What Is a Dental Crown?

June 24, 2018 — by Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky
Tags: Dental Crowns

An illustration of a dental crown being placed on a toothDental crowns are a common restorative dentistry treatment option. However, many patients don’t know what a dental crown is, what a crown looks like, or how a crown can improve the appearance and health of a tooth.

In this blog post, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky explains everything you need to know about dental crowns. To find out if a dental crown is right for you, contact our Edmonton, AB practice today.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a dental restoration. It can save a tooth that has been damaged by decay, injury, or wear and tear.

In restorative dentistry, there are conservative treatment options and more aggressive treatment options. A dental crown is somewhere in the middle on this spectrum. A crown is a more aggressive treatment than a filling, but it is much more conservative than a tooth replacement option such as a dental implant.

Dental crowns can be made of various materials. In the past, they were typically made of metal materials or porcelain fused to metal. While these materials sufficiently restored the tooth, they did not look natural.

Today, we use high quality dental porcelain to craft dental crowns. This material can be color-matched to your teeth, and it has a translucency that gives it a natural appearance.  

What Does a Dental Crown Look Like?

Two porcelain dental crownsAs you can see from this image, a dental crown is shaped like a tooth, but it is hollow inside. This allows dentists to place the crown over your tooth, providing additional support and protection.

The porcelain material used to fabricate dental crowns not only looks natural, it is also durable; it will withstand the daily pressure of biting and chewing for up to 20 years with proper oral care.

In the illustration featured at the beginning of this blog post, you can see how the underlying tooth is reshaped to accommodate the dental crown. The crown can then be made to fit your tooth precisely.

How Are Dental Crowns Used?

Dental crowns are versatile and can be used to treat various dental problems.

If you have a cavity that went untreated, it may grow to the point that a dental filling will no longer adequately restore the tooth. In these cases, a dental crown can be placed to preserve the tooth.

Dental crowns are also commonly used to restore a tooth affected by a root canal infection. First, root canal therapy is performed to remove all signs of infection, and then a dental crown tops the tooth to give it additional support.

Large chips or fractures may result from injury or the chronic, excess pressure caused by tooth grinding or silver fillings. Dental crowns can be used to treat moderate to severe fractures.

Daily wear and tear on the teeth can result in certain teeth eroding down significantly. If this occurs, a dental crown can be placed to reduce tooth pain and restore the tooth.

Patients that have a single missing tooth may wish to have a dental implant placed to replace the tooth’s root. A crown can then be attached to the implant to fill in the space left by the missing tooth.

To find out if a dental crown is right in your case, contact Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky’s practice today.