A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover a severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:
- Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
- Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
- Decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.
In such cases, a pediatric dentist is likely to recommend a stainless steel crown.
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin or all ceramic.
Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it.
Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies.
Still unsure which crown will suit you best? Consult Dr. Halsema – she will best be able to assist you.