing the crown to bear a significant resemblance to your real tooth. In turn, dental crowns can blend in with your smile without looking odd or out of place. These restorations offer many other benefits, including:


During your appointment, diagnostic data of your tooth and mouth will be sent to a dental laboratory, where your dental crown will be created to achieve a perfect fit. The custom-made restoration is then affixed and shaded to match your tooth color for aesthetically-pleasing results.

What are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?

In general, we either place metal-free all ceramic crowns or zirconia crowns at Encinitas Cosmetic Dentistry. These non-metal dental crowns offer a number of advantages to your smile and overall oral wellness when compared to traditional metal restorations. In addition to being a more holistic dentistry option, metal-free all porcelain crowns are bonded to reinforce the tooth and provide cosmetic results that can easily mimic the shade of adjacent teeth. Furthermore, zirconia is incredibly strong, tooth-colored, and can withstand the biting force of back molars, especially in patients who clench or grind their teeth. Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz will discuss the pros and cons of each dental crown material with you to help ensure you receive the highest quality of restoration for your needs.

What is Treatment with Dental Crowns Like?

The process of getting a dental crown begins with a consultation, where one of our dentists will examine your teeth, gums, and the state of your oral health to assess whether a dental crown is well-suited to address your concerns. X-rays and photographs will be taken to determine the ideal dimensions for the dental crown and help ensure a precise fit within your surrounding teeth. The tooth is numbed, carefully prepared, and a digital scan is made of the tooth which is sent to a high-quality dental lab. If you have any mercury amalgam fillings in the tooth, a rubber dam will be used to protect you while your tooth is being prepared. In the meantime, a custom temporary crown is placed to protect your tooth while your permanent crown is fabricated. Your final restoration will then be bonded to the tooth, protecting it and providing support for years to come.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dental crowns usually last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, but their durability ultimately depends on your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, as well as the location of the damaged tooth. Good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle can achieve results that last decades. If you tend  to clench or grind your teeth, or lead a stressful lifestyle, our dental team recommends wearing a night guard to protect your teeth during sleep.  If you play contact sports, a mouth guard is recommended to prevent a traumatic dental injury to your teeth and smile. Regular dental cleanings will increase the longevity of your dental crowns and natural teeth, and wearing a protective night guard can often inhibit unnecessary damage to crowns and prolong their lifespan.

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

The average cost of dental crowns at our Encinitas practice falls between $1,100 to $1,500, depending on several factors unique to your treatment plan, including:

The price range above can provide a general estimation of the expenses associated with dental crowns, but rest assured that a personalized quote will be provided after your needs are assessed in a consultation. If desired, dental financing from CareCredit® can help make the total cost more manageable with low- to no-interest payment plans designed to accommodate virtually any budget. Please call our practice for more information about the cost of dental crowns or the CareCredit® application process.

Ready to schedule a consultation? Our cosmetic dentists can fix damaged or broken teeth with non-surgical treatments designed to restore a healthy smile and bite. Don’t hesitate to contact Encinitas Cosmetic Dentistry for more information about how we can help you achieve your dental goals.