Crowns are full coverage restorations or otherwise known as "tooth caps". They cover the entire tooth to provide better protection for teeth that may be weakened by large cavities.
Dental crowns are separated into (2) types:
Dental crowns with metal
Dental crowns with no metal (all ceramic or all porcelain)
The crowns that have been around the longest in dentistry are the porcelain fused to metal crowns or PFM for short. These crowns have a metal substructure for strength and then porcelain layered over for aesthetics. The biggest disadvantage for these are when they are utilized for anterior cosmetic cases such as for front teeth, the metal "margin" can sometimes peak through. What this looks like visually is a black line near the gumline.
Dental Crowns with metal
All Porcelain Crowns
The newer dental crowns do not have any metal in them and they are made of all procelain. The biggest advantage is that they never have that metal margin show through because it simply does not have any metal.
Another big plus for these types of crowns is that some of them can even be BONDED in.
When are tooth caps needed?
Here are some common reasons for requiring a tooth to be capped:
Very large cavity
A large filling that is breaking down, which needs better protection
You want to change the shape or color of the tooth
Teeth that had root canals
Why do root canal treated teeth need dental crowns?
The most common reason for needing a crown is after a root canal treatment. Teeth with root canal therapy completed tend to turn very DARK overtime so the crowns help restore aesthetics.
Fact: When you remove the nerve, the blood supply goes with it because the blood supply travels together with the nerve so when you remove the nerve, the blood supply is gone. The tooth no longer gets any nutrients and will get very brittle over time. If you happen to bite into something hard the wrong way you can crack the tooth. A tooth cap will help protect against that.
A tooth bridge is an option to replace one missing tooth but you would need to put dental crowns on both adjacent teeth.
The downside to tooth bridges is that you have to touch the adjacent teeth. The plus side is that bridges are permanent and glued in. They do not come in and out. If you would like to replace a missing tooth without touching adjacent teeth then please inquire about dental implants. Our cosmetic dentists in LIC would be more than happy to help you!