What Is A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are amazing dental restorations that are often the key to saving a severely damaged tooth. Crowns completely cover the surface of a tooth, strengthening, rebuilding, and protecting – one of the reasons crowns are also called tooth caps.
In dentistry, a crown or a cap is a fake tooth that fits on top of a damaged tooth. They are custom-made to fit your smile & are built to last. There are a number of conditions that rely on crowns to save your teeth. You may even need a crown after undergoing certain dental treatments. A root canal or large filling can weaken an affected tooth & make it very vulnerable to cracking or breaking, so a crown is needed for protection. Crowns can also be used as a cosmetic treatment to improve the look of a misshapen or discolored tooth.
There are several types of crowns available to you, & each one varies in terms of appearance & strength.
Dental crowns are one of the most important restorations we offer. A crown can save a broken or decayed tooth by holding it together & protecting it from further damage. It can also serve as a beautiful replacement for an unsightly tooth.
A crown, also called a cap, is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped as well, or to cover a dental implant. A crown can make your tooth stronger & improve its appearance.
Dental crowns are perfect to:
- Fortify teeth severely weakened by decay
- Strengthen teeth that have been broken or cracked
- Restore a tooth with an old filling or extra large cavity
- Rebuild a bite for improved comfort and function
- Restore a root canal-treated tooth
- Create a more attractive tooth surface
- Act as a prosthetic tooth for an implant
- Our crowns are made of 100% porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-gold; together, we’ll decide which option is best for your particular needs. Either option is custom-designed for you by our trusted labs so you can feel sure that your dental crowns will look as good as they feel, restoring your confidence along with your smile.
Types of Dental Crowns
Metal crowns are comprised of gold or other alloys (mixtures). They are the most durable type of crown available & the least likely to wear down your opposing teeth. The downside of metal crowns is that they do not blend into your smile, so you may not want them on your most visible teeth.
Ceramic crowns are made from porcelain & primarily used for their aesthetic qualities. They can be matched to the exact color of your teeth & are a great option for restoring your front teeth. However, they are the least durable crowns available. Porcelain can be too fragile to replace teeth that are put under a lot of strain, such as molars. They can also be rough on your other teeth.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) crowns combine the qualities of ceramic & metal alloy crowns. With a porcelain exterior & a metal interior, these crowns are built for strength as well as looks. While boasting the best of both worlds, they also have drawbacks. The edge of the metal portion of the crown may become visible at your gum line, affecting its aesthetics. Additionally, the outer porcelain layer can wear down your other teeth or become damaged just like all-porcelain crowns.
Zirconia is a type of metal that is naturally tooth-colored, making it a popular crown material for many dentists. Like other metal crowns, it is also extremely durable. Unfortunately, zirconia is neither as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain nor as easy on the teeth as metal alloys.
Once we have determined the best kind of crown for you, we will schedule two appointments for you. During the first appointment, the dentist prepares your tooth for your custom-made crown. At the second appointment, they will permanently place the crown.
- Before the dentist can prepare your tooth for a crown, they will need to remove any tooth decay & perform fillings or root canals if necessary.
- Next, they need to remove enough of your tooth enamel for the crown to fit over it. You will receive local anesthesia to numb your tooth before the dentist begins to trim it down. The amount of tooth enamel that needs to be removed depends on which kind of crown you choose, with metal crowns requiring the least removal.
- Once your tooth has been prepared, we will take an impression (mold) of your teeth. The dentist will carefully pull the gums away from the prepared tooth using a small cord. Then you will need to bite down on putty-filled trays for a few minutes. This putty mold is sent to a lab, which will create an aesthetic match of your damaged tooth to fit comfortably alongside your original teeth. If you are getting a ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal or zirconia crown, the lab will match your crown to the color of your other teeth.
- The final step of your first appointment is getting a temporary crown. The dentist needs to place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth in order to protect it from any damage while you wait for your next appointment.
- It will take a couple weeks for the lab to craft your personalized crown. Once it is ready, you will come in for your second appointment so the dentist can make sure it fits comfortably & securely.
- When they find the right fit, they will permanently attach the crown with a bonding resin.
A crown acts the same way as a tooth, so after your crowns are placed, you should treat it the same way as well. Continue to brush & floss regularly & see your dentist for regular checkups!
Dental crowns need to be treated with the same care as regular teeth. While the crown itself can’t decay, the tooth underneath it can. Regular brushing & flossing is essential to maximizing your crown’s lifespan. If properly cared for, a typical crown can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years!