When a tooth has a large filling, had root canal therapy or been severely damaged, your dentist may recommend a dental crown. Dental crowns or “caps” is a general dentistry treatment used to restore a tooth’s function and/or appearance. They provide strength and stability to a tooth whose integrity has been compromised by damage or decay. The completed crown can be almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth, due to color matching and materials used to create it.
The dental crown protects the tooth from further damage or injury by covering the entire part of the tooth above the gumline. Crowns are also used in dental bridges. They are attached to the replacement tooth, called a pontic, and seated on each tooth adjacent to the space being bridged.
Today there are many options when deciding what material to use for a crown. Porcelain and noble metals, such as gold alloy, are often used to custom fabricate crowns. The majority are made from dental ceramic (glass). These are strong and durable as well as natural-looking. The two types of ceramics used in making crowns are lithium disilicate (eMax), and zirconia.
Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) has long been a standard in the manufacturing of dental crowns. You may have an existing crown and notice a black line near the gum. This is the metal portion of the PFM showing. Today the aesthetics and strength of the new dental ceramics make this option less appealing.
Restore Cracked or Damaged Teeth
A tooth that has been cracked or damaged may need a crown for protection. The damage can make the tooth less stable and more susceptible to decay. Placing a crown on the tooth ensures that bacteria will not accumulate in the affected area. It will also provide the strength needed when chewing or biting without causing further damage to the tooth.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
There are instances when a full crown is unnecessary. For these situations, an inlay or onlay may be all that is needed. Posterior teeth have cusps, which are the little humps on each corner of the top of the tooth. Made of the same materials as dental crowns, inlays and onlays are used for repairing part of a tooth. An onlay is used when one or more cusps are involved and need repair. An inlay is used when only part of the surface of the tooth has been damaged.
Find out more information about dental crowns, inlays and onlays when you make an appointment with Rivers + West Family Dentistry. Keeping your teeth healthy and looking beautiful are our top priorities. Contact us today.