If you have experienced dental decay or damage and needed restorative care then it's likely that your dentist will also have recommended a crown to complete your treatment but what is their purpose? Our Surrey dentists share some information about dental crowns as part of your restorative treatment and when they might be used.
What is a dental crown and what is its purpose?
A dental crown is a hollow cap that is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to give it a natural, healthy appearance. The primary purpose of this dental crown is to help prevent any further damage or decay to your natural tooth. Dental crowns may also be used in cases where a patient is only hoping to make a cosmetic change to their smile.
Is there more than one type of dental crown?
There is a variety of materials that dental crowns can be made of. The choice of material is usually based on the location of the crown as well as the patient's budget. The main types of dental crown materials are:
Porcelain For a Natural Appearance
If you are looking for a crown that closely matches the look of your own teeth then porcelain may be a good fit. They are, however, more prone to chipping and wear than other materials. As a result, they are only used in a small percentage of cases to replace teeth.
Composite Based For a Little More Resistance
Composite crowns are another material that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance. They are more resistant to chipping than porcelain, but they can easily wear down and stain.
Metal or Gold For Durability
Dental crowns made of metal (usually gold) are usually quite strong and durable. They should not wear down or stain like composite crowns, but they also look less natural and they are not recommended for use on the front teeth.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal to Meet in the Middle
You may find that these crowns appear more natural than composite or even porcelain. While they should be chip and stain-resistant, the metal may show through due to their placement and construction.
What to Expect During the Dental Crown Placement Process
Your dental crown will require at least two visits to the dental clinic to have it placed. Your dentist should administer a local anesthetic during your first visit.
Your dentist will first file down your natural tooth and take impressions of the space to have your new crown made. This will help to ensure a custom fit.
While you are waiting for your new crown your dentist can provide you with a temporary one.
Why might I need a dental crown?
While crowns can be a good choice in many cases, they are not made for every set of concerns. Your dentist will be able to help you decide if a dental crown will work best for your needs. However, the following issues are fairly common and almost always necessitate the use of a dental crown.
Situations Where Dental Crowns May Be Used:
- Large cavities that can't be repaired with a dental filling
- To cover a tooth that has had a root canal
- To prevent weakened teeth from breaking
- To hold together a cracked tooth
- To restore a broken tooth
- To provide support to a dental bridge
- To conceal misshapen teeth
- To cover dental implants
- To disguise discoloured teeth that won't respond to teeth whitening