All dental crowns are designed to do the same thing – to cover a tooth, either to restore its strength or to improve its outward appearance. However, the specific condition that leads to your need for a dental crown will vary from other patients’ needs. Therefore, how your restoration is designed and placed, such as which materials are used, will depend on your unique need for a dental crown. In most cases, the goal is to restore the tooth’s health, but given the advancements of modern dental crowns, most materials also offer impressive cosmetic improvements.
Recommending Dental Crowns
Before choosing the right dental crown, your dentist will first explain why you need the crown and which materials best suit your individual needs. Common reasons for needing a dental crown include;
- Physical blemishes that cannot be corrected with another cosmetic treatment
- Structural damage to a tooth, such as cracks, fractures, and breaks
- A tooth that is excessively worn down
- A tooth that has received a large filling or root canal treatment
- As part of a dental prosthetic (support for a dental bridge or the crown of a dental implant)
Choosing the Right Material
The material typically used for dental crowns is lifelike dental porcelain, which is durable enough to withstand pressure and friction from opposing teeth. The porcelain is tinted to mimic your tooth’s color and hue, and is semi-translucent to reflect light in the same way as natural, healthy tooth enamel. If the crown is for a molar, or if you tend to grind your teeth occasionally, then we may recommend porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). A PFM crown is discreet enough to blend in with your smile, but strong enough to endure the more intense bite pressure in the back of your mouth.