Dental crowns are used under a variety of circumstances, including cosmetic applications and restorations. Crowns can help preserve teeth that might otherwise be too damaged to hold up to everyday stresses. They can also help anchor bridges that replace missing teeth, or be used to treat misshapen, chipped, or strongly discolored teeth. Your dentist will also use a crown to treat a tooth that has undergone a root canal.
Most Common Uses for Dental Crowns
Until recently, crowns were often used to treat cosmetic issues such as severe discoloration, cracking or pitting. Dentists typically utilize veneers more often for this type of treatment because they are less invasive. However, crowns can still be used for cosmetic issues, especially with regards to missing teeth.
If you are missing one or two teeth, a crown and bridge is commonly used to replace these teeth. The crowns are placed on adjacent teeth to anchor the prosthetic replacements.
Crowns are also commonly placed on a tooth after a root canal. The root canal removes heavily decayed or infected tissue as well as the nerve that serves the tooth. After this procedure is completed, the dentist will place a crown over the tooth to help protect it.
The Basics of Dental Crowns
To place a crown, the dentist first reshapes the tooth to make room for it. A temporary crown protects the tooth until the final, custom-made crown is completed, usually at an off-site laboratory. The crown is then permanently affixed to the tooth.
Crowns can be made of metal, porcelain, a combination of metal and porcelain, or new all-ceramic materials such as zirconia. Although metal crowns are used in certain circumstances, the new ceramic materials are proving to be the treatment of choice for both front and back teeth.
To find out more about dental crowns and when they are most effective, please contact the Kelowna office of Dr. Shupe at 250-860-6939 for a consultation.