A crown is a restoration that covers the remaining tooth structure. When a tooth has too much damage a crown is used to restore function and to replace missing tooth structure. When a crown is placed the tooth will appear intact and function normally.
Crowns are used to restore a tooth when:
There is a large cavity
There has been a fracture or trauma
Too much of the tooth has been lost to wear (grinding and clenching)
The tooth has had a root canal
For cosmetic reasons
How is a crown made?
Crowns are made by reducing the tooth structure by about 1-2mm on all sides. That way the crown fits over the tooth and protects it. An impression of the prepared tooth is made either with a putty impression or a digital scan. The crown is then made from that model. If the crown is made in a dental lab, a temporary crown is fabricated to wear while the crown is being made. The crown is then delivered with a bonding agent or cement.
Can’t I just have a filling?
Not normally. A filling is best thought of as a hole that is filled up. A crown is used to replace the entire surface. A filling will not give the same strength and function that a crown will. There has to be enough intact tooth structure to do a filling. When too much structure is lost a crown then becomes the treatment. When a crown is recommended at Martin Dentistry, your doctor will give an explanation of the need and the timeline.
What are crowns made of?
A variety of porcelains, gold or porcelain fused to a metal base can be used to make a crown. Zirconia is an all porcelain material that is very durable and has become the most common restoration used.
At Martin Dentistry we will always take the time to explain our recommendations. If you have any concerns or would like to know more about your treatment, please let us know.