A Brief Overview Of Dental Crowns

If your dentist has told you that you need a dental crown, then you might want to know a bit more. What does a dental crown actually do? Why do you need a dental crown? Are there different types? To help you get a better idea of the road ahead, here is a brief overview of dental crowns:

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is basically a cap that is attached to the top of a tooth. It protects exposed pulp and prevents bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in problematic positions, where it can lead to infections. Crowns will also often improve the appearance of your teeth, but they are primarily used for restoring the structure of damaged teeth.

Why do you need a dental crown?

You might be wondering about why you need a crown and not a filling. The answer is quite simple: a filling is only useful for handling small holes and bits of damage. As the name suggests, a filling just "fills in" a hole in a tooth. It needs an intact tooth structure in order to function properly.

On the other hand, a crown is custom-built to replace large missing sections of a tooth. It must be carefully designed and created so that it perfectly fits the remaining portion of the tooth in question.

If you don't get a crown and leave your tooth as it is, then you will have difficulty chewing, increased dental sensitivity, and a high chance of getting an infection. The more of the tooth is missing or the deeper a hole in the tooth is, the more pulp will be exposed. The pulp protects dental nerves, which is where dental sensitivity is highest.

What are the different types of crowns?

Your main decision will be the material that you want to use for the crown. Three of the most popular options are metal, porcelain/ceramic, and resin.

  • Metal is the strongest material and will result in the most durable crown, but it will not have the natural appearance of a tooth.
  • Porcelain or ceramic crowns will blend in nicely with your other teeth, but they will also be quite expensive. Thankfully, they are still extremely durable and will last you a long time.
  • Resin crowns are the cheapest option but will also fall a bit short in terms of durability, when compared to the other options.

Your dentist will be able to help you figure out which options is best for you and explain proper care procedures for the future.