What Is A Dental Crown?


If you need a crown and have never had one before, you may be curious about the procedure and what to expect once it's completed. A crown can be used to restore strength and function to a tooth that has experienced more damage or decay than can be restored with a dental filling, inlay, or onlay when the root of the tooth is still intact and healthy. Crowns are sometimes known as caps because they cover over and protect the healthy area of your damaged tooth, similar to a cap on a bottle.

When Are Dental Crowns Needed?

Although decayed teeth are the most common reason people need dental crowns, there are some other common reasons as well. Crowns are used in the following ways in dentistry: 

  • When a dental filling fails and a large portion of the tooth needs to be restored
  • As an abutment (support) for a dental bridge 
  • To restore the strength or structure of a weak, cracked, or damaged tooth 
  • To restore a tooth after root canal therapy 
  • As a cosmetic treatment to cover teeth that are malformed, badly stained, or have other aesthetic issues

What Are the Different Materials Used for Dental Crowns?

When comparing the various types of dental crowns, consider whether you're primarily concerned with restoring tooth function or whether aesthetics are equally important. The location of the tooth being treated is often the deciding factor here—if it's a molar in the back of the mouth, a metal crown may be acceptable, but if it's in the front, you're more likely to choose a crown that matches the color of your natural teeth.

Here are the most commonly used materials for crowns:

Base Metal Alloys – This style of crown is corrosion- and fracture-resistant. Because they are one of the more durable choices, they are frequently used by dentists to restore molars.

Gold Alloys – Crowns consisting of a blend of gold, copper, or other metals are known as gold alloy crowns. These are the most durable options; they stay attached to teeth well and are unlikely to break.

Porcelain Fused to Metal – If you’d like the strength of metal but the look of porcelain, a porcelain fused to metal crown could be the right choice for you.

All Ceramic or Porcelain – For front teeth, we typically use this style of crown. It isn't as durable as a metal crown, but this isn't necessary when it’s used on a front tooth that doesn’t grind food. These crowns are meticulously crafted to appear natural and blend in with your natural teeth.

Resin – Resin dental crowns are less expensive than other choices, and while they’re not quite as natural looking upon close examination, most people will not notice that a resin crown is not your own tooth.

Zirconia – Zirconia crowns are strong, attractive, and durable. They are becoming an increasingly popular option for restoring teeth.

What Happens When You Get a Dental Crown?

We offer both same-day and traditional dental crowns. Regardless of the type you choose, an impression is taken first in order for us to create an exact replica of your tooth. This is crucial because it ensures that the crown is properly aligned with the rest of your teeth when you bite down. The damaged or decayed areas of your tooth are then removed, leaving just the healthy tooth structure. Another impression is taken to ensure that your crown fits flush against the prepared tooth. 

If you are getting a traditional crown, a temporary restoration will be applied to protect your tooth while your crown is fabricated in a dental laboratory. With a same-day crown, your finished restoration will be bonded to the tooth during your appointment and you won’t need to come back for this step.

With proper care, a crown can last a decade or more.

Schedule an Appointment

Do you need a dental crown? If you’d like to learn more, contact us today at 954-796-3355 to schedule an appointment at our office.