If you have had root canal therapy, have a tooth that is damaged, discoloured, or misshapen, or have a cavity that is too large to be treated with a standard filling, your dentist may recommend a dental crown for your tooth. A dental crown is an excellent option when other treatments wouldn’t adequately address your oral health needs. Dental crowns can be used as part of a treatment plan, to repair or replace existing dental work, or as a purely cosmetic treatment to restore a person’s smile and confidence.
What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown, also called a cap, is a kind of dental restoration that covers a heavily restored, fractured, worn, discoloured, or poorly shaped tooth. They can be used cosmetically to brighten a person’s smile, but this is increasingly less common with new veneer materials and as newer methods of teeth whitening are more effective than they once were. Though there are different types of dental crowns, a crown or cap will typically cover the entire tooth down to the gumline. This way, it provides complete protection for the tooth’s surface that would ordinarily be exposed. It can also provide structural integrity and support for a tooth that has been damaged or had a significant amount of tooth lost due to previous fillings or decay.
When are Dental Crowns Used?
Generally, a dental crown is used to repair, restore, or protect a tooth as part of a restorative treatment plan. Dentists have been using dental crowns to repair their patient’s teeth for a long time, but modern dental crowns are made with advanced materials which offer superior aesthetics as well as protection and durability. Dentists typically use dental crowns to rebuild cracked or broken down teeth, to protect a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy, or as a bridge abutment to help replace a missing tooth. Different types of dental crowns can be used for different purposes, such as to cover a discoloured tooth or correct a poorly shapen, misaligned, or crooked set of teeth. In some instances, they can even be used to restore a person’s proper bite and normal chewing function.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are different types of dental crowns, and your dentist may recommend one over another for reasons specific to your care. Here’s a look at the most common kinds of dental crowns, with some information on when they might be called for.
Some of the earliest known examples of dental crowns are made of gold, one of the oldest materials used in dentistry. Gold crowns are not commonly seen in modern dentistry outside of cosmetic application, but some specific circumstances may call for their use. For instance, when there is limited spae for crown placement due to severe wear.
All Porcelain Crowns
Many dental crowns today are made fully of porcelain material, a highly durable and safe material. In these dental crowns, the porcelain can be custom coloured to match existing teeth, ensuring that the dental crown will be undetectable and match your natural teeth.
Porcelain Fused-to-Metal Crowns
In some cases, a porcelain cap will be secured to a metal alloy base which is then affixed to the existing tooth. In these types of dental crowns, both the porcelain and metal materials are highly durable and safe and securely bonded to each other and the tooth.
Zirconia crowns are a relatively recent innovation. Zirconia is an incredibly strong substance and is therefore highly durable. This durability makes dental crowns of this type well suited for use in the back of the mouth, where the forces exerted on your teeth by chewing is the greatest.
How Do Dental Crowns Help?
Dental crowns can help restore a tooth’s structural integrity, repair damage or be used as a protective measure to ensure a tooth stays healthy. They can also be used cosmetically to brighten or repair someone’s smile. They’re an excellent option for various dental needs, and modern dental crowns are made with advanced materials that are much more aesthetic than many previous options available. If you’re interested in or suspect you need a dental crown, your best option is to speak with a dental healthcare professional. At Beaches Dental in Mona Vale, Dr Byron Kwok specializes in restorative and cosmetic treatments and would be glad to talk further with you about your options.
Dental crowns can be used for many different purposes in protecting and restoring your oral health. Whether as part of another treatment or used alone, dental crowns are safe, effective, and pain-free and can be an excellent option for several common dental health concerns. If you have more questions about dental crowns or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your oral health, contact us today—we’d love to hear from you.