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When Are Dental Crowns the Best Choice?

Dental crowns are used to restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth on occasion, but they are not always required. Our North Vancouver dentist explains when and why this is the best option.

What are dental crowns?

A dental crown is a hollow cap that is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to give it a natural, healthy appearance. The crown should protect the tooth and restore its function while also protecting it from further damage. A dental crown can also be used to cover discoloured or misshapen teeth.

Types of Crowns

Crowns can be made from a variety of dental materials, depending on the type of tooth and the location of the crown in your mouth.

Porcelain Crowns

These materials should be the most lifelike on the market, with translucency and colour-matching natural teeth. They may, however, be more prone to chipping and wear than other materials. As a result, they are only used to replace teeth a small percentage of the time.

Composite Crowns

Composite crowns are another material that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance. They are more resistant to chipping than porcelain, but they can easily wear down and stain.

Metal Crowns

These are made of gold and should be quite strong. They should not wear down or stain like composite crowns, but they do not look natural, particularly on front teeth.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns

These crowns should look more natural than porcelain or composite crowns. They should be chip and stain-resistant, but the metal may show through due to their placement and construction.

The Process

In most cases, a dental crown requires two visits to our office. Your dentist should administer a local anesthetic during your first visit.

To make room for the crown, your damaged tooth will be filed down and an impression taken. This will be used to make your restoration because it will be custom-fitted to your tooth.

Until the permanent crown is ready, a temporary crown will be worn. Your dentist should remove the temporary restoration and replace it with your new permanent dental crown, cementing it in place, at your next appointment.

When are dental crowns the best solution?

Crowns aren't always the best option, and your dentist can advise you on what is. The following issues, on the other hand, are quite common and almost always necessitate the use of a dental crown.

Best Situations for a Dental Crown

  • Large cavities that can't be repaired with a dental filling
  • To cover a tooth that has had a root canal
  • To prevent weakened teeth from breaking
  • To hold together a cracked tooth
  • To restore a broken tooth
  • To provide support to a dental bridge
  • To conceal misshapen teeth
  • To cover dental implants
  • To disguise discoloured teeth that won't respond to teeth whitening

To find out if dental crowns are right for you or to schedule an appointment, contact our North Vancouver dentist.

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