Dental crowns, sometimes called “dental caps” or “caps,” are restorations that cover and encase the tooth on which they are cemented. We use crowns when we need to rebuild root-canal treated, broken or decayed teeth, strengthen teeth, or improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth. When cemented into place, crowns fully cover the tooth.
What Are Crowns Made From?
Crowns can be made out of porcelain (or some sort of dental ceramic), metal (a gold or other metal alloy), or a combination of both. There are many materials to choose from and we work both with our patients and with our laboratory partners on each case to decide which material to use.
- Porcelain to Gold Crowns
- Full Cast Gold Crowns
- All Ceramic Crowns
The classic metal dental crown is one made of gold, or more precisely a gold alloy. Over the decades a variety of different metal alloys have been used in making dental crowns. Some of these metals are silver in color rather than yellow like gold. Having a gold dental crown made can be an excellent choice. Because of its physical properties, we are able to achieve a very precise fit with the crown. Since they are metal through and through, gold crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well. They will not chip or break. Of all of the types of dental crowns, gold crowns probably have the greatest potential for lasting the longest. Although they are very strong, the wear rate of a gold crown is about the same as tooth enamel. This means that a gold dental crown won’t create excessive wear on the teeth it chews against.
Some dental crowns are fabricated in a manner where their full thickness is porcelain (dental ceramic). These crowns can possess a translucency that makes them the most cosmetically pleasing of all of the different types of dental crowns. They can be an excellent choice anywhere in the mouth and some of the newer materials are even stronger than metal!
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are a hybrid between metal crowns and porcelain crowns. When they are made the dental technician first makes a shell of metal that fits over the tooth. A veneering of porcelain is then fused over this metal (in a high heat oven), giving the crown a white tooth-like appearance. Depending on the requirements of your situation, these crowns are sometimes made where the porcelain veneer only covers those aspects of the crown that is readily visible (meaning the other portions of the crown have a metal surface). In other cases these crowns are fully surfaced with porcelain.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be a good choice for either front or back teeth. These crowns are strong enough to withstand heavy biting pressures and at the same time can have an excellent cosmetic appearance. There are some disadvantages associated with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns however (which no doubt your dentist will try to minimize as much as is possible).
While the cosmetic appearance of these crowns can be excellent, they often are not as pleasing aesthetically as all-porcelain dental crowns. The crown’s porcelain can chip or break off from the metal substructure and the porcelain surface of the crown can create wear on those teeth that it bites against. The metal that lies underneath a crown’s porcelain layer can sometimes be visualized as a dark line found right at the crown’s edge. We will usually try to position this dark edge just underneath the tooth’s gum line but if your gums recede this dark line can show, thus spoiling the crown’s appearance.
How Long does it Take to Fit a Dental Crown?
While generally a dental crown treatment only requires a single visit, some cases may need two visits in order to optimize results.
Key Benefits of Dental Crowns:
- Restores badly broken or decayed teeth
- Looks natural
- Fixes “smile” and functional chewing issues
- Often essential to maintain the tooth’s strength after a root canal treatment.
If you have damaged or decayed teeth, book an appointment for Dental Crown Treatment in Matthews, North Carolina today!
Our Doctors May Recommend a Crown To:
- Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment