If a tooth has more extensive decay, a dental crown may be the ideal aesthetic and functional restorative solution.
There are some instances in which a tooth is severely decayed or damaged and there is not enough remaining tooth structure for a standard filling, inlay, or onlay to restore it. In fact, the remaining tooth structure may be further compromised by a filling, inlay, or onlay. The most effective way to restore a severely damaged tooth is with a dental crown.
Dental crowns cap and protect the remaining structure of damaged teeth. Dental crowns fit snugly over damaged teeth, restoring shape and strength while minimizing pain or discomfort. Made of a special composite, tooth colored material, dental crowns not only reduce discomfort and restore tooth structure, but they are also virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Dental crowns will also restore your bite strength and allow you to eat your favorite foods again.
Dental crowns are also used to protect a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment, also known as a root canal.
Choosing to have a crown placed can preserve the natural tooth, which is always the goal as preserving the natural teeth helps maintain the supporting bone structure and stability of the surrounding and adjacent teeth.
The first step in the process is to take an impression that will be used to make a model of the teeth and bite. This allows the crown to be made to look and function like your natural tooth. The tooth will then be prepped, with the decayed areas being removed. An impression of the prepped tooth will be made so that the final crown will fit properly when it is placed.
Sometimes the final crown can be placed on the same day but other times a temporary crown will be placed while your final restoration is being created. Crowns often last a lifetime with proper care and oral hygiene.
There are four common types of crowns:
This type of crown is often used for teeth that are visible when smiling as they are made from a porcelain-based material that retains the look of your natural teeth.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
These crowns are known for their strength and durability while also allowing for a natural-looking restoration.
These may be used when more strength is needed, particularly for patients who grind their teeth at night.
Base Metal Alloys
These are strong and corrosion-resistant and are often used when there is less existing tooth structure available to support the crown restoration.