Although dental crowns are used much less often than they used to be, you still might encounter a situation where your dentist might recommend one. Crowns are generally used these days for restoration and rarely for cosmetic purposes. If your dentist recommends a crown, be sure to ask about the available options.
Why Would I Need a Crown?
A dental crown is a useful tool to help restore teeth that have been heavily damaged. There are several situations where a crown is commonly used. These include:
- If a tooth is severely cracked or broken off
- If a tooth that has already been treated with the filling experiences further decay
- If the tooth has undergone root canal therapy
Cracked teeth can be treated with a crown to keep them intact and usable. If a tooth has broken off, the crown can provide a new, durable chewing or biting surface to keep the tooth usable. A tooth after that has undergone a root canal also acquires structural integrity and strength through treatment with a crown. Some people also have genetic conditions that make their teeth overly soft. A crown can provide durability and structure to teeth that might otherwise crumble and break over time.
Types of Dental Crowns
If you need a crown, you are no longer limited to a crown made of metal. There are other options that are more attractive and still very durable. Common types of crowns include:
- Stainless steel crowns, sometimes used on baby teeth
- Gold crowns, often used on adult molars
- Porcelain or tooth-colored crowns
- Porcelain-bonded metal crowns
Tooth-colored crowns are commonly used on front teeth, because they help maintain the look of your smile. However, tooth-colored substances tend not to hold up as well to chewing pressure, so molars are more commonly treated with metal or porcelain-bonded crowns. If you do require a crown, be sure to ask your dentist what type of crown is the best option for you. Also be sure to consult your insurance provider to be sure your treatment of choice is covered.