What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are tooth encasements.

A crown, or “cap”, can be placed on any tooth, front or back, and covers it like a jacket or cup. Crowns encase the whole tooth, all the way to the gum line. They can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or metal such as gold. They may even be ceramic covered metal. A crown is not a “filling”. A filling repairs a small portion of the tooth.  With a filling, material (usually a composite) is used to fill in a small area of the tooth. Fillings don’t encompass the whole tooth as a crown does.

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Purposes of dental caps

Crowns provide support and protection.

There are several reasons a dentist may recommend a crown. Sometimes tooth decay is so bad that a routine filling isn’t an option because the tooth is not strong enough or have enough structure to support one. Another reason is a crown may be incorporated in a dental plan to secure a bridge. A dentist may use a crown on the front teeth for cosmetic reasons. In addition, if a patient has had an implant, a crown serves as the new tooth over the implant.

Reasons for a crown

  • Repair a broken tooth
  • Cover and protect a tooth that has become weakened by decay
  • Repair misshapen or discolored teeth
  • Encase and create a dental implant
  • Anchor a dental bridge
  • Reinforce a tooth after a root canal

Take care of your new crown

A crown needs to be taken care of just like every other tooth in your mouth. Just because it is artificial does not mean that the area around the crown will not get periodontal disease. Practicing meticulous oral hygiene thoroughly and frequently in all areas of the mouth should be part of your daily oral care routine.