Crowns are dental restorations otherwise known as “caps” which are coverings that fit over teeth.
Crowns may be necessary because of broken down old fillings, fractured, chipped or sensitive teeth. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of natural teeth that are malformed, malpositioned or discolored.
Crowns are made of natural looking porcelain and are made to improve your overall smile or to blend in with your own teeth. Sometimes an underlying metal shell is used under the porcelain if additional strength is needed.
Some of the indications for requiring a crown are:
- A previously filled tooth where there now exists more filling than tooth. The existing tooth structure becomes weakened and can no longer support the filling.
- Extensive damage by decay.
- Discolorations and compromised esthetics.
- Root canal – After root canal, teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture. These teeth need to be protected by a crown.
- Bridges – When missing teeth are replaced with a bridge, the adjacent teeth require crowns in order to support the replacement teeth. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your teeth.
Crowns can be made from different materials which include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain fused-to-metal crown and the all-metal crown. You and your dentist will decide which type is appropriate, depending upon the strength requirements and esthetic concerns of the tooth involved.