Dental Crowns (or Caps)
A cap or crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth in order to cover the tooth and restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.
The cap or crown, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an alreadybroken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
- Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown's porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown's porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
- Zirconia or milled crown which are digitally constructed by a dental laboratory. These milled crowns often are the best choice when aesthetics are most important as their translucency tends to improve their appearance and can be matched to the color of existing teeth. These crowns also do not reveal a black line like many PFM designed crowns.
Find caps and crowns dentists near you!