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Rebuild Your Smile with Dental Crowns

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a prosthetic restoration for a tooth, and it is commonly referred to as a “cap” because it simply fits over the top of a damaged natural tooth. We typically fit teeth with dental crowns when a traditional filling is not adequate to fully repair a tooth.

Smiling woman on beach at sunset

Tooth examined following dental restorationThere are a number of reasons why a dental crown would be recommended:

  • If more than 50% of the tooth needs to be repaired due to broken enamel or tooth decay (or both).
  • If a root canal has been performed on the tooth. A root canal treated tooth needs the reinforcement that a crown provides in order to protect it from fracturing, as a fracture may require the tooth to be extracted. The last thing one would want is to have root canal treatment performed and then lose the tooth due to a fracture or further decay.
  •  If an existing dental crown has decay underneath it. Crowns are not immune to decay, and they need to be replaced if decay is detected. It’s important to have your crowns checked during your routine dental exam just like your non-restored teeth because it’s often difficult to detect decay under a crown. And, if decay under a crown goes undetected, it may lead to a fracture of the tooth or the crown and the need for possible root canal treatment. In severe cases, where extensive decay is present underneath a crown, the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with an alternative such as a dental implant.
  • Aesthetics. Crowns can be used to improve the aesthetics of a single tooth or many teeth, and we have superb porcelain technology that allows us to fabricate crowns that appear truly like natural teeth.

What is a dental crown made of?

Dental crown restoration sitting on tableThere are a variety of materials that can be used to fabricate dental crowns, and the exact material used is determined by the goal of your particular clinical treatment. Here are some of the most common types of crowns I use:

  • All-ceramic (no metal)
  • Porcelain fused to metal (either gold or zirconia substructure with porcelain layering)
  • Gold

Thus, there are many factors to consider when we decide on what type of crown to fabricate, and I will discuss those options with you while we are planning your treatment.

If you would like to learn more about how dental crowns work, or if you are ready to have your damaged teeth repaired, please contact our office today.