Dental crowns are sometimes used to restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth, but crowns are not required for all damaged teeth. When a dental crown is the best option, our Cloverdale Crossing dentists explain why.
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a hollow cap that covers a damaged or badly decayed tooth, creating a natural, healthy appearance. The crown will protect the tooth from further damage and restore its function. Teeth that are discoloured or misshapen can also be covered with a dental crown.
Types of Crowns
Crowns can be created from a variety of dental materials, depending on the type of tooth and the location within your mouth requiring the crown.
These are the most realistic-looking materials, closely resembling the translucency and colour of natural teeth. However, because they are not as durable as some other materials, they can chip easily. As a result, they are not commonly used for back teeth.
Composite crowns are another material that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance. They are more durable than porcelain and thus less prone to chipping, but they do wear down and stain easily.
These are made from gold and tend to be quite strong. They don't wear down or stain, like composite crowns, but they do not have a natural appearance, especially on front teeth.
These dental crowns are more natural-looking than porcelain or composite. They won't chip or stain easily, but depending on their placement and construction, the metal may show through.
A dental crown procedure typically involves two visits to our office. During the first visit, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic.
Your damaged tooth will be filed down to make room for the crown, and an impression will be taken. Because your restoration will be custom-fitted to your tooth, this will be used to create it.
Until the permanent crown is ready, a temporary crown will be used. Your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and replace it with your new permanent dental crown at your next appointment, cementing it in place.
When are dental crowns the best solution?
In some cases, there are alternatives to a crown, and your dentist will advise you on which procedure is best for you. However, the following are common issues that will almost certainly necessitate the use of a dental crown to resolve.
Best Situations for a Dental Crown
- Large cavities that can't be repaired with a dental filling
- To cover a tooth that has had a root canal
- To prevent weakened teeth from breaking
- To hold together a cracked tooth
- To restore a broken tooth
- To provide support to a dental bridge
- To conceal misshapen teeth
- To cover dental implants
- To disguise discoloured teeth that won't respond to teeth whitening