A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that restores a tooth’s size, shape, appearance, and strength. A dentist may recommend a crown to repair a variety of problems. After the dentist cements it into place, the crown will fully encase the portion of a tooth that sits above the gum line, so it looks like your natural tooth.
Dentists recommend dental crowns for a number of reasons. A dentist might recommend a dental crown to prevent a tooth weakened by decay or fracture from breaking, for example. A crown can also hold the pieces of an already-broken tooth together, or restore the size and shape of a severely worn down tooth. A dentist might recommend placing a crown on a tooth that needs a large filling but does not have enough enamel to support the filling. Dentists place crowns over teeth that have undergone root canal treatment, which is a tooth-saving procedure.
A dental crown can support other dental appliances. A crown can support a dental bridge, which is another dental appliance dentists use bridge the gap left by one or more missing teeth. Dentists also use natural-looking crowns to cover dental implants, which are titanium posts surgically implanted into the jaw to replace missing teeth.
Dental crowns can improve the cosmetic appearance of teeth. Crowns cover severely discolored teeth, for example, to improve a smile immediately. Dental crowns can also change the size, shape, and texture of a tooth.
Crowns may be made from a variety of materials, including all-ceramic, all-porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, stainless steel, and metal. Ceramic and porcelain dental crowns look and feel like natural teeth, so dentists recommend them for front teeth. Dentists often recommend metal crowns for back teeth because they are strong enough to withstand the forces of chewing.
While dentists usually place crowns on adult patients, they may sometimes recommend dental crowns for their pediatric patients. They might suggest a crown when a child has a tooth so damaged by decay that it cannot support a filling, for example, or protect the teeth of a child who is at a very high risk of tooth decay.
Benjamin Hale, DMD, Offers Dental Crowns in Farr West, UT
Placing a dental crown requires several visits to your dentist. After a consultation in which you and your dentist decide if a crown is right for you, your dentist will prepare the tooth. In this step, your dentist will reduce the size of the tooth to make room for the crown. After reducing the tooth, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth, and then send this impression to the laboratory that makes your crown. Your dentist will also determine the correct shade for the crown so that it matches the color of your other teeth. Your dentist will also fit you with a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth.
You will return after your dentist receives your crown from the lab. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown, clean the prepared tooth, and place the new crown onto the prepared tooth. The dentist cements the crown in place.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, your dental crown can last a lifetime. Good oral hygiene includes brushing twice a day and flossing daily, along with regular trips to the dentist for checkups and professional cleanings. To avoid damage, do not chew on ice, hard foods or other hard objects. Even with the best of care, dental crowns can fall off.
For more information on dental crowns, contact Benjamin H. Hale, DMD, in Farr West, Utah.