A dental crown consists of a thin, tooth-shaped cap which is fitted over your tooth, replacing its chewing surface. Crowns can be made of several materials, most commonly metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two. Their purpose is to cover and protect a tooth which has been damaged, or sometimes to act as anchors for a dental bridge. At Dental Partners of Boston, we offer primarily all-porcelain crowns, some of which can be created and applied in the course of a single visit. Your tooth is trimmed down to make room for the crown; images are taken of the remaining tooth structure; and a crown is created to fit perfectly over the tooth.
Binding up cracks
Preserving as much as possible of your natural tooth structure is one way to ensure the ongoing health of your mouth. Sometimes, when a tooth is severely cracked or split, a cap can be used to hold it together and keep the break from growing larger. This will help reduce the pain of a cracked tooth and relieve the pressure on it, while allowing the tooth to stay in your mouth rather than extracting and replacing it.
Finishing a root canal
After root canal therapy or cleaning a large cavity, the tooth can be left open and vulnerable to further infection. To protect the tooth and restore its function, the opening is filled and a dental crown is applied to keep it securely covered. This has the added benefit of strengthening the newly weakened tooth, so you can use it without fear of further damage.
Bridging a gap
If you are missing one or more teeth, a bridge or partial denture may be used to replace them. In many cases, this bridge is fixed to healthy teeth, known as abutment teeth, on either side of the gap. Crown-supported bridges allow for a natural look and a sturdy feel, without the need for invasive surgery like dental implants would require.
A new face for your tooth
In some cases, dental crowns may be applied for cosmetic reasons, when a tooth is chipped or has an undesirable shape. Crowns are one of several possible choices in these cases, and we would be happy to discuss your options with you during a consultation.
If you have questions about dental crowns or think you may need one, call our office or contact us online. We’re always happy to give you the information you need to make decisions about your dental health.