Dental crowns

Dental crowns

Dental crowns (caps)

A dental crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) crowns are the most popular ones.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth, giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Dental crowns used to be made with metal foundation, but with the new technology we can make them out of pure porcelain, or zirconium.


Porcelain and zirconium

– These are the newest type of dental crowns and they have the nicest appearance.

– They mimic the natural appearance to the degree that it is difficult to tell that it is not a natural tooth.

– They are made of pure ceramic or zirconium base.

– It looks like your tooth and the crown are a whole.

– Less tooth structure is taken from the tooth for the preparation of this kind of material.

– It is metal free and thus satisfies the needs of patients with metal sensitivity.

– The surrounding gums swell less and the crowns last longer due to a different kind of cementation.


Porcelain fused to metal

They have a nearly natural appearance because:

– They have a metal substructure which makes it impossible to recreate the translucency of the natural tooth.

– They can also show a dark line at the edge of the crown next to the gums.

Dentists try to hide that edge under the gums, but sometimes they are unable to do this and the line does not show when the crown is first placed, but it shows later as the gums recede.

– Porcelain fused to metal crowns should be changed earlier than the porcelain ones (somewhere between 6-10 years). This is because in time, the plaque and the bacterial accumulation between the metal line and the gums may cause:

1. gingivitis

2. caries of the exposed part of the tooth

3. during a long period of time, it may be the cause of parodontopathy (the ailment of the tissue where the bone around the tooth becomes resorbed so the teeth lose firmness and stability).

– There is a possibility of covering the metal line with porcelain, but it is a complicated procedure and rarely used by practitioners and technicians.


Composite bonded to metal

This is also an old technology, but it is still present in some practices because it is the cheapest crown or composite.

Here the composite material is fused to the metal, but only in the outer side of the crown or the composite, whereas the bighting side and the side that touches the tongue is metal.

– It does not look as natural as the porcelain fused to metal crowns.

– The composite material may chip through time so you are left with a rough metal crown at the outer side.

– They change colour in time and become darker.

– They should be changed in a period between 6-10 years.


Reasons for crowns

– Broken or fractured teeth

– Cosmetic enhancement

– Decayed teeth

– Fractured fillings

– Large fillings

– Tooth has a root canal

What does getting a crown involve?


A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed.

During your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and the bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits every 6 months.

Schedule an appointment

Contact us and schedule an appointment. We are available for all your questions.