A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is used to restore the natural look, shape and function of a tooth. A dental crown is used to cover a tooth that has been root canal treated, when there is extensive decay or when a tooth erupts discoloured or malformed. Dental crowns are also used to support bridges and fill in missing teeth. A dental crown can be fabricated from a variety of materials including metal, ceramic and porcelain. After being cemented in place, dental crowns look and function just like natural teeth.
Stainless Steel Crowns- Stainless steel crowns are primarily used for children on baby teeth with large areas of decay. Having a crown cemented prevents the early loss of a primary tooth before the adult tooth is ready to erupt in its place. For adults, stainless steel crowns are generally used for temporary situations or cost-saving measures.
Metal Crowns- Metal crowns are used for teeth that must withstand large force from biting/chewing and are recommended for people with grinding or clenching habits. This type of crown usually lasts the longest and doesn’t wear or chip. Due to the exposed metal, they are best for back teeth.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns- The benefit of porcelain fused to metal crowns is that they can be colour matched to the existing teeth. They are best for visible areas, such as front teeth. They aren’t as strong as a metal crown, and they may chip or wear over time, but they are still far more resistant and stronger than fillings.
Ceramic Crowns- Ceramic crowns provide the best colour match and can be used for people with metal allergies.
Two visits are usually required to complete the crown procedure. The first visit consists of examining and preparing the tooth. The tooth is polished down from the top and the sides to make room for the crown. Next, an impression of the tooth and jaw is taken that gets sent out to a lab to make the permanent crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is placed to hold the space. During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is placed. The bite is assessed to make sure everything fits snuggly together.