Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns

before - zirconia crowns

Before

after - zirconia crowns

After with zirconia crowns

If a tooth is damaged, discolored or misshapen, but is still structurally sound, a dental crown is the best option for restoration. The crown, sometimes called a “cap”, fits over the tooth to prevent further damage or decay. A crown made from tooth-colored material can also improve the appearance of the tooth.

A crown is most often used to protect a tooth that has broken or has been significantly damaged by decay. The tooth is typically shaped into a cylindrical plug that the crown can easily fit over. An impression of the mouth is then sent to a dental lab, where the crown is fabricated. Once the crown is ready, it is bonded to the tooth. A crown that is placed after a root canal may be anchored to a post to provide extra support.

How natural the crown looks depends on the materials used to make it. Ceramic crowns provide the best balance of strength and appearance, with zirconia being the most natural-looking option. Composite or resin crowns look very natural, but are not as strong as ceramic. Metal crowns last the longest, but do not look natural. The price range also varies significantly, with zirconia and gold crowns being the most expensive and resin crowns being the least expensive.

How long a crown lasts depends on several factors. The crown material is the number one factor. A resin crown has an average lifespan of five years, whereas a ceramic crown can last more than 15 years. Oral hygiene also affects how long a crown can last. Even though the crown itself is not subject to decay, the underlying tooth structure is. In the absence of proper oral hygiene, the tooth can decay, causing the crown to fail. For this reason, any capped teeth should be brushed and flossed like normal. With proper care, a metal or ceramic crown can last a lifetime.