Dental Crowns

Porcelain Caps (Dental Crowns)

A dental crown, or dental cap, is a type of dental restoration, which completely covers or encircles a tooth or dental abutment (See Dental Implant for details). Crowns are needed when either cosmetic changes are desired, or if a dental filling alone would not restore health to a tooth. Crowns are an effective dental tool to improve the strength and appearance of teeth.

Dental crowns can be made out of many different materials: Metal crowns, gold crowns, porcelain and metal crowns, zirconia crowns, and all porcelain crowns. Generally, teeth are to be evaluated for need of root canal therapy and free from decay prior to consideration for dental crowns. Ideally root canal therapy is to be performed prior to or in conjunction with the dental crown procedure. (See Root Canal Therapy for details).

The dental crown procedure, completed in two visits, typically consists of the following steps:

  • Discussion of alternatives, risks and consequences
  • If necessary, pain-free local anesthesia (See Numbing for details)
  • Preparation of tooth using dental drill
  • Crown impression to capture anatomy of the tooth in the mouth using polyether, polyvinylsiloxane, or other dental impression materials.
  • Photographs and crown color selection
  • Temporary crown fabrication and placement
  • Return for second visit
  • Removal of temporary crown
  • Insertion of permanent dental crown using dental cement.

Dental cements are used in the dental cementation process. Dental cements hold the crown to the tooth. Dental cements cannot compensate for poor preparation technique. The type of cement (Resin cement, RMGI, Glass Ionomer cement, etc) used depends on the type of metal or ceramic crown.

Similarly, dental implant crowns can be cemented over an implant abutment (cement-retained). In some cases, implant crowns can also be screw-retained.

Speak to your dentist to find out which dental crowns are best for you!