Dental Crown – Procedure And Problems

Dental Crown – Procedure And Problems

What Is A Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a cap that sits over a tooth or an implant to cover it completely.  A crown may be used to restore a broken tooth to bring it back to its natural size and shape.  Several dental crowns combined to replace a missing tooth are called a bridge.

A dental crown is a restoration used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. It is designed to fit over the existing tooth, restoring its shape, size, and strength. The crown is custom-made to match the color and shape of the surrounding teeth, making it look and feel like a natural tooth. Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, and resin. The crown can last up to 15 years or more, depending on the material used. Crowns restore teeth damaged by decay, trauma, or fracture. They can also protect a weak tooth from further damage, cover a dental implant, or hold a dental bridge in place. Crowns can also improve the appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth. A crown can help restore the function and strength of a damaged tooth, allowing you to eat and speak normally. It can also improve the appearance of your smile, giving you a more confident and attractive look.

Why Do I Need A Crown?

If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, a dental crown may be the best solution for restoring it. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns are typically made of porcelain, metal, or both. They are custom-made to fit your mouth and match the color of your other teeth.

There are several reasons why your dentist may recommend that you get a crown:

  • Following a root canal treatment, your tooth may become very brittle and discolored.  Your tooth will be more prone to breakage, so a crown may be recommended to help prevent the tooth from breaking and cover up any darkness if it is in a front tooth.
  • Teeth with extensive fillings often require a crown, and the height helps hold the tooth together and strengthens the weakened tooth.

If you are considering a dental crown, discussing your options with your dentist is essential. Your dentist can determine if a crown is the best solution for your particular situation. Your dentist will also be able to explain the different types of crowns available and help you choose the one that is right for you. A dental crown can last for many years with proper care, providing you with a beautiful, healthy smile.

What Is A Crown Made Of?

The different materials that dental crowns can be made from include metal, ceramic, or a combination of the two.  Crowns containing metal are more robust than those without, but they don’t look as natural as full porcelain crowns.

  • A gold crown is an alloy of several different metals.  Although it is not entirely made of gold, it will still be gold in color.  You can also get crowns made of another alloy which is silver in color.
  • Porcelain fused to metal crowns is made of a metal alloy base with porcelain on top.  The metal substructure is used for strength, and the porcelain on top makes the crown look like a natural tooth.  Porcelain can be made in various colors to match your natural teeth, and this is the most common type of crown that people get.
  • Zirconia crowns are often used on front teeth as they look more natural.  Zirconia, a tough ceramic, is used as the substructure for the crown, and porcelain is used on top.  Zirconia crowns are often called full porcelain crowns.

Your dentist will recommend which type of crown would be best for you.  Different prices may be quoted for different kinds of crowns.

Procedure For Getting A Dental Crown

Having a dental crown made requires two visits to your dentist.  Your tooth will be drilled down to the correct size during the first appointment.  Several impressions will then be taken to get accurate measurements of the tooth getting the crown, the surrounding teeth, and the way your teeth bite together.  A temporary crown made of acrylic will be placed over your tooth while you are waiting for your permanent crown to be made.  A color will be chosen to match the height of the neighboring teeth.  All this information will be sent to a dental laboratory that customizes the crown for you.

The next appointment is when you get your crown.  Firstly the temporary crown will be removed, and the permanent crown will be placed over your tooth to check that it fits correctly.  The height will then be stuck permanently to your tooth using solid dental cement, which is like glue.  The dentist will check that your teeth are biting together correctly and make any adjustments as required.  The crown may feel a little tight for a few days after having it placed, and this is quite normal, and you will soon get used to it.

How Long Does A Dental Crown Last?

A dental crown usually lasts 10-15 years, but it has been known to last for more than 25 years.  The longevity of a crown depends on the health of the tooth beneath the crown and the root of your tooth.  No matter how good the crown is, if the foundations it is sitting on are in poor condition, the crown may not last.  It is like building a house on sand; you can’t expect it to last.  You must take good care of your crown to help it last as long as possible.  Brushing and flossing just as you do with your natural teeth will keep your crown and surrounding gums healthy.  Grinding or clenching your teeth can also lessen the lifespan of a crown.

Problems With Dental Crowns

Although crowns are secured with solid cement, they can fall off.  Please don’t throw the crown away; you will need to take it to your dentist to have it re-cemented.  Sometimes the crown becomes unstuck, but another reason is that the tooth below has decayed.  The decay will need to be removed, and a filling will be placed.  The dentist will either re-cement your crown or make you a new one if it doesn’t fit.  If the tooth’s root has become split, causing the crown to fall off, the tooth will need to be removed.   If your tooth develops an abscess and requires a root canal, this can be performed without removing the crown.  Occasionally the crown can fall off during the root canal and require re-cementing.

When a crown is fitted, it goes to the gum line, so you can’t see where the height joins the tooth.  After some time, your gums can shrink, revealing this line which can look unsightly on front teeth.


Dental crowns have many advantages, making them an ideal choice for many dental restorations. They are beneficial because they are durable, protect the underlying tooth structure, and can help restore the natural appearance of your teeth. They can also be used to complete a smile makeover or other cosmetic alterations of the teeth. Crowns are often recommended when a cavity is too large for a filling or when teeth have been severely damaged due to trauma or disease.

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