Dental crowns are occasionally used to restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth, but they are not always necessary. When it is the best option, our Richmond dentist explains why.
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a hollow cap that is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to give it a natural, healthy appearance. The crown will protect the tooth and restore its function while also protecting it from further damage. A dental crown can also be used to cover discoloured or misshapen teeth.
Types of Crowns
Crowns can be made from a variety of dental materials, depending on the type of tooth and the location of the crown in your mouth.
These are the most lifelike materials available, closely mimicking the translucency and colour of natural teeth. They are, however, less durable and prone to chipping than other materials. As a result, they are only used in a minority of cases to replace teeth.
Another material that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance is composite crowns. They are more resistant to chipping than porcelain, but they do wear down and stain easily.
These are made of gold and are quite strong. They do not wear down or stain like composite crowns, but they do not look natural, particularly on front teeth.
These crowns have a more natural appearance than porcelain or composite crowns. They are chip and stain resistant, but the metal may show through due to their placement and construction.
In most cases, a dental crown requires two visits to our office. Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic during your first visit.
To make room for the crown, your damaged tooth will be filed down and an impression taken. This will be used to make your restoration because it will be custom-fitted to your tooth.
A temporary crown will be used until the permanent crown is ready. At your next appointment, your dentist should remove the temporary restoration and replace it with your new permanent dental crown, cementing it in place.
When are dental crowns the best solution?
Crowns are not always the best option, and your dentist will advise you on the best course of action. On the other hand, the issues listed below are quite common and almost always require the use of a dental crown to resolve.
Best Situations for a Dental Crown
- 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