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All About Dental Crowns

gold dental crown

A dental crown is a cap designed to be placed over a broken or chipped tooth. In the event of a tooth being damaged to the point of breakage, you may find yourself with some frustrating complications. Your dentist will work with you to determine the best course of action for repair. (Note: If he or she determines that the damaged tooth is at risk of infection, a root canal will probably need to be performed before the crown is installed to minimize that risk.)

Crowns are excellent, versatile modes of repair.

Their uses are many, including:

Aesthetic value. A broken or chipped tooth can be distracting and impact one’s self-esteem. Crowning a broken tooth with a tooth-shaped and tooth-colored crown will keep your smile intact.


Tooth strength. A tooth weakened by decay or infection can be stabilized and strengthened by a crown made of strong, solid material.


Stabilization of the teeth and other dental procedures. Fillings, bridges, and dental implants can shift or weaken over time. Installing a dental crown over a damaged tooth can help to cover and hold in place such procedures.


So, what are crowns made from and how are they installed?


Crowns are typically constructed from metal, porcelain, ceramic, or a mixture of these materials. Stainless steel crowns are mainly used as temporary crowns, and are most often used in children as placeholders until a baby tooth falls out and is replaced by a permanent tooth.


Metal alloy crowns are made from metals such as gold alloy, or an alloy from a base metal such as chromium. They are typically a bit stronger and longer-lasting than stainless steel crowns; however, like stainless steel, their coloring (usually gold) is noticeable and places your dental work on full display. Ceramic and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns reverse that effect, displaying a natural tooth color. However, these types are generally not nearly as strong as metallic crowns; they do not withstand chewing with as much durability, and they may need to be replaced sooner.


The installation of a crown is typically a two-step process. Your dentist will install a temporary crown (likely made of stainless steel or acrylic) and take impressions of your mouth to advise his or her lab in terms of size, bite, etc. This will net you an appropriately fitting crown, to be installed during the second step. The dentist will administer anesthetic and place the permanent crown – a simple, straightforward procedure designed to repair your damaged tooth.


Find out how you can save 20% - 50% of normal costs of a crown by reviewing the Careington Savings Fee Schedule.