What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are among the most popular reconstructive dentistry procedures performed in the US. Also called a dental cap, a dental crown is a sheath that fits over a damaged tooth, covering the entire visible area of the tooth, from the top of the crown to the gumline, and often even a little bit below.

Why Dental Crowns Are Used

Dental crowns are used for many purposes. Most commonly, dental crowns are used to support teeth that are too damaged to stand on their own. Often a dental crown is a follow-up procedure for teeth that had fillings that developed secondary decay around them, weakening the tooth. Dental crowns are also used if your teeth suffer serious cracks, jeopardizing their stability. If you have a root canal, a dental crown is used to protect the treated tooth.

Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes. If a tooth is discolored by decay, trauma, or metal fillings, a dental crown can be used to give the tooth a more attractive color that matches with other teeth. Dental crowns can also be used to build up small or poorly shaped teeth, or reshape teeth as part of an instant orthodontics procedure with porcelain veneers.

Dental crowns can be used to help build up teeth that have been worn down and may be contributing to a bad bite.

Finally, dental crowns can be used to help replace teeth. A dental implant can be topped with a dental crown, and dental crowns can support a dental bridge.

Types of Dental Crowns

Permanent dental crowns can be classified into three basic types based on their material (temporary dental crowns are a little different).

Metal crowns are most often made of gold or a noble metal alloy, though sometimes stainless steel crowns are used for children’s primary teeth that have extensive decay. Although durable, these crowns are often undesirable because they are unattractive.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns have a metal base that is covered over with ceramic material. This can provide a more attractive appearance, though the metal around the edge of the crown may be exposed by receding gums and the porcelain can flake away under heavy bite forces.

Full ceramic crowns are made entirely of ceramic material that mimics the natural tooth structure, color, and luster.

At Ascent Dental we offer a special kind of ceramic crown called a CEREC crown. The benefit of the CEREC system is that we can give you a permanent dental crown in one day, without having to send away to a lab or make a temporary crown for you. CEREC crowns are also very durable and attractive.

If you would like to learn more about dental crowns and whether they’re right for you, please contact Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver today.