If you need a crown and you’ve never had one before, you might wonder what the process entails and what you can expect once it’s over. Whenever a tooth has sustained more damage or decay than can be repaired with a dental filling, inlay, or onlay, but the root of the tooth is still healthy, a crown can be used to restore strength and function. Crowns are also known as caps because they are like a cap that encloses and protects the healthy portion of your damaged tooth.
When Are Dental Crowns Needed?
Although damage to a tooth from decay is the most common reason you might need a dental crown, there are other reasons as well. Crowns are used:
- When a cavity cannot be repaired by other restorative procedures
- As an abutment (support) for a dental bridge
- To restore the strength or structure of a weak, cracked, or damaged tooth
- As a cap for a tooth that had a root canal
- As a cosmetic treatment to cover teeth that are badly discolored or misshapen
What Are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?
When evaluating the different types of dental crowns, it’s important to think about whether you are concerned about restoring function to your tooth or whether appearance also matters. Often, the location of the damaged tooth is the deciding factor here—if a tooth is in the back of the mouth, you may not mind having a metal crown, but if it’s in the front, you are more likely to want a crown that matches your natural tooth color.
Here are the most commonly used materials for crowns:
Base Metal Alloys – This type of crown is resistant to both corrosion and breakage. They are one of the stronger options, so they are often used to replace molars.
Gold Alloys – Gold alloy crowns are made with a combination of gold, copper, or other metals. These are the strongest option; they bond well to teeth and are unlikely to fracture.
Porcelain Fused to Metal – If you want the strength of metal, but the appearance of porcelain, this might be your ideal option.
All Ceramic or Porcelain – This is the type of crown we use for front teeth. It’s not as strong as a metal crown, but it doesn’t need to be when it’s not being used on a molar. These crowns are carefully fabricated to look realistic and match your natural teeth.
Resin – Resin dental crowns are more affordable than other options, but they are more prone to fracture and have shorter lifespans.
Zirconia – Zirconia crowns offer superior strength, aesthetics, and longevity. They are our preferred choice for crowns.
What Happens When You Get a Dental Crown?
First, an impression is taken to help us fabricate an exact replica of your tooth. This is important because it ensures that the crown interacts properly with your remaining teeth. Your tooth is then prepared by removing all portions of damage or decay, leaving behind only the healthy tooth structure. Another impression is taken so your crown can be made to fit flush against the prepared tooth. A temporary restoration is placed to protect your tooth while we wait for your permanent crown to be fabricated by the dental laboratory.
Once your crown is ready, it will be fitted and then bonded onto your prepared tooth.
Schedule an Appointment
If you need a dental crown and you’d like to discuss your options, we’ll guide you through the process and help you make a selection that’s right for your needs, budget, and treatment goals. Contact us today at 570-287-2500 to schedule an appointment.