Understanding Dental Crowns

Dentist Blog

Most people are aware that a dental crown is a cap that covers the natural crown of a tooth. However, they may know little else about the device. 

Here is a bit of information about crowns to help you better understand them and when they are needed.

What Materials Are Used to Make a Dental Crown?

A dental crown can be fashioned from several different materials, such as porcelain, metal alloys, or porcelain-over-metal. The dentist chooses the crown material based on the device's location in the oral cavity, the crown's reason for being placed, and the desired aesthetic outcome of the patient.

If a crown is located in the rear of the mouth, a dentist may suggest a metal crown. However, for crowns that are easily seen when the patient smiles or speaks, a tooth-colored crown may be favorable. Crowns that are used for primary teeth, which will eventually be lost due to the natural shedding process, are typically made of stainless steel.

How Is a Dental Crown Applied?

Usually, a crown is applied during two separate dental appointments. During the first visit, the designated tooth is treated and prepared for the crown's placement. The dentist may reshape the tooth to ensure the crown fits over it and will sit properly in the mouth. A temporary crown is applied after the tooth is treated.

During the second visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and applies its permanent counterpart.

When Is a Dental Crown Needed?

A dental crown can be used to treat multiple dental concerns, such as:

  • A large cavity. When a significant portion of a tooth has been demineralized by decay, the dentist may remove the decay and fill the cavity. However, the tooth may be weakened because of the reduced amount of tooth material. A crown may be needed to strengthen and fortify the tooth.
  • A cracked tooth. A crack may develop in a tooth from too much bite pressure. A crown can prevent the crack from progressing and fortify the tooth structure.
  • Bridge support. A dental crown is typically located on each side of the false tooth of a fixed bridge. The crowns are attached to healthy abutment teeth to secure the bridge in place.
  • Misshapen teeth. Crowns may be used to cover and correct the shape of teeth that have an irregular appearance.
  • Dental implant covering. A dental crown may also be used to cover a dental implant for a single-tooth restoration.

For more information about dental crowns, contact a dentist such as Gregory S Rutherford, DDS


23 October 2019