Protecting and Restoring Teeth
What is a Dental Crown, and Why Do You Need One?
A dental crown is placed over a tooth to protect it, to restore it, to keep a tooth strong, and to improve the appearance of the tooth. Dental crowns look like and feel like a real tooth and are placed over a tooth. You may need a dental crown to:
- Preserve a tooth that is weak from decay or to hold a breaking tooth together.
- To repair a tooth that is broken, or one damaged from wear.
- To support and cover a tooth that needs a large filling, especially when there isn’t very much tooth left.
- To secure a dental bridge.
- To complete or cover up a dental implant.
- For aesthetic reasons.
What Type of Dental Crowns are Available?
Permanent crowns are made of stainless steel, gold, metal alloys, porcelain and metal, resin, or ceramic materials. Some of the benefits of the various types of crowns are:
- Stainless steel crowns. These crowns are prefabricated crowns used on permanent teeth and are usually temporary. This type of crown is placed over the tooth to prevent further tooth decay. Stainless steel crowns may be used especially for children’s teeth and are more cost-effective than are custom made crowns. Plus, the crowns are usually placed in one visit.
- Your dentist may choose metal crowns made of gold, platinum or other metals because they are quite sturdy and resist wear and tear. The color of the metal isn’t always as aesthetically preferred, but metal crowns resist breaking and last for a significant amount of time. These crowns are preferred for use in restoring molars.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are similar to metal crowns, except their color can be matched to your neighboring teeth.
- All ceramic crowns look the most like natural teeth. They remain an excellent choice if you need a crown on a front tooth.
- All-resin crowns cost less than many types of crowns. They look great and work well, especially if a person is allergic to metals.