The crown is the surface of the tooth covered with enamel. If this surface becomes fractured, chipped or broken, either by dental disease or accident, then your tooth will need a dental crown to save the rest of the tooth and prevent further damage.
But what exactly is a dental crown and how does it work to save your tooth? Read on for a thorough breakdown of this dental procedure:
Dental Crowns and How They Work
If you chip your tooth by accident, a dental crown can become your lifesaver when you want your teeth to look normal again. But what exactly is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a permanent cap that is placed on top of a damaged or weak tooth to cover and protect it from further damage. This can be made of materials such as ceramic, metal, composite resin, or porcelain. Dental crowns are usually manufactured to have the same color as the natural and neighboring tooth, but you also have the option to choose whether you want a gold, silver, or metal finish.
You may need a dental crown to improve the appearance, shape, and function of your tooth. There are several factors that you and your dentist have to consider before recommending what type of dental crown fit your needs:
- Current functionality of your tooth
- Location of your tooth
- Symptoms of grinding or clenching of your teeth
- Part of your tooth that shows when you smile
- Color and shade of neighboring teeth
When Dental Crowns Are Needed
Dental crowns can restore tooth strength, improve coloration, preserve your teeth, and even protect it from further weakening. They are installed in different ways depending on your situation. Generally, if you have any damaged, weak, or diseased teeth, they can still be saved by placing these caps on top of them. Some other situations that dentists may recommend dental crowns include:
- Large fillings
- Tooth discoloration
- Weak teeth
- Worn teeth
- Cracked teeth
Dental crowns are the most common finishing option after you go in for a dental implant, dental bridge, root canal, or even dental prosthetic.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment involves removing the infected dental pulp and restoring the root of the tooth. After completing this treatment, the last step would be placing a dental crown on top of the remaining natural tooth.
Dental implants replace missing teeth by installing artificial tooth roots and an abutment where a temporary cap is placed. Once your jaw has healed, then the cap will be replaced with a dental crown.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are several types of dental crowns, each with its own purpose and function:
1. Stainless steel crowns
This is a great option for when a child loses a baby tooth prematurely. Stainless steel is preferred if the dentist thinks that a standard filling might fall easily.
2. Metal crowns and gold alloys
Metal crowns can withstand corrosion, fractures, don’t cause teeth to wear and offer a strong bond. Usually, gold or copper is used in this type of crown.
3. Porcelain-fused-in-metal crowns
Combining porcelain with metal is common in dental crowns and bridges. Porcelain with metal is preferred because they make a stronger crown due to the support of metal.
4. All-Resin Crowns
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, then the all-resin crown is what you need. However, a lower price comes with a disadvantage as this type of crown is vulnerable to fractures.
Don’t wait until your teeth become permanently damaged, discolored, or weak. Consult with your local dentist to find out what can be done. There are many types of dental treatments that can help bring back the appearance and function of your natural teeth, and dental crowns are only one example.
Dr. Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry provides a full range of dental patient-oriented and emergency dental services in Raleigh, NC. We offer treatments such as extensive tooth restoration, replacement procedures, and placement of dental crowns. Book an appointment today!