Understanding Dental Crowns And If You Might Need One, image of a woman at the dentist getting a crown

At Oasis Dental Arts, we often get questions about types of dental crowns and cost of the procedure, so let’s talk about them.

What Is A Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a hard covering that fits over and completely covers an individual tooth. They are designed to tuck under the gum line so that the entire visible area of the tooth is covered. There are three different types of dental crowns you may get:

Metal Crowns – As the name suggests, these crowns are made completely of a metal or metal alloy, usually steel, gold, platinum, chromium, or nickel. The good news is that metal crowns are durable and less expensive. The not so good news is that they can cause a reaction in the skin or gums, like a ring that leaves a greenish mark on your finger. They’re also more noticeable, which some people find unattractive. Because of these significant cons, metal crowns are no longer used.

Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns – Abbreviated PFM, this type of crown is made by covering the metal body with a more natural-looking ceramic surface. These tooth crowns combine the strength of metal with the more subtle ceramic for aesthetic purposes. The risk with a PFM crown is that the porcelain can sometimes flake off, and the metal will be visible in the gaps.

Full Porcelain/Ceramic Crowns – Ceramic crowns are made entirely of ceramic and are widely considered to be the most attractive type of crown available. Thanks to new innovations, they can also be just as strong as metal tooth crowns.

Why Would You Need A Dental Crown?

The purpose of a dental crown is to support and protect a badly damaged tooth. They can also serve cosmetic purposes by covering up an unsightly tooth or replacing a tooth that’s missing. Common cases that call for a crown include:

  • A badly cracked or chipped tooth
  • Heavily worn or decayed teeth
  • Failing or failed fillings
  • Topping dental implants
  • Protecting teeth after a root canal
  • Cosmetic applications (similar to dental veneers)

Signs You May Need a Dental Crown

If any of the above cases apply to you, you might need a dental crown. Cracks, chips, and advanced wear and decay are typically noticeable, but failing fillings may not be as easy to spot. Pain in a filled tooth, discomfort when drinking cold beverages, or a change in the color of your filling are all signs that your fillings may need attention or even a crown.

Is It Necessary To Get A Crown After A Root Canal?

You may not need a crown after a root canal, but it’s recommended in most cases. This is because a tooth is structurally weakened following a root canal procedure. When a root canal is performed, infected material and tooth pulp inside of the tooth are removed and the tooth is filled with material that is supportive and resistant to infection. Sometimes metal posts may be added for additional reinforcement, and once the tooth is closed up, a crown is used to provide an extra layer of protection and fortification.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Crowns typically last around 15 years on average. There are a variety of factors that influence how long a crown will last, including location in the mouth, type of crown, and how well you take care of it. You should visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and to make sure your crowns are getting the royal treatment so they serve you for as long as possible.

Do you think you may need a dental crown? Do you have questions or need to schedule an appointment? Contact our friendly staff by phone at (858) 271-1010 or visit our contact page to send us a message: www.oasisdentalarts.com/contact