What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown sometimes called a cap, is a sheath that fits over your tooth, from the top to below the gum line. Dental crowns come in three types:

  • Noble metal crowns: made of gold or another inert metal
  • Porcelain fused to metal crowns: the crown has an internal structure made of metal, covered over with a surface of aesthetic ceramic material. A thin line of metal is visible at the crown’s edge, which is usually concealed below the gum line.
  • All-ceramic crowns: made entirely of an advanced ceramic, which allows it to look more natural than other crowns.

During your consultation, we will talk about your dental crown options and help you figure out which one is right for you.

What Are Dental Crowns Used for?

We use dental crowns to reshape your tooth or when your tooth has become so seriously damaged that it is structurally weakened. A dental crown protects and strengthens your tooth as well as giving it a new attractive surface. Dentists recommend using dental crowns for a tooth that:

  • Is seriously cracked
  • Is very decayed
  • Is small or poorly shaped
  • Has a large filling that has failed
  • Needs to restore the structure to promote a better bite
  • Has had a root canal

Dental crowns are normally reconstructive restorations but sometimes serve a cosmetic use, especially in combination with porcelain veneers to reshape your smile.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges, also called fixed dentures, are a tooth replacement option. A dental bridge consists of three parts: a dental crown on each side and a false tooth, called a pontic, in the middle. In the past, dental bridges used wires tying the parts of the bridge together. Today bridges can are a single seamless unit with no visible wires.

A dental crown may be the right tooth replacement option for you if:

  • You have a missing tooth surrounded by teeth
  • Teeth on either side of the gap would benefit from crowns but are overall strong and healthy
  • You lack sufficient bone for a dental implant

During your consultation, we will discuss your tooth replacement options and help you decide which is right for you.

Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

Porcelain inlays and onlays are a type of tooth-colored filling comprised of advanced ceramic material. These ceramic restorations are the most natural-looking and durable filling options. They can be precisely matched to the color of your tooth and have the same luster as your natural tooth enamel. They can even add strength to damaged teeth, especially when the tooth requires a large filling.

Choosing a Dentist for Your Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are powerful restorations because they are so strong, but the strength becomes a liability if they are poorly placed. A dental crown placed without appropriate care can be not only uncomfortable, but it can also contribute to a bad bite and cause significant wear on your opposing tooth.

When selecting a dentist for your dental crown, choose one who has extensive experience placing dental crowns. They should also have a record of comfortable results and have studied neuromuscular dentistry. Neuromuscular dentistry focuses on how the teeth, muscles, and jaw work together, and can help dentists ensure the proper fit for dental crowns.

Dr. Scott L. Rice has an excellent record of helping people get attractive, comfortable results with dental crowns. Please call (949) 551-5902 or email us in Irvine, California today to learn how he can help you.