A dental crown is an artificial tooth-shaped “cap” that is used to restore the appearance, shape, and function of a damaged/broken tooth. A tooth restored with a crown will function very much like a natural tooth.
A dental crown is normally needed when:
You have a large cavity and there is not enough tooth structure to hold a filling in place.
- You have a cracked or fractured tooth that needs to be protected, to prevent it from fracturing further.
- An implant has been placed, and needs to be restored with a crown.
- You want to cover discoloured or misshaped teeth.
- You would like to make a cosmetic change to your smile.
Types of Dental Crowns
Metal Crowns – Generally made of gold. They do not normally wear down your opposing teeth, and they last a long time. However, gold does not look natural, and can be expensive (cost of metal varies from time to time). If you are placing a crown on your front teeth, metal crowns are normally not chosen for this reason.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns – Are crowns that are part porcelain and part metal, so they can be made to look more like your natural tooth. However, more wearing on the opposing teeth will occur compared to metal and chips may occur on the porcelain top. The underlying metal can also show as a dark line near the gum line, and even more so if your gums recede.
Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns – These look the most natural, and are best suited for people with allergies to metals. They also wear down the opposing teeth. The new generation ceramic/porcelain crowns are very durable.
Regardless of which crown you choose to go with, they are generally all strong enough to last for 10 years, sometimes even more if you take good care of them. Regular brushing and flossing of the crown just like you do with your regular teeth is necessary to maintain it. Crowns may not be as strong as your natural teeth, so remember not to bite down on hard objects or use your teeth to open or cut things.
CEREC Crowns – These are ceramic/porcelain crowns made in dental offices using the latest CAD/CAM (refers to the digital workflow of teeth restoration) technology. Making it possible to have a crown done in just one visit. To read more about CEREC crowns, click here.