A dental crown restores a tooth's shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant. Once it is permanently bonded in place, only a Dentist or Specialist can remove it. With proper care and good oral hygiene, the life of a crown can range from 5 to 15 years.
A crown may be prescribed by your Dentist to:
- Restore and protect a tooth that is worn, decayed, cracked, or broken
- Protect and support a tooth after a very large filling or root canal treatment
- Cover a dental implant
- Hold a dental bridge or other prosthetic device in place
- Improve your smile by covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
Your Dentist will recommend the best type of crown for your dental restoration needs based on the chewing placement and structure of the tooth or implant that requires protection. There are three types of crowns. Each type has its own characteristics and qualities:
Porcelain is attractive, strong, stable, and highly resistant to wear. It offers a high level of biocompatibility because it does not contain metal. A porcelain crown provides the best natural color match to the rest of your teeth and is an excellent choice for front teeth.
Metal offers strength and endurance. A metal crown may be recommended for back teeth where the forces of biting and chewing are the greatest. A metal crown rarely chips or breaks. In addition, it requires minimal removal of tooth structure.
A gold or other high-noble metal crown offers biocompatibility. A base metal crown is often the least expensive treatment options; however, it lacks biocompatibility and may cause allergic reactions or gumline discoloration.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal offers the benefits of a natural surface color that resembles the rest of your teeth and the strength of a metal substructure.
While there are several advantages to selecting this type of crown, it requires the removal of more tooth structure than other types of crowns. This means that there is greater potential for patient discomfort during the treatment procedure.
After a thorough exam of your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, your Dentist will discuss treatment options with you and answer your questions. If the agreed upon-treatment is a dental crown, your Dentist will apply a local anesthetic to prepare your tooth or dental implant.