Crowns are used when teeth are chipped, broken or seriously decayed. They can also be used in conjunction with dental implants for missing teeth. In the simplest terms, crowns are lab created caps that precisely match the shape of the existing tooth or space in the mouth. Some materials also match the color of existing teeth in the mouth.

When a crown is right for a patient, there are three different materials a dentist can choose from:

Metal – These crowns are one of the strongest options, but they offer a distinct disadvantage of being aesthetically less pleasing than other options. They are comprised of a metal alloy and often gold or silver in appearance. While long lasting and durable, they are a poor option for patients with metal allergies. Some patients experience hot and cold sensitivity with a metal crown in place. Metal restorations cannot be seen through in an x-ray making it difficult for dentists to accurately diagnose some future problems.

Resin – This is often the least expensive option for a crown, but it is also one of the weakest. Resin often wears down quickly when compared to other materials. This often means that patients have to replace their crowns more often.

Porcelain fused to metal – This is a crown comprised of a metal base with porcelain fused to it as the exterior layer. The metal provides strength while the porcelain better matches existing teeth and offers a more natural appearance. Some drawbacks are the same as with metal crowns. In addition, the metal sometimes causes a dark shadow to appear at the edge of the tooth and a less than natural appearance.

Porcelain – These crowns offer the most natural appearance. When properly placed by a skilled, dentist, they very closely match existing teeth in the mouth in shape and color. Porcelain is a very durable and aesthetically pleasing option, but it is important that the material used be of high quality and the dentist placing the crown have expertise in this area

Fitting a crown typically requires at least two visits to Exclusive Dental Practice. During the first visit, any decay is removed, the tooth is shaped, an impression is created and a temporary crown is placed. The impression is then used to create a permanent crown in our on-site, state of the art laboratory. Once the crown is ready, the patient visits us again, and it is permanently bonded to the existing tooth or implant.

If you are considering a dental crown for restorative or cosmetic reasons, contact Exclusive Dental Practice to discuss your options and determine if a crown is the right solution for your oral health needs.

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