When is a dental crown recommended?

The dental crown has evolved over the past century. Metal and gold have paved the way for the more aesthetic porcelain crowns. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that a dental crown can save a tooth, and what can be more important than that?

A crown is often recommended as the best treatment for:

  • A cracked or broken tooth
  • A decayed tooth when one more filling will do more damage than good
  • The final step for root canal therapy
  • The restoration for a dental implant

What exactly is a dental crown? When a tooth is damaged, but is still salvageable, the optimal approach for treatment is a crown. Why? Replacing a tooth is costly, and any substitute for a natural tooth is just that … a substitute. Nothing can compare to maintaining your original tooth.

When a tooth is broken or decayed to the point where a filling is no longer a solution, a crown may be recommended. The tooth is filed down and impressions are taken to make sure the crowned tooth will properly meet the opposing tooth.

The color of surrounding teeth is matched from a color chart; the size and contour of neighboring teeth is provided; and everything is sent to the dental lab for fabrication of the dental crown. A temporary crown will be placed to protect the prepared area for approximately two weeks.

Based on which tooth is being crowned, the dentist will recommend the optimum material for the crown. Molar teeth that incur most of the chewing pressure will likely be made of a more sturdy material, perhaps with a porcelain cover. Teeth in the smile line may be treated with an all porcelain crown.

Whatever your needs, your dentist will make the recommendation that will be best suited for you. Caring for your dental crown is as easy as caring for the rest of your natural teeth. Adhere to the instructions provided for flossing the area around your crown.

Daily brushing, flossing and twice annual visits to the dentist will provide the optimum result for all your teeth and dental crowns. With proper care, dental crowns can last indefinitely, although the standard for most insurance companies allows for replacing a crown after five years. But for many patients, sticking to the rules for proper care may mean your dental crown will last a lifetime.