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Dental Crowns

What is a Crown?

A dental crown is probably the most durable dental restoration available. Crowns have a long track record of success in dentistry and are one of the most common procedures done, next to fillings. A crown covers and protects the entire visible portion of a tooth, restoring it to its original shape. A crown is not a tooth replacement – the natural tooth and its roots remain – it is just the visible portion above the gum line that is restored. The crown itself is hollow and fits over the tooth, like a helmet fits over a head or a thimble fits on a thumb. Unlike those examples though, the tooth to be crowned must be reshaped or “prepared” in order to make room for the crown. This way, the finished crowned tooth is the proper size and fits comfortably into the bite.

When is a crown recommended? Why not just do a filling?

A crown is recommended in situations where a very large portion of a tooth has been damaged and needs to be restored, or when a tooth has been weakened due to root canal treatment. Crowns are sometimes done to change the appearance of teeth for cosmetic reasons as well.

Fillings are intended only to repair small defects in teeth, such as small cavities or small chips. Fillings to not have sufficient strength to rebuild large sections of teeth and withstand biting pressures. Often, teeth with large fillings tend to fracture during chewing, sometimes damaging the tooth beyond repair.

All of the molars below have one thing in common: they have old, large, defective amalgam fillings and very little remaining structurally sound natural tooth. These teeth are a disaster waiting to happen! They are one olive pit or chicken bone away from irreparable damage and extraction! Teeth like this are in desperate need of crowns for long-term durability and fracture resistance.

Other restorative procedures: Fillings | Onlays and Inlays

 

There are three main options available to restore teeth:

Fillings | Inlays and Onlays | Crowns