Dental Crowns | What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental Crowns | Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that cover individual teeth to make them stronger or improve their appearance. Crowns are cemented into place to fully cover the visible parts of a tooth.
Your dentist may recommend a crown to correct a variety of conditions. A crown can help hold together a tooth with a large filling that has little of the original tooth left. A crown can protect a weak or decaying tooth from further damage. A tooth that’s already cracked or broken likely needs a crown, as teeth won’t heal like other bones. Crowns are sometimes used to hold a dental bridge in place or to cover a dental implant. A discolored or misshapen tooth can also be covered with a dental crown.
Dentists use both permanent and temporary crowns to cover teeth. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office and are typically made from stainless steel or an acrylic-based material. Permanent crowns can be made from metals like gold or another alloy, resin, stainless steel, porcelain or a combination or porcelain and metal. Because they are often made in a lab, your dentist may place a temporary crown on your tooth until your permanent crown is ready.
Once a crown is in place, you can continue to care for your teeth as recommended by your dentist. However a crowned tooth is not protected from decay or gum disease. You should still practice good oral hygiene, like flossing and rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouth wash daily, and brushing your teeth at least twice a day.
Ask your dentist if a crown is the best option for your needs. While crowns are often necessary to fix serious dental problems, there may be other alternatives for cracked, decaying or discolored teeth, like filling or whitening your tooth.