What is a dental crown?

dr_w_client1There are two main parts of the tooth. These are the crown and the root.

What is known by dentists as the clinical crown is the part of the tooth above the gum line on the lower teeth and the part of the tooth that can be seen in the mouth and beneath the gum line on the upper teeth.

A restoration that either partly covers or completely covers the outer part of the tooth is known as a dental cap or crown. Some of the benefits of a dental crown are that they can:

  • add strength to a damaged tooth
  • restore a tooth’s appearance
  • lengthen a tooth.

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When would a dental crown be needed?

  • When a cavity has developed in a tooth or a fracture has taken place that takes up 50% of the tooth’s width, a crown may be required to keep the tooth in a useful condition. As there has been a reduction in the size of the tooth what is left is more likely to fracture. A crown both adds strength and restores appearance.
  • When a big filling has caused cracks and stress in the area that surrounds it, placing a crown over the tooth will help in keeping it in place for a longer period of time.
  • After a root canal treatment a crown installation can add strength to a tooth that has been hollowed out in the treatment process. A crown will keep the tooth in one piece while redistributing any stress more evenly throughout the tooth.
  • When a cusp has broken off due to the stress of eating and chewing, placing a crown over the cusp will prevent further cracking.
  • When excessive wearing of the teeth has taken place through acid erosion it can lead to abnormally short teeth that can be lengthened through the use of a crown
  • When the teeth have started to lose their good appearance such as their color, shape or gaps between the teeth can spur someone to have crowns fixed into place.

How we prepare you for a crown

When we prepare your tooth to receive a crown it first has to be filed on the chewing surface so that there is sufficient space for the crown. The amount to be removed will depend on the material of the crown as an all-metal crown is thinner and does not need as much tooth structure removed as a porcelain one.

After we have prepared the tooth, a shape forming material will be used to form an impression of the recipient tooth. This is sent on to our dental lab where a suitable crown is made. This can take up to 3 weeks.

Your tooth will be protected by a temporary crown while the new crown is being prepared. The new crown is cemented into place once it has been matched to your existing teeth.

A crown can help to improve your appearance and your confidence

If your teeth are misshapen or have lost part of their original structure and you are feeling embarrassed by your teeth it may be time to get an opinion from one of our dentists at Quarry Park Dental in SE Calgary.

We may be able to help improve the look of your smile with the use of dental crowns.

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