Dental crowns are used in many restorative treatments. Sometimes called caps, they add strength to a tooth with a large filling, or one that’s been injured. Dental crowns can correct bite misalignments. They are usually necessary after a root canal, too. In a dental implant procedure, attaching the crown to the abutment is the final step.
Crowns can also be used for purely cosmetic problems: stained or yellow teeth, too-small teeth, and teeth that are misshapen.
Dental crowns are made from a variety of materials that vary in appearance and strength:
- All ceramic (porcelain-based)
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Gold alloys
- Base metal alloys
At Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help you determine which type is right for you. Factors to consider are: the location of the crown in the mouth, your budget, and any allergies to metal.
A crown restoration typically requires two office visits. On the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth and takes an impression for the dental lab. Then, the dentist will make a temporary crown for the patient to use until the permanent crown is ready. Some dentists have special technology that allows them to fabricate and place crowns in one visit.
Dental crowns can last for many years, but are not designed to last indefinitely. Even with proper care, you shouldn’t expect crowns to last for decades. There is encouraging evidence, however, that points to a high success rate: a 2009 study found that more than 90% of dental crowns will not require treatment within five years of placement. The study also found that 50% to 80% last from 15 to 20 years.1
1Bader JD1, Shugars DA., “Summary review of the survival of single crowns,” PubMed.gov, 2009, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19146146, accessed June 16, 2014
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