What is a Dental (Tooth) Crown?

What is a Dental (Tooth) Crown?

Team Dental Crown

 It is estimated that approximately 15 million Americans have dental crowns or dental bridges. A dental crown is also referred to as a cap. A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that is used to cover, stabilize, strengthen,  and protect a damaged tooth. Here’s what to know about dental crowns including why you need one, and what to expect when getting a crown.

Reasons You May Need a Dental Crown

Your dentist will recommend a dental crown for a variety of reasons. Teeth that have significant decay that can not be treated with a dental filling may require a crown. Likewise, teeth that have small cracks, and have become weakened may be held together and fortified with a dental crown.  

Severely worn down teeth, or teeth that are broken may also be restored with a dental crown.  In other cases, a discolored or misshapen tooth may be covered with a crown.  

Dental crowns are also used in conjunction with other cosmetic or restorative dental treatments. For example, if decay reaches the interior of the tooth, or if you develop an infection in the pulp of the tooth, you’ll need a root canal. The placement of a permanent crown is necessary following a root canal. 

If you are replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge, you may need to have dental crowns placed on the adjoining teeth to support the bridge. Finally, dental crowns are affixed to dental implants if you undergo dental implant surgery.

Types of Dental Crowns

All dental crowns serve the same purpose: to protect your natural tooth beneath it. However, not all dental crowns are made of the same material. Your dentist will go over the options most appropriate for your unique situation. Dental crowns may be made of:

  • Ceramic

Ceramic dental crowns are a popular choice because they can be color-matched to match your other teeth. 

  • Porcelain Fused to Metal

These crowns are durable and strong and also look very natural.

  • Gold Alloys

Gold alloys may be recommended for those who grind their teeth at night. These crowns may be best suited for patients requiring a stronger type of restoration.

  • Base Metal Alloys

These dental crowns may be needed if there is severe wear of a tooth, resulting in less existing tooth structure.

What to Expect When Getting a Dental Crown

If you need a dental crown, don’t panic. The procedure is not painful. But it can require two visits. During your first visit,  painless digital imaging tests will be performed so that your dentist can confirm there is no existing infection that needs to be treated before placing the crown.

Next, your existing tooth will need to be shaped to place the crown. The area surrounding the tooth to be treated will be completely numbed. Your dentist will then remove all decay, and shave down the tooth. You will not feel any pain during this process.  

Once the tooth has been shaped to hold the crown, an impression of your tooth will be made, using a state-of-the-art digital intraoral scanner. This scan is completely painless, as it only involves a handheld wand being swabbed around in your mouth. The impression will be used to create your new dental crown. To complete your initial visit you’ll have a temporary crown placed on the treated tooth. 

You’ll return to the dentist once your crown has been received from the lab. During this appointment, your dentist will ensure that your new crown fits perfectly before permanently attaching it. Your dentist may make minor adjustments to the crown, to ensure that your bite is aligned and the crown fits snugly. Then the crown will be permanently bonded to your tooth, and your treatment will be complete.

Schedule a Dental Exam in Vilonia, AR

Lane Family Dentistry provides comprehensive dental treatment including restorations such as dental crowns in Vilonia, convenient to Mount Vernon, Enola, and Rose Bud. Request an appointment online or call 501-796-3903 today.