When you have a badly damaged or decayed tooth, it may need more than a filling to restore it to its fullest strength. A crown is a dental restoration designed to restore the tooth to its correct size and strength. Another term for a crown is a “cap.”  A crown fully encases the tooth, providing it with both protection as well as strength. By restoring the tooth with a crown, you can return to chewing with the tooth as it’s strength has been restored versus trying to fix the tooth with a large filling.

What Is a Crown?

When you have a damaged or decayed tooth, it can be at risk for suffering further harm or developing a painful, dangerous infection. A crown is a dental restoration designed to protect the tooth from these issues. It resembles a cap in appearance and is made to cover over the entire visible surface of the affected tooth. It encases the entire tooth, providing it with both protection as well as strength. By restoring the tooth, and preventing further harm, you also avoid the need for a tooth extraction and replacement.

Crown Materials

Crowns can be made from several different materials. Each of these materials has their advantages as well as disadvantages. Materials used for crowns include:

  • Metal. Metal crowns are the strongest crowns available, able to withstand the strongest biting and chewing pressures. These types of crowns also require the least amount of enamel removal. However, they are the least aesthetic option, being silver or gold in color. Metal crowns are also not ideal for those with metal allergies or sensitivity.
  • Porcelain fused to metal. Also called PFM crowns, these types of crowns have a metal base with a layer of porcelain bonded over the metal. The porcelain coating provides greater aesthetic benefits. Sometimes, however, the metal can be seen through the porcelain. Moreover, like metal crowns, these types of crowns are not a good option for those with allergies.
  • Ceramic. Ceramic crowns provide the greatest aesthetic benefits. Made entirely from ceramic, these crowns can be stained to match the exact color of your natural teeth. The material also reflects light just like natural tooth enamel. While not as strong as metal, ceramic crowns can withstand the lighter pressures near the front of your mouth. These crowns are also metal-free.
  • Zirconia. Zirconia is made from zirconium and is classified as a metal in the titanium family. Even though it is a metal, just like titanium, it is highly biocompatible. When Zirconium is transformed to Zirconia it becomes white similar to porcelain. Zirconia is especially strong. It is up to 5 times stronger than porcelain. It is a great choice for patients that grind their teeth at night.

What to Expect During Crown Placement

Typically, crowns require two separate appointments for placement. During your first appointment, the affected tooth is prepared. This process involves removing a portion of the enamel to make the tooth smaller. Next, we take an impression of your mouth. This impression is sent to our Peoria dentistry lab, where it is used to design and fabricate your custom crown. A temporary crown is placed in the meantime. Once your crown is complete, it is checked for a natural fit and bite before being bonded into place.

If you are receiving a ceramic crown, it may be possible to receive your crown in a single appointment. This is possible with CEREC technology. We take a digital impression of your mouth and use specialized software to design your crown. The crown is then milled in an in-house milling unit. Any necessary adjustments can be made on site. You leave the same appointment with your final crown set in place.

Benefits of a Crown

Crowns provide many benefits. These include:

  • Restoring the tooth to its full size, strength and function.
  • Preventing the need for tooth extraction and replacement.
  • Protecting a root canal.
  • Anchoring a bridge in place.

Crowns not only protect damaged and decayed teeth, but they also help to restore the strength of the affected teeth and prevent the need for extractions and replacement. Call Sunrise Dental today to schedule your appointment and find out if a crown is right for you.