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What is a dental crown?

You may have heard of a dental crown. But, you may wonder what is it and why your dentist may recommend one for you.

A dental crown is often recommended as a treatment option for dark, uneven, chipped and/or crooked teeth because they can significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. It is a restoration that completely covers a tooth or a dental implant. There are many benefits and reasons to get a crown, such as:

Crowns are significantly stronger than standard filling materials. If a cavity is simply too large a filling may not be possible. In such instance a crown is required.

If a tooth is diagnosed with a crack, a crown is used to prevent further crack propagations. Without crowning, cracks usually lead to dead nerve and root canal therapy may be required. If a crack is too extensive it can lead to extraction and tooth loss.

If a tooth has had root canal therapy, crowning is highly recommended, especially for back teeth (Premolars and molars). This is because root canal treated teeth are significantly weaker than ordinary teeth and fracture incidents are much higher. Front teeth may or may not require crowning after a root canal therapy. Your dentist will be able to explain this to you.

If you have a missing tooth or teeth a crown on either side of the gap may be made to join together to replace missing teeth. This is called a bridge.

Often, your dentist may recommend a partial crown (Onlay/Overlay) instead of a full crown. In such case, a partial crown can offer almost the same benefit as a full crown without as much tooth reduction.

The crowns are often made by dental labs or in-clinic milling units. A crown can then be cemented onto a tooth or an implant. It may also be screw-retained on an implant. There are many types of crowns that can be made. For example, porcelain crowns, gold crowns, zirconia crowns, metal crowns and porcelain/metal combination crowns. Talk to your dentist today for your new crown!