Crowns, or caps, are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto the existing teeth or implants—unlike partial dentures that can be removed; crowns can only be removed by a dentist.
How do Crowns Work?
Crowns are used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth for numerous reasons:
- Strengthens a damaged tooth
- Improves aesthetics
- Provides a tooth-like shape and structure for normal function
Types of Crowns
Porcelain/ceramic – Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.Crowns can also be made with materials such as gold, metal alloys, and a porcelain that is bonded to metal and acrylic material (temporary crowns).
When do we recommend a crown?
We may recommend crowns to a patient to:
- Replace a large filling when there is not enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth with multiple cracks
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored tooth due to trauma, severe fluorosis, or post-root canal treatment
- Cover a poorly shaped tooth due to developmental reasons or after trauma
Benefits of Crowns
Crowns provide as many benefits as it does purposes:
- Cosmetic benefits – Dental crowns can improve the appearance of damaged teeth. They are often made with composite resin or a porcelain-metal blend, making them look similar to your natural teeth.
- Comfortable – Crowns are non-intrusive; they are cemented to the top of the jawbone and gums, allowing normal function without causing irritation.
- Tooth Strengthener – Crowns can be used to strengthen and protect teeth that have been affected by tooth decay or disease. In addition, crowns can prevent further decay from affecting a tooth.
- Restorative – Crowns restore the affected tooth, allowing it to return to normal function; this means that crowns allow you to chew and speak normally!
Creating and Installing a Crown
Before a crown can be made, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced in size so that there is enough space for the crown to fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, an impression of the tooth will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made. When the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is removed (sometimes local anesthesia may be necessary to remove temporary crowns if the prepared tooth/teeth are sensitive to temperature) and the new crown is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.