A dental crown or dental cap is a tooth-shaped covering that is placed on a tooth to cover it. It is often used to restore the size, shape or strength of the tooth. Dental caps can also be used to improve the appearance of a tooth.
Dental crowns are cemented into position. The completely cover the visible part of the tooth, which is the part that lies above the gum line.
When is a Dental Crown Used?
Dental crowns can be used in a wide variety of situations. Some of the most common situations include:
- Holding dental bridges in place.
- Covering a dental implant.
- Covering a weak tooth and thereby protecting it from breaking or cracking. The tooth may be weak as a result of tooth decay or other physical damage.
- The replacement of severely worn or broken down teeth.
- The support of a tooth that has a large filling. A dental crown will be used when there is little of the original tooth left. The crown offers support to the filling and the remaining tooth.
- In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are used to cover discolored or misshapen teeth.
Typed of dental crowns
The materials used to make permanent crowns vary. Some of the most common types of crowns used today include:
These are usually alloys of precious metals such as gold, nickel or chromium. These dental crowns offer the advantage of reducing the amount of tooth structure that has to be removed in order to insert the crowns. The wear to the opposing teeth is also minimal. These types of dental crowns are long lasting as they are resistant to wear and tear caused by chewing. They rarely break or crack. Their only drawback is their color.
- Stainless steel:
These are usually used as a temporary measure. They are prefabricated and used to protect the tooth or lining until the permanent crown is inserted.
These are some of the most expensive crowns available today. They however wear down over time. They are also more prone to cracking and fractures than crowns that are made of porcelain fused to metal. They however cause less damage to opposing teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal:
These crowns can be made in a color similar to adjacent teeth giving them a natural look. The metal under the porcelain portion however may show as a dark line under the crown. The porcelain portion is vulnerable to chipping and breaking.