On occasion, dental crowns are used to restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth, but they are not always necessary. When and why this is the best option, our Vancouver dentists explain.
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 should 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 materials should be the most lifelike on the market, with translucency and natural tooth colour matching. However, they may be more susceptible to chipping and wear than other materials. As a result, they are only used to replace teeth in a minority of cases.
Composite crowns are another material that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance. They are more resistant to chipping than porcelain, but they can easily wear down and stain.
These are made of gold and should be quite strong. They should not wear down or stain like composite crowns, but they do not look natural, particularly on front teeth.
These crowns should look more natural than porcelain or composite crowns. They should be 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 should 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 worn 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 aren't always the best option, and your dentist can help you figure out what is. However, the following problems are quite common and almost always necessitate the use of a dental crown.
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