Dental crowns are sometimes used to restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth, but they aren't always necessary. When it is the best option, our Willowbrook 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 made from a variety of dental materials, depending on the type of tooth and the location of the crown in your mouth.
These are the most lifelike materials available, closely imitating the translucency and colour of natural teeth. However, they are not as durable as some other materials and are prone to chipping. As a result, they are rarely used to replace back teeth.
Another material that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance is composite crowns. They are more resistant to chipping than porcelain, but they do wear down and stain easily.
These are made of gold and are quite strong. They do not wear down or stain like composite crowns, but they do not look natural, particularly on front teeth.
These crowns have a more natural appearance than porcelain or composite crowns. They are resistant to chipping and staining, but their placement and construction may allow the metal to show through.
In most cases, a dental crown requires two visits to our office. Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic during your first visit.
To make room for the crown, your damaged tooth will be filed down and an impression taken. This will be used to make your restoration because it will be custom-fitted to your tooth.
A temporary crown will be used until the permanent crown is ready. At your next appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and replace it with your new permanent dental crown, cementing it in place.
When are dental crowns the best solution?
There are alternatives to crowns in some cases, and your dentist will advise you on which procedure is best for you. The following, however, 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