All About Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering bonded into place over a tooth. It’s designed to totally cover the visible part of a tooth above the gum line. Crowns serve to restore the appearance and strength of a tooth.

When do you need a dental crown?

You might need a dental crown to:

  • Restore badly damaged or broken tooth
  • Cover and brace a tooth with a rather large filling and very little tooth remaining
  • Shield a weak tooth from decay or from breaking up, or to keep fragments of a broken tooth together.
  • Anchor a dental brace in place
  • Conceal a badly shaped tooth or discolored tooth.
  • Cover a tooth that had undergone root canal treatment.
  • Cover a dental implant

What kind of materials can be used for dental crowns?

Permanent crowns can be made from:

  • All metal: palladium, gold, nickel, and chromium are some of the metals used in crowns. They are the most durable materials and can be fitted with only a small amount of tooth chipped out. They also withstand more pressure. The metallic color is a minus and means they are more suited for hidden molars.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal easily blends in with the surrounding teeth because of their more natural tooth color. But the underlying metal sometimes appears as a dark line. Also, the porcelain portion can break off, and the teeth opposite the crown tend to wear quicker. These crowns are a good fit for both back or front teeth.
  • All-resin is cheaper than other crowns. They are also not as durable and are more fragile than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns provide the best color matching with natural teeth. They are recommended for people with metal allergies. However, all-ceramic crowns are not as tough as other dental crown materials. They may also wear down the opposite teeth faster than either metal or resin crowns. They are perfect for capping front teeth.
  • Pressed ceramic crowns are made with a hard inner core in place of the metal liner used in making all-ceramic crowns. They are covered with porcelain and are more durable than all-porcelain crowns. Also, the color of porcelain best matches that of the natural teeth.
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