A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. A crown is made to look like the tooth. Many people call it a cap. A crown is also the name for the very top surface of a tooth.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left.
- To hold a dental bridge in place.
- To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant.
We often use dental crowns to restore beauty and strength to a tooth that has been weakened by decay, injury or endodontic root canal treatment . Dental crowns are caps that fit over the entire tooth. The targeted tooth is prepared by removing damaged areas and shaping it to accommodate the dental crown. An impression of the prepared tooth is made so that the crown can be precisely crafted to fit snugly on the tooth. Once the crown is ready, it is cemented onto the tooth. At Valley View Dental we primarily use dental crowns as a restorative dentistry option; however, we also use them for aesthetic applications such as fixing minor misalignments and repairing cracks and discolorations.
Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium) or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal dental crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, they rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic dental crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown's porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown's porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These dental crowns can be a good choice for the front or the back teeth.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist's office whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by the dental laboratory.
Dental restorations restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure, which can be caused by caries or external trauma, such as chipping or cracking a tooth. Fabrication of a crown (a type of dental restoration) usually requires two dental visits. The first visit involves an examination of the tooth to determine how it should be restored and preparation of the tooth for the restoration; this visit may include a core build-up (sometimes requiring a post), fabrication of a temporary crown, and making an impression to be sent to the laboratory. The second visit usually involves delivery of the final restoration, which has been fabricated in the laboratory. In some offices that have access to specialized equipment, the dentist may be able to perform the entire crown procedure in the same day.
What is a crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers (or “caps”) a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, which can strengthen and improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth has been damaged significantly and cannot be adequately restored with a filling. A crown can protect a weak tooth from fracturing; it also can prevent a cracked tooth from further damage. Crowns can cover discolored or misshapen teeth for more aesthetically pleasing smiles.
What is a post and core build-up?
The dentist may use a filling material to restore a more ideal shape for supporting a crown (core build-up) when a tooth is severely decayed or fractured and lacks sufficient tooth structure. In some cases, a dentist will first perform a root canal, a procedure in which pulp is cleared out of the tooth and the canal is sealed with a special material. After the root canal, the dentist may place a post in the open canal and secure it with dental filling to “build up” the structure of the tooth. Once the material has hardened, the tooth can be prepared for a crown.
Will a crown look natural?
It can, depending on the type of crown you elect to have made. A crown can be fabricated from porcelain, from gold, or from a combination of porcelain and metal. A crown can look just like a natural tooth when it is made with porcelain coverage. Numerous factors are considered when determining the crown material that is best for your particular tooth, including the color, bite, shape, space, and location of the tooth in your mouth.
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crown, avoid chewing extremely hard foods and ice. You also should avoid grinding or clenching your teeth. In addition to brushing twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly, cleaning between your teeth is essential if you have crowns. Use floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. This process helps to prevent both dental decay and gum disease.
What do I do if I’m a still confused about these procedures?
If you are still unclear about the process of placing a crown or a post and core build-up, speak to your dentist. Your dentist can walk you through the steps of the procedures and address any questions or concerns you may have. It is important to have these types of conversations with your dentist so that your journey to an improved smile doesn’t start—or end—with a frown.
It's All About You
Having cosmetic or restorative dental work is a gift to yourself.
Having Dr. Irina do the work will give you a masterpiece you can shine on your friends and family every time you smile.
Contact us to schedule your appointment.
You can find us at
2800 Valley View Ln, Dallas, Texas, 75234
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Phone: 972-241-4684, 972-241-4684
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