What Are Dental Crowns

What are dental crowns?


There are a number of dental restorations that are used to fix a tooth that has a cavity or has broken. One option that is used often is a dental crown. Crowns can save a tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted! A crown can be used on a tooth that has fractured or has severe decay when a filling will not suffice. Crowns are also used to restore a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy and implant crowns are used to restore an implant, taking the place of an entire tooth.


Protecting Your Tooth With a Dental Crown

A compromised tooth needs reinforcement and a dental crown acts as a shell that fits over the tooth to protect it from further damage. Sometimes, your dentist may be able to use a three-quarter crown which allows them to save some natural tooth structure. A three-quarter crown does not cover the entire tooth beyond the gum line, instead it covers 3/4 of the tooth!


An implant crown is a little different. Instead of being a shell that fits over a tooth, an implant crown is solid and replaces a tooth all together. Implant crowns are secured onto a dental implant using either a screw or cement.


Depending on the location of the affected tooth in the patient's mouth, a crown can be fabricated using porcelain or ceramic so that it looks natural and matches their teeth. Porcelain is a strong material and is more aesthetically pleasing than other options but metal crowns are even stronger and may be ideal for patients that need a tooth replaced in the back of their mouth and for those who have a strong bite.


How are dental crowns placed?

Your dentist will prepare the tooth to receive a crown by removing a very small amount of tooth enamel on all surfaces, just enough to give your crown room to fit on top of the tooth snuggly without crowding adjacent teeth.


Some offices have the technology to fabricate porcelain crowns in the office, completing the procedure in one appointment! Other offices use a dental lab to fabricate the restoration, in which case you will return for delivery (cement the crown in place) of your crown.


How long do crowns last?

Dental crowns can last up to 30 years and implant crowns can last a lifetime. As with most things, how long your crown lasts will largely depend on how well you care for your restorations and natural teeth. Oral hygiene is incredibly important to keep your restoration healthy and fitting properly. A tooth can develop decay under a crown so make sure you maintain regular visits to your dental office and permit them to take your annual x-rays to make sure everything is in good shape. Decay can develop at any time and will only get worse without treatment.

Patients that need to have a crown placed can rest assured that they will leave their dental office with a beautiful, healthy smile!


What Are The Types Of Dental Crowns