A dental crown is a cap that is shaped similar to a tooth. It covers the tooth to restore its strength. It is also used to improve a tooth’s appearance. When cemented into place a crown will encase the visible portion of the tooth at and above the gum line.

Why would you need a dental crown?

Adults;

  • Protecting a weak tooth that might break from decay.
  • Hold together a cracked tooth.
  • Restoring an already broken tooth.
  • Restore a severely worn down tooth.
  • A tooth with a large filling when there isn’t much of it left.
  • Holding a dental bridge in place.
  • Covering misshapen/discoloured teeth.
  • Cover dental implants.
  • For cosmetic purposes.

Children (primary baby teeth);

  • Saving a tooth that is badly damaged by decay when it can’t support a filling.
  • Protecting teeth at high risk of decay, especially when a child is unable to proper daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.

Different types of dental crowns

Stainless Steel

These are prefabricated and used on permanent teeth mainly for temporary measures and protects the tooth/filling while a permanent crown is made. For children, a stainless steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that’s been prepared to fit it. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. In general, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to put in place and so are more cost- effective than custom-made crowns and prophylactic dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown.

Metal

Metals used in crowns include alloys that have a high content of gold or platinum, or base-metal alloys (for example, cobalt- chromium and nickel-chromium alloys). Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color — and the high price of gold — is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal

These crowns can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth as well as long bridges where the metal is needed for strength.

All-resin

These are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

All-ceramic/All-porcelain

They provide better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. All-ceramic crowns can be used for front and back teeth.

If you are concerned about your oral health or have noticed sensitivity or unpleasant changes to your teeth or gums, please contact us and schedule an appointment.