Crowns are a type of dental restoration which, when cemented into place, fully covers the portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. In comparison, fillings are dental restorations that fill in or cover over just a portion of a tooth. A dental crown in effect becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made out of porcelain (dental ceramic), metal (a gold or other metal alloy), or a combination of both. Other terms that are used to refer to dental crowns are “dental caps” and “tooth caps.”
Why do teeth need dental crowns?
A dentist might recommend placing a dental crown for a variety of reasons but, in general, most of these reasons will usually fall within one of the following basic categories:
- To restore a tooth to its original shape.
- To strengthen a tooth from fracturing.
- To hold together and seal a fractured tooth from decay
- To improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.
- To support the replacement teeth in a bridge.
- To restore and maintain a natural bite relationship
- To cover and strengthen a root canal tooth due to eventual brittleness that develops after that treatment.
The procedure followed in crown restoration is one of preparing the tooth in it’s damaged or weakened condition to be a strong core for final crown. This involves restoration and reshaping under a local anesthetic. Since function of the tooth is of great importance, an exact registration and impression of the prepared tooth or teeth to the other teeth are taken. A temporary coverage crown is made and placed while the laboratory specialists artfully manufacture the permanent crown.