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What to Know About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns, also known as caps, aren’t nearly as regal as they sound. Tiaras aside, these “royal helpers” are extremely helpful when considering many dental needs. Learning about dental crowns now may save you from a future toothache (and headache)!

  1. How to tell if you need them:

IMG_5575Crowns are most often used when a tooth has been damaged and weakened.When a tooth requires a large filling, it is often too weak to hold the tooth together. Other conditions that may need a crown include having a cracked tooth, or a tooth that is severely worn down.

Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes when teeth are extremely discolored, or are oddly shaped. At times, dental crowns can cover unsightly dental implants.

And they aren’t just for adults! In some cases, dental crowns can be used on children’s baby teeth. This usually involves cases of extreme tooth decay, when the tooth is so rotted that it cannot hold up a filling. Children may also need a crown if they have trouble keeping up with daily oral hygiene. The crown will help prevent further tooth decay.

  1. What are they made of?

Crowns are made of many different types of materials, each with unique  properties.

  • Stainless steel: This type of crown is used for temporary circumstances. When someone is getting a crown, they may be given a stainless steel crown while they wait for their permanent ones to be made. These types of crowns are also used for children to protect their teeth when waiting for their permanent teeth to come in because they don’t require as many dental visits, and are much more cost-effective.
  • Metals: These crowns include gold, palladium, nickel or chromium. Metals are used most often because less tooth is removed during the procedure, and the property of the metal can withstand daily use the most efficiently. However, you might not want your new gold teeth to show. This can be a slight downside if you need a crown on front-facing teeth.
  • Porcelain: Porcelain is the most natural looking crown option. This type of crown is cosmetically appealing because it blends well with the rest of your natural teeth. Unfortunately, these crowns are not as strong as others, and tend to wear down the teeth that surround the treated tooth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are another viable option. They provide the most natural look and feel, while remaining strong. But they aren’t without their downsides. The porcelain can cause surrounding teeth to IMG_5582wear down.  
  1. What is involved in the procedure?

To start, we’ll take a few X-rays to inspect the possible decay of the tooth receiving the crown. A root canal may needed before moving forward with the procedure.

You are treated with a local anaesthetic, and the tooth will be filed down to make room for the new addition. An impression of the tooth is then taken so a custom crown can be made. A temporary crown is placed on top of the tooth for two to three weeks, while the custom one is in production. Once completed, the crown is then permanently cemented to the tooth of concern, and voila, a tooth is crowned!

If you think you have a tooth that needs a crown, or you simply want to cosmetically transform your smile, come to Shoreline Dental Studio for a consultation.