are often restored with fillings of
silver amalgam or composite plastics.
These materials can often accomplish
the aim of replacing the part of the
tooth that has been lost in a strong
and good-looking manner. However, there
comes a point where the damage to the
tooth has removed too much structure
to hold a filling or the tooth is cracked.
The restoration must be done with the
use of a dental crown. This dental restoration
technique involves using a tooth-like
covering or "cap" that is
placed over a carefully prepared existing
tooth, to strengthen, restore or improve
the appearance of your natural tooth.
about Dental Crowns
are a type of dental restoration which,
when cemented into place, fully cup
over the portion of a tooth which lies
at and above the gum line. In comparison,
fillings are dental restorations that
are used to fill in or cover over just
a portion of a tooth. Since dental crowns
encase the entire visible aspect of
a tooth, a dental crown in effect becomes
the tooth's new outer surface.
can be made out of:
are dental crowns used to restore a
Since a dental crown cemented into place
essentially becomes the new outer surface
of the tooth it is easy to imagine how
the placement of a crown can restore
a tooth to its original shape. Dental
crowns are often made for teeth that
have worn excessively, have broken,
or else have had large portions destroyed
by tooth decay.
Conceivably the placement of a dental
filling could, as an alternative, be
used as a means to restore a tooth's
shape. Dental crowns however offer a
big advantage to your dentist over dental
fillings by way of the fact that they
are fabricated "away from your
mouth". By this we simply mean
that dental crowns are fabricated in
a dental laboratory (by a dental technician
who uses plaster molds your teeth made
by your dentist). Dental fillings, in
comparison, are created "in your
mouth" by way of your dentist placing
the filling material directly upon your
tooth. When a dental crown is made the
dental laboratory technician can visualize
and examine all aspects of your bite
and jaw movements, from a variety of
angles, and sculpt your dental crown
so it has the perfect anatomy. In some
cases this anatomy will be even more
ideal than your tooth's original shape.
When placing a dental filling a dentist
has less control over the final outcome
of the shape of your tooth because it
is often difficult for them to visualize,
evaluate, and access to the tooth on
which they are working.
dental crowns improve my cosmetic appearance?
Since dental crowns cup over teeth,
any dental crown that has a porcelain
surface can be used as a way to idealize
the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.
Possibly you have heard it said (especially
in past decades) that such-and-such
movie star has had their teeth "capped"
(the term "cap" used here
is equivalent to the term "dental
crown"). This simply means that
the person has obtained their "Hollywood
smile" by way of having dental
crowns placed. Actually,
getting your teeth "capped"
so just to improve their appearance
can at times be a very poor choice.
Dental crowns are best utilized as a
way to improve the cosmetic appearance
of a tooth when the crown simultaneously
serves other purposes also, such as
restoring a tooth to its original shape
(repairing a broken tooth) or strengthening
a tooth (covering over a tooth which
has an excessively large filling).
general, dental crowns probably should
not be used as a means to improve the
appearance of a tooth if there is any
other alternative dental treatment that
could equally satisfactorily achieve
the same cosmetic results. This is because
a dentist must grind a significant portion
of a tooth away when a dental crown
is made. If a more conservative dental
procedure could equally well improve
the tooth's appearance, such as a porcelain
veneer, dental bonding, or even just
teeth whitening, then it is usually
best to consider that treatment option