A dental crown is a “cap” that is fitted to your tooth and placed over it, in order to cover and protect the tooth. A crown restores the tooth’s shape and size, as well as its strength. Crowns improve the tooth’s appearance.
When Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- The tooth has become weakened from decay, for example. The crown prevents the tooth from breaking and can hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
- The tooth is broken or has become very worn down.
- The tooth needs support due to a large filling when not much of the tooth is left.
- There is a missing tooth or missing teeth; a crown can be used to hold a dental bridge in place.
- The tooth is misshapen or severely discolored; a crown can be used to cover the tooth.
- The tooth had to be replaced with an implant; the crown is used to cover the dental implant.
- Teeth can be less than perfect in many ways and crowns are very useful for use in making cosmetic modifications.
For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:
- Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
- Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.
In such cases, a pediatric dentist is likely to recommend a stainless steel crown.
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic. Go here to learn more about crown materials.