what is a dental crown

A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth. It is designed to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of the tooth. The crown covers the entire visible part of the tooth, making it look and function like a normal tooth. Dental crowns are beneficial for many patients to avoid tooth pain or even potential infections if there is decay or trauma to a tooth.

Uses of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common uses:

To Restore Damaged Teeth

A dental crown can be used to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma. The crown will cover and protect the damaged area and restore its original shape and size. Sometimes a filling just isn’t sufficient to restore a tooth because the decay is extensive or the tooth is at risk of fracturing.

A crown provides the most support because it seals the tooth from bacteria and can support strong bite forces in posterior teeth. A tooth can become weakened when there is tooth decay, severe grinding and clenching leaving enamel weakened and worn, and if a tooth is fractured from injury.

To Strengthen Teeth

A dental crown can also be used to strengthen teeth that have been weakened by large fillings or root canal treatments. The crown will provide extra support for the weakened tooth and help prevent further damage from occurring.

A filling is less invasive than a crown, but the truth is a dental filling won’t last forever. Tooth colored fillings can shrink over time, leaving a gap between the filling and tooth, creating susceptibility to further decay. A crown can strengthen the tooth so when a person bites into hard, crunchy food, it is not at risk for breaking like it would with a large filling.

Crowns are fabricated from durable materials like porcelain, metal, and zirconia. These materials are much stronger than tooth colored filling and can withstand greater forcers and last up to 15 to 20 years with good care.

To Improve Appearance

Dental crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, misshapen, or have gaps between them. If you have teeth that are not symmetrical or you want to make a cosmetic change, a dental crown is a great option because you can perfectly match the shape and shade to give you the appearance you want.

People often opt for crowns after years of failed bonded restorations that can fracture, stain, or chip. You have to be much more conscious of foods and beverages you consume with a dental filling in an aesthetic area because they can stain leaving a poor appearance. A crown can make a huge cosmetic change by using aesthetic materials like porcelain or zirconia.

To Support Bridges

Dental crowns can also be used to support bridges, which are false teeth that are held in place by two adjacent crowned teeth on either side of the gap created by missing teeth. When you are missing one or two teeth, replacement is necessary to avoid teeth from shifting or supra-erupting.

Bridges are wonderful options because it is a fixed, permanent solution and provides support needed to restore function and appearance.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns offer many benefits for those who need them, including:

1. Improved Appearance: A dental crown will improve your smile by covering up any imperfections in your teeth and giving you an aesthetically pleasing smile.

2. Improved Functionality: A dental crown will also improve your ability to chew food properly since it will provide extra support for your weakened or damaged teeth and help prevent further damage from occurring in the future.

3. Increased Durability: Dental crowns are very durable and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance, making them an ideal solution for those who need long-term protection for their teeth.

4. Cost effective: A dental crown is the most affordable option to restore a tooth to its original function. If a tooth becomes non-restorable, then an extraction and dental implant is required, which is much more costly.

Risks Associated with Dental Crowns

Although dental crowns offer many benefits, there are some risks associated with them as well, including:

1. Tooth Sensitivity: After getting a dental crown placed on your tooth, you may experience some temporary sensitivity due to the procedure itself or due to changes in temperature when eating or drinking hot or cold foods/drinks afterwards. This should subside after a few days but if it persists then you should contact your dentist right away so they can adjust your bite accordingly if needed or prescribe medications to help reduce any discomfort you may be experiencing due to sensitivity issues caused by your new dental crown(s).

If a root canal was not performed prior to a dental crown, the pulp (nerve) of the tooth may be irritated if dental decay removed was deep. Discuss this option with your dentist whether you need root canal therapy prior to getting a dental crown.

2. Infection Risk: There is always a risk of infection when having any type of dental work done, including when getting a dental crown placed on your tooth/teeth so it’s important that you follow all post-procedure instructions given by your dentist in order to reduce this risk as much as possible (e..g., taking antibiotics as prescribed).

3. Wear & Tear Risk: Over time, wear & tear can occur on your new dental crown(s) due to regular use (e..g., chewing food). This is why it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene habits (e..g., brushing twice daily) in order to keep them looking their best for as long as possible!

If you find that you grind your teeth at night, speak with your dentist about wearing a custom night-guard so you don’t grind down your crowns and cause pain when sleeping. This will prevent damage to your crowns and help preserve them for many more years.


A dental crown is an effective solution for restoring damaged or decayed teeth as well as strengthening weak ones so they look and function like normal again! They offer many benefits such as improved appearance and functionality, but there are also risks associated with them such as infection risk and wear & tear risk so it’s important that you follow all post-procedure instructions given by your dentist in order to reduce these risks as much as possible! If you think you’d benefit from a crown or restorative dental treatments, contact us today!