What is a Dental Crown?
Crowns also known as “tooth cap” or a “tooth crown” are gold or porcelain tooth-shaped covering on existing tooth. After an impression of tooth is taken, a crown, or units on a bridge can be made by the laboratory, matching the shade, shape and size to your natural teeth.
When a tooth is:
- has a large restoration
- has a leaky old filling
- cracked or broken
- had the nerve removed with root canal therapy
- severely damaged by decay
the placement of a crown (or tooth cap) may be recommended. A build up or post-core build ups may be required for stability, strength and fitting purposes to replace lost tooth structure before capping the tooth.
When is a dental crown recommended?
Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your smile. Crowns go on individual teeth or implants. Bridges include crown units called Retainers that are connected to surrounding crowns to replace a missing tooth.
Types of Dental Crowns
- Emax Crown
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crown
- Full porcelain
- Full gold
- All-metal crown
- Stainless steel crowns for Pediatric patients
Dental Crown Procedure
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Dental crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.
How to Care for a Dental Crown
With proper care, a good quality dental crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the dental crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a dental crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the dental crown.