A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength and aesthetic appeal. Once a crown is cemented in place, it fully encases the visible portion that rest at and above the gum line.
There are several reasons why a person may need a crown placement.
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling that makes up the majority of the tooth.
- To protect a tooth damaged by tooth decay from breaking or to hold together the pieces of a cracked tooth.
- To restore a broken tooth or a tooth that has been ground down.
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To mask discolored or misshapen teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- Cosmetic modification
Children may also need dental crowns if they are at high risk for tooth decay and have a tough time maintaining a healthy home care routine.
A crown can be made from a multitude of different material. Stainless steel crowns are typically used on adult teeth as a temporary solution while a permanent crown is fabricated from another material. Crowns can also be made from medals such as gold or palladium. The advantage to metal alloy is that they require less tooth structure removal. Additionally, metal crowns diminish the tooth wear to opposing teeth.
For aesthetic purposes a porcelain crown may be fused to metal in order to match the color of your adjacent teeth. This may look more pleasing but is does cause more stress on opposing teeth than metal or resin crowns. Resin crowns are the least expensive variety but they wear down over time and are prone to fractures. If you have resin crowns avoid popcorn kernels!
If you feel that you may need crowns consult with your dentist to explore your options.