What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are restorative appliances that repair decayed and broken teeth. When a tooth incurs too much damage for a filling, your dentist may recommend installing a crown.

A dental crown, also called a cap, fits over a prepared natural tooth, protecting it from food, plaque, and future damage. With a dental crown, patients can chew, speak, and smile like they would with a healthy tooth.

Advantages of Dental Crowns

The Dental Crown Process

The first step in getting a dental crown is evaluating the tooth. Dentists have multiple options to restore teeth, and they will choose the best method for your situation.

The dentist then takes a full impression of your teeth. The impression lets the dentist create a 3-D model of your teeth and dental bite, helping the new crown fit perfectly.

The dentist administers local anesthesia and then removes your tooth's damaged and decayed areas. They shape and smooth them to provide the best base for a crown. Another impression follows, allowing the dentist to design the crown's interior.

At this point, your dentist typically makes a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth. The permanent crown will arrive from the lab shortly.

When your crown comes from the lab, your dentist will polish and shape it to fit perfectly in your mouth. They will also adjust the crown's height to create a natural bite and cement it into place.

Dental Crown Materials


Ceramics is the most popular crown material today. A ceramic crown matches your healthy smile and provides durable performance. Ceramic also has a natural shine that resembles healthy tooth enamel.

Base Metal

A base metal crown is more robust than ceramic and performs excellently in the back of the mouth. Young children needing crowns often receive metal ones.

Porcelain Over Metal

This type of crown combines the strength of metal with the natural appearance of porcelain.

Gold Alloys

Gold is the strongest crown material. Many patients choose it because they put a great deal of stress on their teeth due to bruxism (chronic teeth grinding), and others prefer its appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns

Do I need a crown after a root canal?

Crowns better protect the remaining natural tooth than fillings. Teeth naturally become brittle after root canals, and a crown provides better longevity.

What should I do if my crown falls out?

Save the crown and call the dentist as soon as possible. It is not an emergency, but your natural tooth needs the crown's protection, so you should address it quickly.

Call Queens Crown Dental

If you have a damaged or discolored tooth and feel you would benefit from a dental crown, please call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800. We will schedule an appointment to evaluate your tooth and determine whether a crown is the best solution.

Why An Inlay Is Like A Dental Crown

Inlays have many features in common with dental crowns. Restorative dentists use inlays instead of crowns when the tooth sustains decay in the grooves and fissures of the chewing surfaces. They use dental crowns when the tooth needs additional structure to function well.

About Inlays

Inlays are molded tooth fillings that conform to the grooves in your tooth. Restorative dentists typically use them for cases of less severe decay. Inlays protect the chewing surfaces of the tooth and allow normal function.

Dentists make inlays by first taking digital or physical impressions of the damaged tooth. These impressions allow the dentist to design an inlay that fits precisely and matches the contours of the original tooth. 

After taking impressions, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing decayed areas. They send the impression to the lab, where the technicians prepare the inlay from tooth-colored composite resin or porcelain. When the inlay returns from the lab, the dentist checks for a perfect fit and cements the restoration into place.

Benefits of Inlays

Similarities and Differences Between Inlays and Crowns

Both inlays and crowns restore and protect teeth that have suffered damage or decay. Inlays and crowns repair teeth and help to prevent future problems.

Inlays and crowns also have some key differences. An inlay does not cover the entire tooth. For this reason, dentists generally do not recommend an inlay to restore a tooth with extensive decay or a tooth that has undergone a root canal.

Understanding Your Options

While you may believe that a crown is your only option if your tooth is too far gone for a filling, ask your dentist about inlays and onlays. This "middle ground" between a filling and crown can be extremely useful in restoring teeth with moderate decay.

Frequently Asked Questions About Inlays

How does a filling differ from an inlay?

A filling typically repairs a tooth with decay in one area. The dentist carefully removes decayed areas and fills them with a durable composite resin. Dentists make inlays in two appointments, custom-molding them to the contours of your tooth.

What is an onlay and how does it differ from an inlay?

Onlays are very much like inlays, but they also cover teeth with decay in the cusps (points). The method for fabricating and placing onlays is the same as making an inlay.

Call Queens Crown Dental

Both inlays and crowns are valuable restorative appliances that can preserve natural teeth. If you have a decayed tooth and need to learn whether an inlay or crown could save it, please call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800. We can schedule a consultation to check your tooth and recommend the best solution.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dental crowns protect damaged or decayed teeth from extraction. They are attractive, long-lasting restorations that promote normal chewing ability.

Dental crowns often last between five and 15 years, though they can last longer with proper maintenance and care.

About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are versatile restorations that repair teeth suffering from damage and decay and those that have undergone root canals. Crowns also have cosmetic applications and can cover a discolored tooth.

Placing a Dental Crown

Getting a dental crown is a simple process that usually requires two appointments: preparing the tooth and placing the final restoration.

First, your dentist will thoroughly examine your tooth and assess how best to prepare it for the crown. The dentist removes damaged areas and shapes the remaining healthy tooth to accept a crown.

The dentist takes physical or digital impressions of the shaped tooth to ensure a perfect fit. The dentist will also help you choose the proper crown material to meet your needs. You will go home with a temporary crown to protect your prepared tooth.

A laboratory makes your final crown and sends it back to your dentist's office for placement. During placement, the dentist will adjust the crown to create a natural, comfortable bite and permanently cement the crown to your prepared tooth.

Available Crown Materials


Dentists often choose porcelain crowns for the front of the mouth because they have the most lifelike appearance.

Metal Alloy

Metal crowns are durable and often a great option for patients who habitually clench or grind their teeth. Dentists primarily use them on back teeth.

Porcelain Over Metal

Porcelain over metal crowns combines the best of both materials, having the toughness of metal with the attractive quality of porcelain.

Gold Alloy

Gold alloy crowns are the most costly but also the most durable.

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Crown

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns

Does a crown hurt more than a filling?

Today, both procedures are comfortable, thanks to advances in local anesthesia. You will probably not feel any discomfort when receiving a crown.

Can you get a cavity under a crown?

Cavities can occur under crowns. Ensure you maintain a healthy brushing and flossing routine to minimize cavities in all your teeth.

Call Queen's Crown Dental

Dental crowns can enhance your smile and protect your natural teeth from extraction. Please call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert dentists today.

Will Your Composite Fillings Break?

Composite fillings are strong, attractive alternatives to traditional mercury amalgam. Their tooth-colored material provides a seamless, natural look, especially valued for teeth that show when you smile.

Many patients express concerns that their composite fillings may not be as strong as metal and that they might break. Fortunately, composite fillings are tough enough to withstand a strong bite force and can last several years with proper maintenance.

How Composite Fillings Work

Composite fillings incorporate tooth-colored powdered glass, silica, quartz, or ceramic materials in a liquid resin base. The dentist adjusts the shade of the filling to match your tooth precisely.

Receiving a composite filling is a comfortable process. To prepare for a filling, your dentist first numbs the area around your tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they carefully remove any damaged or decayed tooth material using a dental drill. The dentist applies a substance that promotes a strong bond between the tooth and the filling.

Your dentist fills the prepared cavity with resin one thin layer at a time and then cures the resin with UV light. After completing the filling, the dentist shapes and polishes it to fit perfectly with your bite.

Advantages of Composite Fillings


Composite fillings blend into the natural tooth surface and produce a healthy-looking smile. They are especially valuable in the front teeth and those that show when you smile.

No Harsh Chemicals

Placing metal amalgam fillings may involve exposure to mercury vapor and other harsh chemicals. Composite materials are safer for both dentists and patients.

Strengthen Teeth

While a large metal filling may weaken your tooth and make breakage more likely, a composite filling strengthens a tooth.


If a metal filling chips or breaks, the entire filling needs replacement. However, if you chip or crack a composite filling, the dentist can easily repair the existing material.

Frequently Asked Questions About Composite Fillings

How long do composite fillings last?

Composite fillings last approximately five to seven years, but many patients find the material lasts even longer with proper care.

What causes composite fillings to break?

Composite fillings can stand up to tough wear, but consider avoiding the following practices to preserve them:

Even if a composite filling breaks, repairing it is easier and faster than receiving a new metal filling.

Call Queens Crown Dental

Composite fillings can brighten and revive your smile while giving you years of high-performance wear. If you believe you have tooth decay or need a replacement filling, please don't wait to call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800.

What Is The Cost Of Dental Crowns In Honolulu, HI?

A dental crown restores a broken, decayed, or discolored tooth. It can also protect and restore a tooth that has undergone a root canal. It has a natural appearance and provides excellent chewing ability.

In Honolulu, HI, a dental crown costs approximately $900 to $1,300, depending on its size and position in the mouth.

Dental Crown Materials


Ceramic or porcelain crowns are perhaps the most attractive option, especially for teeth that show when you smile. Porcelain makes an excellent replacement for natural tooth material.

Base Metal Alloy

Patients sometimes opt for a base metal alloy crown due to their durability. A dentist can place a base metal alloy crown on a tooth with a less visible surface.

Porcelain Fused to Metal Alloy

Porcelain fused to metal crowns have a useful blend of features. They are attractive like ceramic crowns but provide durable wear like metal crowns.

Gold Alloy

Gold alloy crowns are the most expensive but also the most durable. People who grind their teeth may want to look into gold crowns.

Installing a Dental Crown

Getting a new crown is a simple, routine procedure. First, the dentist takes an impression to model your teeth and bite to ensure an attractive replacement. The dentist preps the tooth by removing broken and decayed areas.

After You Receive Your Crown

Call your dentist for a minor adjustment if the fit or your bite seems wrong. It should feel like a natural tooth after you become accustomed to the crown. 

Keeping Your Crown Strong

Chew on both sides of your mouth to promote even tooth and crown wear. Avoid extremely sticky or chewy foods like caramels and taffy to prevent pulling your crown off. If your crown falls out, save it and bring it to the office so the dentist can cement it back into place.

If you often grind or clench your teeth, ask your dentist about a custom-made night guard to protect your natural teeth and crowns.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Crowns?

In many cases, dental insurance does cover part of the cost of crowns. Many policies offer 50 percent or 80 percent coverage, depending on the details of your insurance plan.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns

Does a crown hurt more than a filling?

Getting a crown is a comfortable procedure thanks to local anesthetic. Most patients report that getting a crown is more tolerable than getting a filling, though today, both procedures are not painful.

Do you need a crown after a root canal?

Dentists usually use crowns to protect teeth after root canals, though sometimes they use large fillings. Crowns can save natural teeth and protect the root system.

Call Queens Crown Dental

If you need a dental crown, visit an expert restorative dentist. Call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800 to learn more about dental crowns and schedule an appointment for a consultation.