Crowns and Bridges

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that fits over your prepared tooth. This cap is made to restore a tooth’s size, shape, color and function.

Why would I need a dental crown?

  1. To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  4. To hold a dental bridge in place
  5. To cover deformed or severely discolored teeth
  6. To cover a dental implant

Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain fused to metal or all ceramic. Which type of crown used depends on the individual clinical situation presented at the time of treatment.

The types of metal used in crowns include gold alloys (palladium) or base -metal alloy (nickel, chromium). Compared to other types of crowns, metal crowns require less tooth structure removal and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The main drawback of metal crowns is their color so they can be a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike metal crowns). However, more wear to the opposing teeth occurs when you compare this type of crown to resin or metal. The porcelain can also break or chip off. Next to all ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like natural teeth. Their main esthetic drawback is that sometimes the metal under the porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and can worsen if your gums recede. These crowns are a good choice for front or back teeth.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other type of crown. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth slightly more than metal crowns. All-ceramic crowns were always a good choice for front teeth and now, with the advent of very strong ceramics, can sometimes be used on the back teeth as well.